For the amount of time busy executives spend at the office, it is surprising how few people have mastered the art of having a good day. Fortunately, The Huffington Post created an infographic to help plan your day for success.
While we can appreciate the, um, rigidness of this schedule, it may not be feasible for everyone. For example, waking up at 6:30 a.m. then eating breakfast 30 minutes later is a bit confusing—what I am to do for those 30 minutes since the schedule specifically says don’t check email. Am I waking the kids? Reading a newspaper? Walking the dog?
The infographic suggests that I work out in the morning yet be at the office knocking out my “least desirable tasks” by 9:00 a.m. however in order for this timeline to work, assume that my workout time, shower time and commute time are collectively less than 90 minutes (which they are not, for the record!)
Therefore, we recommend not taking this chart so literally but instead using it as a guide, especially when you’re physically in the office.
What executives should pay attention to, however, is the timing around the scheduled activities. Notice a pattern? It's pretty clear: work for 52 minutes a time, then take a break for 17 minutes. Think this sounds lazy? Disruptive? Unproductive?
Fast Company recently reported the findings of studies done by the University of Toronto and The Draugiem Group, a social networking company, that back up this plan.
According to the article:
“Using the time-tracking productivity app DeskTime, [The Draugiem Group] conducted an experiment to see what habits set their most productive employees apart. What they found was that the 10 percent of employees with the highest productivity surprisingly didn’t put in longer hours than anyone else. In fact, they didn’t even work full eight-hour days. What they did do was take regular breaks. Specifically, they took 17-minute breaks for every 52 minutes of work.”
"The best way to refresh your focus is to step away and take a break," says productivity expert Cathy Sexton, who says the results of The Draugiem Group’s study aren’t surprising.
So while meditating daily at 2:02 p.m. and looking at cute cat videos at 5:29 p.m. may not be activities you wish to include in your daily routine, the break from your desk and the change of pace should be.
Check out the infographic below to see if this specific schedule works for you—or adjust accordingly!