There are several kinds of schedules required for proper training: training, reading, video instructions, coaching sessions… This can get very intense. How to navigate the training insanity? Quite simply, actually. Answers below.
Divide and conquer
There is a family of algorithms from ancient Babylonia…
It is significantly easier to solve a large number of small issues than one huge and complex issue. So when we have large challenges, we usually divide them into multiple independent paths. The assumption of independence needs to be verified from time to time, but other than that you are good.
Do not create one overly complex schedule for everything you need to do. Make several independent schedules. This will add a lot of flexibility. If you have several alternatives, set just two. More than two alternatives will defocus. If there is only one path we may get stuck…
So basically we create several independent schedules with two alternatives per day.
Large stones first
There is a classical management metaphor, showing that we need to place the big tasks first.
In every schedule, there are large and complex tasks that cannot be broken into smaller tasks without significant penalty. Often, they require both focus and energy, possibly even the productivity state of flow. Place these tasks first. Usually not too early, and not too late, and not after lunch. Ensure you have enough warm-up and cool-down for each such activity.
To be honest, if these are not work-related tasks, we often move them to weekends. Because otherwise, we are too busy or too tired. We think about work-home balance, but it is also hard to keep the balance at home between major challenges and minor activities.
If the mountain does not come…
Here I address a turkish proverb. It is quite funny to learn where our most used proverbs come from…
Some tasks simply cannot move. If you need to schedule a session with Anna, you will have to comply with her limitation. Anna has too many tasks. Even I get approximately an hour per week of her time and I am her husband.
Unmovable tasks get priority because otherwise they simply will not happen. For example, if you prioritize your time and money to delay Anna’s coaching, you will acquire bad habits. This means you will first spend some time acquiring them, then some time wondering why you got stuck, and then more time to relearn. It is better to take the first session after 3 weeks of independent learning as we recommend.
You get what you pay for
Somehow the more of our real money we invest into something the more we cherish it. Buying expensive training improves the success rate even if we get the same product.
Additionally, the people who provide training really need to justify the premium price tag. In my pricing policy, that means that at the higher price tag, each dollar buys you more. If you buy a bundle of products you will get a very significant discount.
There are also long-term trends. Either the product is fixed and the prices go down, or the product gets improved and the prices go up. I always try to improve my offering. Significantly so. If you buy from me, the earlier you buy the more you will get for a dollar. It can be x5 over 5 years…
To get the context of a course and the general ideas you should use it makes sense to binge-watch the instructional materials. You will not accomplish much by this sort of “prereading”, but you will get a solid context for your activities. This will reduce the chance of mistakes.
Then as you really acquire the skill, watch slowly, one or two videos per day, and ask yourself: how can I practice this or how can I integrate this in my life? Constant brainstorming is an important part of intelligent practice. Otherwise, we will simply follow the instructions mindlessly… This robotic behavior should be avoided.
Unlike some competitors, I do not provide complex and structured daily routines. I think such routines are counterproductive. If you feel more energetic or more focused, even more playful, you can choose the appropriate alternative from the appropriate schedule. Your schedule should adapt to your state of mind, not vice-versa. Even if you do not have ADHD, it takes a lot of effort to modify the mindset per task. Selecting a task per mindset is easier.
Also, the progress is very personal. You will need to do the same things as everybody else for 80% of your schedule. The other 20% should be very personal and fine-tuned. I think this personalized 20 % of activities provide for 80% of the progress. So if you stick to a fixed schedule, your progress may become x5 slower.
Take one of each
A good training routine is like a three-dish dinner. You have one appetizer, one main dish, and one dessert. Of course, you can take a different selection, but then your choice will be suboptimal.
In my courses, computerized training is like the appetizer. It is fast, not very nutritious, but it is full of tastes and aromas. Its role is to open you up for new experiences.
The reading or research or visualization or writing, based on the course, is the main course. It is heavy and concentrated. You should not miss it. The nutrients are there.
For the sweet taste and great experience, we get a perky desert. In most of my courses, you get some sort of creative brainstorming. It is the fun part. Not necessarily a must, but definitely a part of the positive experience. For example, When you read something, you should think about how you can use it in your life. If you skip this step, the experience is somehow incomplete.
Take at least one of each every day. If you want, you can get more.
Do not take this too seriously
Some people spend more time on optimal scheduling than they do on the task itself. As you noticed, I am a proponent of reducing the overhead and increasing flexibility. There is no optimal progress or optimal proportion. During a perky zesty day, you can have one dessert, one main course, and five appetizers. Or if you are depressed, your whole day will become an ice-cream marathon. Do not make a habit of it, but do not take too seriously each day.
The long-term trends matter. Average the investment over two weeks and see if it was reasonable. If not, compensate for the missing elements. Running a diary of past activities is usually easier than following a schedule of future tasks. And if a month is a bit off, you have a whole life to change that.
Try to have fun. Motivation and perseverance are more important than momentary success.
Follow the inspiration
Your most important training tool is not a daily schedule, but a list of skills you want to acquire or books you want to read with priorities. And here you should be very mindful of prerequisites. Not all tasks are independent. You need to train visualization before memory, and your memory should be trained before speedreading, and after speedreading you should do speedwriting – otherwise, you will be forced to do spaced repetitions…
So if you want to read a certain book or perform a certain training, like synesthesia training, make sure to write it down. Otherwise, you will have so many important tasks that you will forget what inspired you to begin with.
We are not robots. We are middle-aged children. And we deserve to have FUN!