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How to Schedule your Day for Productivity

By: Sharran Srivatsaa, Author's original work


How to Schedule Your Day for Productivity

Over the past decade, I have perfected and refined a framework for my day that allows me to utilize each one to its fullest extent. After all, our days are numbered and we have to make the very most of them. This routine is not complicated, but there are nine components that I incorporate daily to guarantee productivity. Do you have to follow all nine steps at once? Not at all — implementing just one of these at any time will increase your effectiveness exponentially.

Sleep is sacred

Have you ever allowed your bedtime to be determined by the tasks you have to complete for the day? Yes, I have too. Unfortunately, this is a recipe for poor health, concentration, and productivity.
It is imperative that you make sleep a priority in your schedule. Build your day around your bedtime, not the other way around. Set an alarm to go to sleep just as you would set an alarm to wake up. Then make this a non-negotiable commitment, and wake up for the 5 AM Club.

The airplane mode discipline

That smartphone of yours is both a blessing and a curse and you know it. Sure, it allows you to be super effective at some things, but it can also be an enormous distraction. The best way to prevent the smartphone siren from luring you to the deep? Turn on airplane mode.

In an important meeting? Turn on airplane mode until it’s over. Having dinner with your family? Airplane mode. Switch that button on as you are getting ready for your set bedtime and then don’t turn it back on until you have completed your morning routine. Trust me, this is the best gift you can give yourself and your productivity.

State change protocol

As a leader at work and a leader at home, we often have difficulties transitioning from rockstar entrepreneur to super-parent, and our relationships with our families can suffer.

Have you ever been taking calls on your way home from the office and arrive in your driveway, your children bursting through the door to see you with huge smiles on their faces, only to be greeted by your index finger sticking up in the air to signal “one more minute?” Then, after you finish your call, you walk inside, half apologetic that you made your family wait and half irritated that you didn’t get all of your work wrapped up for the day? Yeah, me too. That is why I developed the state change protocol.

On my way home, I pull over as I enter my neighborhood. I finish my calls, turn off my car, and listen to a guided meditation that helps me change my state of being to father and husband. Now, by the time I walk through the door, I am present and joyful instead of distracted and resentful. This has been a life-changing practice for my relationships as well as my productivity.

The power of batching

Allowing your focus to shift between unrelated tasks is one of the quickest ways to tank your productivity.

Scattering your attention between calls, texts, emails, research, and Facebook is definitely not the best use of your time. Allowing your schedule to be dictated by “that next thing that pops up” is a great way to be trapped in a cycle of productivity that doesn’t actually accomplish anything.

Bringing some intentionality to your day by batching your tasks allows you to get in the flow and develop a rhythm that produces results. Set a timer for 15-20 minutes for each type of task for highest impact and lowest boredom levels and get to work. Train yourself to focus on one thing at a time and watch your productivity skyrocket.

Exercise is the force multiplier

Just as sufficient sleep is critical to a healthy body and mind, exercise is equally important.

Bottom line: you need to prioritize moving your body. Any type of movement will do — walking, bicycling, weight lifting, tennis. Whatever type of exercise appeals to you, make it a non-negotiable part of your day. Try to do it first thing in the morning — the mental clarity and energy provided as a result of exercising first is truly a gift.

Yes, I know you have multiple other commitments, projects, and a family life. It doesn’t matter — exercise daily anyway and watch how you are still able to accomplish all of your other tasks!

30-60-90-Deep work framework

Developing a true plan for the deep work in your day can be the key to unlocking your productivity.

This is a tough one, even for me, but as I’ve experienced the insane benefits from this method myself, I can’t leave it off the list. Imagine if you could block off a non-negotiable 30-minute chunk of time each day to devote to your top current priority? How would the progress on your project look? Astounding, that’s how it would look.

That’s the driving philosophy behind this method. Specify a time period (try for at least 30 minutes) and deep dive into a high priority project. Don’t quit before the time is up or allow yourself to drift to another task. A mentor of mine actually devotes 90-minute blocks, 3-4 times each day, of uninterrupted focus to his deep work. I shoot for one 30 minute, one 60 minute, and one 90 minute block each day. Find the method that works for you, and I promise you will see your productivity rearrange itself into the blocks you have created for it.

Millionaire mornings

By now, you have probably gathered that I believe mornings are a critical part of success.

At this point, you need to take your morning a step further and truly engineer it. Declare exactly what your ideal morning looks like by envisioning it in simple terms and then write it down and make it happen. You have every right to live a life you love on your terms. So in addition to your morning routine outlined in chapter one, choose a few key habits to incorporate and don’t fail to do them.

A truly intentional beginning to your day leads to a more productive day.

Neurotransmitter cascade

Yes, this is another tip about starting your day on the right note. Are you detecting a theme here?

The late great Charles Poliquin was a dear friend of mine, and he explained something to me in an interview once that changed my view of nutrition. He said, “The first thing you put in your mouth in the morning, provided it is food, will dictate the neurotransmitter cascade for your whole day. The very first thing you eat in the morning makes a huge difference for your whole day. It’s even been shown to affect willpower later on during the day. What you eat at 7:00 am can affect how much willpower you have at 6:00 pm, regardless of what you eat for lunch.”

We all know that you cannot have a healthy body and a healthy mind if you eat poorly. Choose what you fuel your body with carefully, and make your breakfast nutritionally stellar — your productivity depends on it.

Daily review

The same intentionality you bring to your morning should also close your day.

Over the course of 10 years, I have come to realize that this is one of the most crucial pieces to the productivity puzzle, and it takes no more than 15 minutes at the end of the day. You can make this as simple or as detailed as you like, just be sure you reflect on the progress you made for the day and think about tomorrow.

As I wind down at night, I go through a checklist that looks like this:

  1. Did I have a masterpiece day? I analyze the areas of my life that make me a better father, husband, citizen of the world, and business leader — and simply run down the list — eat, move, sleep, service, growth, and deep work
  2. Do a final email and voicemail check for the day Review my calendar — what needs follow up from today? What is coming up tomorrow?

Set my top 3 priorities for tomorrow

Visualize my day — from the time I wake up until the time I go to bed Turn my phone to airplane mode

Your daily review may look different from mine, but the effect on your productivity, mental and physical health will be the same. If you choose to implement only one of these tips, this is the one to prioritize.

These nine steps have been crucial to increasing my productivity and overall effectiveness and joy and in my life. I would love to hear about how they have made improvements in yours as well — be sure to reach out and let me know. You can find me on Instagram at @SharranSrivatsaa.


Sharran Srivatsaa is the CEO of Kingston Lane, a push-button technology execution platform for real estate. Most recently, Sharran grew Teles Properties by 10x in 5 years and led its acquisition to Douglas Elliman.


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