Tetris designed by Emily L from the Noun Project

Tetris designed by Emily L from the Noun Project

On photographer Chase Jarvis’ blog we get a look at how to best schedule our days in order to utilize what Tony Schwartz calls “strategic renewal.” It’s the concept of participating in short activities throughout the day in order to energize us both physically and mentally:

The theory boils down to the fact that we can’t increase the hours in the day, but we can increase the energy with which we make the most of those hours. Taking short, scheduled breaks throughout the day rejuvenates and restores us physically and mentally, helping us plow through those assignments and to-do lists in a third of the time.

Inspired by Schwarz and the studies he cited, I created a Daily Schedule that broke up my day into 90-minute Work Blocks, separated by 30 minute Breaks and, in the middle of my day, a 2-hour lunch. I know some of you just spit your coffee out. But you read that right.

While your Daily Schedule blocks may be different from what is set in the article, the concept remains the same: break your day into 90 minute blocks (which research has shown is the ideal length of time for any focused activity), then sprinkle in a few short chunks of restorative activities. Activities can include everything from walking, working out, a short nap, or anything that gets you away from the work for a short while.

For more information on how to schedule your ideal day to achieve strategic renewal, read the full write-up on the concept over on Chase Jarvis’ blog.

Related: How to Accomplish More By Doing Less

  • http://www.hellobrio.com/ Jennifer Coyle

    YES. I talk about and live by 90 minute chunks!

  • http://www.rogueheartmedia.com Rob_at_rogue_heart

    I always feel like I need a big chuck of time to sit down and edit, and that the transitions and interruptions kill productivity. But a 90 minute block really should be enough time to dig in, especially if you are energized and have the self-imposed out time motivating you… I’m going to have to try this!

  • introvert

    so 8 hour day, you come in, work for 90 minutes (90) and take 30 min break, work another 90 mins (180), it’s now lunch time so 2 hour lunch, come back and work 90 mins again (270) followed by another 30 min break, then home time?. orly?

    • http://www.creativesomething.net/ tannerc

      If that works for you.

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  • http://www.journeyccs.com Ann Porter

    Funny thing as I get older, and turning 63 years old this month, I find that I have been breaking things down into the “90 minute blocks with short chunks of restorative activities” like naturally when I listen to my mind-body moods. Love this article that validates something I have been doing naturally. Thanks!!

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