Want to get shit done? Throw out your notebook and open your iCal.
On a given week, I do a daily comic strip, regular New Yorker and MAD Magazine cartoons, I do stand-up comedy shows all over the city, perform and voice act in TV commercials and volunteer as the Vice President of the National Cartoonists Society. If it sounds like a lot of work, it is. I get a lot of questions as to how I fit it all in.
The short answer is: Time management.
The longer answer is: I have a system that works around my brain and subverts any tendencies to procrastinate — especially during periods of extreme willpower depletion.
One of the biggest productivity revelations I had in the last 15 years while working freelance and trying to juggle a million different projects, was to work directly from a calendar, not a To-Do list.
I worked from a To-Do list for a long time, using a page each day to cross items off. It felt good to run a line through things as I got them done, but sadly, I never really got as many done in a day as I should — or could have.
If you need to write down all of the things you need to do in a list to get them out of your head (especially before sleep on a Sunday night) then by all means, do so. But, once they’re down on that list, start plugging them into your calendar to give you an actual idea of how much time you have to do them.
If you’re anything like me, you probably fall into the ‘dreamer’ category of time psychology. The dreamers are the ones who have poor ability to predict how long something will actually take and show up late to things, miss deadlines and generally end up having all your work snowball into Friday afternoon.
Trick #1: Copy & Paste