I have another productivity tip for you today, and this time it’s all about frontloading your work.
What is it?
Frontloading your work is when you schedule the bulk of your work during the beginning of the week, and the beginning of your day, effectively getting everything done earlier than it needs to be done.
Here’s a short video, explaining the technique.
Why do it?
Have you ever noticed that you have a load of energy at the beginning of your day, and by 3:00 PM your motivation slacks? As humans, most of us reach a state of peak energy in the morning usually within 2-3 hours of waking up (thanks, coffee!). Every action we take–be it answering emails, dealing with customers, checking our phones–depletes our store of energy little by little throughout the day. Therefore, you should aim to complete the most pressing/important work when your mind is at its best, not when it’s at its worst.
One other thing that frontloading helps with is managing your workload. You ever have something chaotic happen on a Friday afternoon when you’re just trying to finish up for the week? Frontloading your work means you start out ahead. So even when emergency issues arise, you won’t get behind. You build in a cushion for the unexpected.
How to do it?
The easiest way to frontload your work is to put your most important activities and deadlines early in the day, and early in the week. Your planned to-do’s should decrease from Monday to Friday with (ideally) little to no new items on Friday. Find ways to get ahead in your week so that when emergencies arise, they don’t slow you down.
What happens to the end of the week when you frontload?
If you frontload your work, and something happens on a Friday, no big deal, because you’re ahead rather than behind. You can fix that emergency right away and leave your work knowing that everything is good, that all your tasks for the week were taken care of, rather than worrying about overtime, stressing about the things you weren’t able to get to, or worse, having to leave your manuscript deadline in the balance.
The best feeling is when you can leave your office for the weekend knowing it is clean, organized, and in good shape. If you frontload your work, you’ll never get behind.