If you’re running a business, day theming may be a smart way to get through important projects more quickly. You may be dealing with several challenges at once – but you’re also aware that multitasking adversely affects productivity. What you need is a method that allows you to do in-depth work while still meeting your deadlines.
Day theming isn’t complicated. In fact, it’s actually simpler than trying to juggle a number of daily tasks competing for your attention. It’s not what you do, but how you do it, that makes day theming so incredibly effective.
What is Day Theming?
As the name suggests, the concept behind day theming is really simple. Essentially, you’re allocating one full day to a specific theme or task. This is different to having a fragmented daily ‘to-do’ list, which can get messy very quickly.
With a traditional daily ‘to do’ list, you’re trying to do several key things in succession. It actually means you’re ‘attention hopping’ every day, and it’s exhausting. You have to complete a task (or at least make progress) and then switch gears to something different. This arbitrary change in focus requires you to constantly divert your brain’s attention, sometimes several times a day. Your attention suffers – and your productivity:
- You’re still thinking about the previous task while trying to dig into the current one.
- It’s easier to forget things or confuse information, thanks to focus-switching.
- Very often, you only make incremental progress, and it feels like you’re going nowhere.
- Your days and tasks become uninspiring: you’re just rinsing and repeating over and over again.
By comparison, day theming offers you the opportunity to achieve big wins. And you can do so more effectively than just running the to-do list like a frustrated hamster on a wheel.
The Energy, Structure and Focus of Day Theming
The innate power of day theming lies in its psychology. Remember the last time you got truly immersed in something deeply enjoyable? Time just stopped. You experienced the amazing benefits of being present at work.
Why? Because you entered into a state of flow, where you could accomplish more with less effort.
Take a moment to think about the world’s greatest masterpieces. You’ll realize that they’re the result of deep immersion and concentrated focus. They’re definitely not the result of a piece-by-piece daily task list. The world’s most brilliant business innovations or ideas were brought into existence the same way.
With day theming, you’re able to clear the ‘background noise’ of other tasks competing for your attention. And, by having a bigger creative space, you can achieve way more than you thought was possible.
How to Implement Day Theming in Your Life
You might be wondering how to implement day theming in a practical way.
The first step is to prepare, in the same way you’d prepare for a presentation or launch. And, like any new experiment, a little practice is always a good idea.
- Clear your calendar for a day so you can do a practice run.
- Be clear on your priorities. Understand that it’s not just the task that’s important – it’s the power of the method you’re applying to get it done.
- Protect your space. Have someone take your calls and respond to mails. If you don’t have a full time assistant, a virtual secretary service is a cost-effective solution.
- Prevent distractions or interruptions. Most distractions are self-imposed. Set up your space so it keeps you easily focused on the great thing you’re about to accomplish.
- Remove reasons for procrastination. A little bit of task preparation goes a long way – like these 5 ways to prepare for better productivity.
- Set specific goals and deadlines. Make sure your goals are production-focused, so it’s easy to measure the exact steps you’ve taken, and progress achieved.
- Work in short bursts. Take regular breaks to keep your mind sharp and body refreshed.
Setting Up a Task Template
A bit of structure goes a long way. You can begin by defining your day’s tasks within 3 categories:
- Core Tasks: Tasks central to maintenance and growth
- Fluid Tasks: Tasks that come up or may change every week
- Optional Tasks: Tasks that are often creative or conceptual. They’re add-ons which are usually spontaneous or unplanned.
Day Theming Scheduling: An Example
Once you’ve identified the priorities you want to focus on, it’s time to allocate themes to specific days. You can do this absolutely any way you want. To see how simple this can be, here’s an outline.
In this example, let’s assume you run a business selling garden furniture online.
Today’s Theme: Projects, Processes, and Team Communication
- Check last week’s sales reports and respond to internal queries or issues
- Do real-time project management check-ins with team members (physically or online)
- Attend to supplier and customer communication
- Create or update manuals or videos that could help your team work more effectively
- Work on customer communication channels – newsletters, delivery automation, etc
- Review any current projects and find ways to improve production / reduce costs / add customer value
Today’s Theme: Online Content Creation
- Plan out new marketing strategies and sales campaigns
- Collaborate on the creation of fresh website content, marketing campaign content, and social media content
- Oversee blog or article uploads for your website
- Work at link-building and SEO for better online visibility
- Review and update newsletter or mailing list content and objectives
- Find a skilled copywriter to create landing pages aimed at your wealthiest clients
Today’s Theme: Marketing
- Review current marketing campaigns and metrics
- Create or consult to design new campaigns or promotions
- Evaluate and update all social media and customer communication material
- Explore co-branding opportunities or proposals
- Find new revenue-generating avenues like affiliate programs
- Do some competitor research to find out where they’re getting the most traction and engagement
Today’s Theme: Research and Development
- Meet with product designers or suppliers to discuss product expansion
- Create a better installation guide for DIY customers
- Experiment with new plugins or web tools to enhance website function
- Look at courses or programs for self-improvement or business building
- Set up an A / B marketing test on Facebook for a specific product
Today’s Theme: Networking
- Check that your CRM automation is updated to send birthday wishes to all clients
- Actively participate in any industry groups or paid platforms by offering advice or asking questions
- Search for industry-related information you can share on social media
- Post a short, helpful article on LinkedIn
- Send ‘thank you’ or ‘just touching base’ notes to pivotal clients, suppliers, or collaborators
What if There Are Unpredictable Changes or Challenges?
Obviously, you can’t just ignore some issues. A crisis situation or urgent query can’t wait until next week. The great thing about day theming is that it’s really flexible. For example, you could stay ‘on theme’ until 2pm every day, with leeway after that to attend to other issues.
The important thing to remember is that day theming gives you more specific focus, and time for deep work, every day.
Create More Productive Time
One of the best ways of freeing up productive time is to get a skilled virtual assistant to help you.
Book a discovery call today and see how cost-effective and practical a VA can be. You get a free trial, and we’ll assist you – no matter what business you’re in.