Earlier this year, I read a book called The Productivity Project by Chris Bailey. The book is basically about Chris taking a year to focus purely on being as productive as he can be, try new things to save time, and be more efficient at the same time while sharing his findings in this book. One of the time management tips he suggested on how to be more productive is by creating a Maintenance Day.
What Is A Maintenance Day?
A Maintenance Day is a day where you do all of your chores and other tasks that are repetitive and has a low yielding result in terms of productivity towards your day.
Why Should You Have A Maintenance Day?
Let's say you have to clean the house (e.g. vaccuum or sweep the floor, clean the toilet, etc.). If you do this on a daily basis or spread across the week, it'll be time consuming. Not only that, it'll interrupt whatever productive focus and momentum you had built up.
Now, if we created a Maintenance Day, a day in the week where you put all of your low return tasks and you focus on doing that all on that one day, you will be more productive. The reason for this is there will be less distractions during the other days when you are focusing on more important tasks.
For example, let's say you sweep the floor every day, and it takes you about 5 minutes to cover the entire area of your house (time may vary depending on the size of your house). Because you're doing it daily, you end up spending 35 minutes on a single chore! That's enough time to either watch 3 short YouTube videos, listen to 10 songs or watch 1 episode of your favorite TV show with 5 minutes to spare.
However, if you bundle it up with your other chores on a dedicated Maintenance Day, you would only have to sweep the house once every week. Because it takes about 5 minutes based on this example scenario, you end up saving 30 minutes of time! If we translate that to minimum wage, that's about $5-$7 (depending on where you live) for half an hour's work.
How To Make Your Maintenance Day More Productive
Now, I'm sure we can all agree that doing chores usually don't have a big ROI (return on investment) in terms of productivity. However, there are several tactics you can implement to make your Maintenance Day more productive, and have a greater ROI.
If I were to use the floor sweeping example again, because it is something that doesn't require a lot of brain power, you can potentially do another task alongside it. For instance, you can listen to some music or better yet, you can listen to a audiobook or podcast in the background while you sweep the floor! This way, you can learn something new while you are doing your chores. Plus, it's a great way to make the time pass without feeling like a robot. After all, you're only going to do this just once a week thanks to the awesome concept of a Maintenance Day.
5 Steps on How To Get Started On Creating Your Maintenance Day
- First list all of the chores you have to do frequently that is repetitive and predictable.
- Choose a day in the week where you are most free, and dedicate a majority of that day as your Maintenance Day. For most people, this is usually Saturday or Sunday.
- Start tackling your chores during your least energetic hours of the day. The reason behind this is so that you can spend your most energetic hours on productive tasks or just things that matter the most to you.
- While you are doing each of those tasks, if possible, try to find some way to creatively take advantage of doing something else at the same time that won't conflict with the chores at hand to stay productive. Make sure to stay safe at the same time too! :)
- Finally, repeat the same process on the same day every single week. That's it!
Doing chores doesn't have to be an unproductive task, it can be significantly be more productive. It just takes a little bit of creativity and a little bit of outside-the-box thinking (in this case, creating a Maintenance Day)! Hopefully after reading this post, you now are inspired to take action and try out the Maintenance Day time management technique for yourself, help you be a little bit more productive, and save you some time for more important matters to deal with. Let me know in the comments below, what little things do you do in your life to stay a little bit more productive?