How to Use the Fixed Schedule Strategy to Gain Scientific Productivity
This past autumn, I completed my PhD in Neurovascular Genetics. Simultaneous with writing my thesis, I finished the manuscript for my first book, which was handed one month after my PhD defense and is now published by Lulu. During this past year, I also managed to create and maintain this blog, Science for All, which enjoys already over 5,000 unique visitors a month, publish a dozen peer-reviewed academic papers, start a MBA course at the University La Rochelle (and pass all first semester exams), do an accelerated bioentrepreneur course, write a business plan, and work freelance for my recently created company Koonec.
Now you may think – admit it you do – that I’m a freak, who spend days and nights working and has no personal life whatsoever ,or maybe that I’m some “new rich” who monitors an automated lifestyle from a beach in Costa Brava. Well nope, I have a normal job (I’m a postdoc) and with only a few exceptions, all of the work I did took place between 10:00am and 7:00pm on weekdays. However, once I leave the lab and go home, I only do non work-related things I love like cooking, cleaning the house, swimming, walk my 2 dogs, watch TV series and movies, and of course spend time with my bf.
You must wonder what my secret is. Well the answer is that I do not have one but many secrets. The good news, however, is that I started to and will continue revealing them all to you and you can come back here to check them in the productivity tips section. But today is a special day because I want to reveal to you what I consider to be the most important productivity approach of all: work on a fixed schedule. It is not really a new idea. It has been preached by several very talented people that I admire such as Tim Ferriss, Calvin Newport, and Ramit Sethi. The beauty of it is that it is a really simple strategy, even thought it might not be so easy to implement.
Now, let me explain what it really means, how to do it and what benefits you will get from it.