Assign Tasks The Right Day To Get Them Done

WeekdaylistMost tasks have a better chance of getting finished if you assign them time in your calendar, but choosing the right day of the week can also have a major impact.

I was reminded of this principle during a recent presentation by food industry consultant Jane Milton at the Speciality & Fine Food Fair in London. Milton pointed out that many businesses organise marketing in large bursts, but that this isn't the most effective technique:

You need to plan time into your diary. It's great if you can do an hour a week. You'll still get 40 hours or more in a year, even with disruptions.

Milton noted that her own application of this principle had been messy at first. "I used to block out an hour on Friday afternoon, and then I realised I always wanted to go home rather than do it. Now I do it on a Monday afternoon and it works much better."

The same approach can work in reverse - doing mundane administrative tasks first thing on a Monday can help you ease your way back into the week. It's generally a personal decision, but one that's worth giving some thought.

Which tasks work best for you at certain points in the week? Share your time divisions in the comments.


    I process my "stuff" on Monday mornings. I get in the office by about 7am, when I'm almost guaranteed to have an hour to myself.

    That way, I can devote a proper amount of thinking to deciding what priorities are in play and when I can (reasonably) Get Things Done.

    I have also found some benefit in ad-hoc processing, such as on coffee breaks or at stop lights (God, I love Omnifocus for iPhone!), but I don't rely on it.

    I also try to allow myself the last half hour of each working day to do a "quick assess and file" of recent emails.

    CC emails usually wait 'til I have time (December/January each year)...

    I try to bribe myself to do the things I'm dreading most by promising myself that only when they're done can I move on to the more interesting jobs.

    I find that mundane tasks are useful ways to procrastinate and I'm better off doing the creative stuff first and the mundane tasks later in the day when I'm tired - or even brain dead.

    I find this approach works well with _other_ people. I try and schedule calling all businesses on Tuesday morning to get them to do things. They have too much going on on mondays and just want to go home on fridays. Tuesdays seem to work, and you don't get forgotten.

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