In the constant quest to become more productive, many look for new concepts when it comes to improving their productivity. That’s where a specific type of workflow comes in called day theming.
Day theming is one of the greatest ways to stay focused on the task while moving forward to reach expected results. If you want to know how – keep reading. You will not only learn new ways and have clear examples but also get action steps on your way to use day theming for a productivity boost you didn’t know you needed.
Table of Contents
- What is Day Theming?
- 5 Proven Benefits of Setting Themed Days
- 4-Step Method To Designing Your Theme Work Days
- Create Your Own Themed Day (Action Plan)
- What if There Are Unpredictable Changes or Challenges?
- Looking for Other Ways To Use Themes?
- Final Thoughts
What is Day Theming?
The concept of themed days, especially for work is really simple. As the name suggests, each day is dedicated to a specific theme or task . Instead of having a to-do list which can get overwhelming, theme work days help to stay focused on a set of certain tasks rather than constantly switching, which saves a lot of time.
If you have practiced task batching, you will love day theming as it improves your productivity that much more. With day theming, you simply devote an entire day to working on one specific initiative. So rather than setting aside smaller time blocks for each task (e.g. an hour for networking, two hours for email, etc.), each day is strategically planned in your calendar with a single task of focus. It can be working on a certain goal in your life, a personal or professional project.
If you’re running a business, day theming may be a smart way to get through important projects more quickly. But as you probably have heard – multitasking adversely affects productivity. That is where a method allowing in-depth work while still meeting deadlines is so effective.
Let’s be clear, day theming isn’t complicated. It’s not what you do but how you do it that makes day theming so incredibly effective. They are especially useful when you want to make greater progress in a short amount of time. To get the most benefit out of your work days is to keep certain hours in your schedule with zero interruptions.
5 Proven Benefits of Setting Themed Days
The benefits of day theming are plentiful, and they can be extremely significant. Here are some valid reasons why you should use this productivity power tool in your favor and take advantage of what it provides.
1. Builds Productive Workflow
When you have single-themed days without interruptions, your productivity can skyrocket, achieving far more work in less time. Without replying to emails, being pulled into meetings, or dealing with other distractions, you can stay focused on your work.
2. Prevents Attention Hopping
With a traditional daily to-do list, you’re trying to do several key things in succession. It means you’re attention hopping because 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 the brain’s attention, sometimes several times a day. Your attention suffers – and your productivity declines, which leads to poor performance, missing important details, and inability to complete such tasks. 
Each time I jump from task to task, I fragment my focus on shallow work, which creates decision fatigue and weakens my ability to solve complex, important problems. But when I set firm borders around a specific piece of work, I won’t feel guilty about ignoring those inevitable requests that crop up throughout the day.
3. Helps With Prioritization
We all have important goals we’re trying to achieve, whether that’s trying to write a book, launch a new website, or learn a new skill. But in our fast-paced, hyper-connected world, it’s easy to lose sight of what’s truly important and get caught up in the noise and busyness of daily life.
Being able to dedicate one day each week to a project that’s actually meaningful to us can return a powerful sense of satisfaction and means we don’t miss out on creating something that has real, tangible value.
With day theming, you can clear the ‘background noise’ of other tasks competing for your attention.
4. Reduces Start-up Time
Once you batch similar tasks together, you reduce the start-up time as you’re already in the same context. This also means that if you have to make too many decisions like what you’re going to do that day, the more you’re making decisions based on what you feel like doing, not on what you should be doing.
So knowing what you’re supposed to do eliminates some of this thinking power. You’re just executing the plan rather than coming up with the plan. This makes it much more likely you actually achieve your goals.
5. Helps Maintain Self-Discipline
With theme work days, you make it so much easier for yourself to stay disciplined. If you take an hour out of each day to learn a new skill, it will take you much longer and will create higher chances of you quitting along the way. One month quickly becomes two months, and soon the goal has fallen by the wayside. Dedicating one full day to your new project will keep you focused, motivated and disciplined.
Here’s an example: let’s say you want to learn iMovie. Every day after work, when you’re already exhausted, you take one hour to learn the skill. In one month, you will have dedicated approximately 20 hours to learning and will most likely struggle with discipline and concentration.
But what if you schedule two themed days in a row, let’s say Friday and Saturday, and devote 10 focused hours to learning iMovie on both days, you would achieve more in two days than what you can achieve in one month or possibly even longer if you struggle with self-discipline.
So, why doesn’t everyone just use day theming for productivity? The biggest problem is that it’s hard to empty the calendar. Themed days of the week for work require some shifts and a willingness to explore your abilities for progress.
4-Step Method To Designing Your Theme Work Days
1. Decide on Categories That Are Core to Your Success
You know better than anyone else which major areas of your life consistently require a lot of time and attention. Which of those things would benefit from having a specific day dedicated to them?
These categories require you to be creative and do deep work. You can set up a theme for all seven days of the week, or you could keep it to fewer days and give yourself some dedicated days off. It’s all about choosing what works for you.
2. Assign Your Themes to Specific Days of the Week
It is important to budget sufficient time for each category. When budgeting time, consider your work-life balance and allocate your work projects accordingly. Think thoroughly about all areas of your life, including your health and fitness – they too deserve your time.
3. Write Out Specific Tasks for Each Theme
This will help you evaluate the amount of work and allocate more reasonable time to each task. No matter how small, write all of them down and categorize them into daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly. You might not be able to come up with everything at once, so it might be helpful to have a list on your desk for a week and just keep adding to it till you have all of it.
Usually, the “quick” or “small” tasks take the longest simply because we have overlooked our abilities or the energy each task might actually take. By overbooking ourselves, we become less flexible and more exhausted. Writing the tasks out will give you a clear perspective of what’s to come and will help you allocate the time more properly.
4. Add Themes and Tasks to Your Calendar
If after some time of using your chosen themes you notice to be inefficient, change them. Your job is to make themed days work in your favor. So reevaluate as needed. You might find that you’ve left something out that you really need. The point is to make scheduling easy, not more complicated.
Create Your Own Themed Day (Action Plan)
It’s easy to choose themes, however, what actually goes into it? Which tasks are you supposed to complete? To help you out, I have listed ideas and tasks for your own specific situation. The best way to see what themed days can do for your productivity is to simply test the concept.
Before You Get Started:
- Clear your calendar for a day to do a practice run.
- Set 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.
- Prevent distractions. Set up your space so it keeps you easily focused on the great thing you’re about to accomplish and keep the possible interruptions to a minimum.
- Remove reasons for procrastination. A little bit of task preparation goes a long way – remove any possible focus stealers from your space and prepare to do the work.
- Set specific goals and deadlines. Make sure your goals are measurable so it’s easy to see the progress that you’ve made.
- Work in balance. Take regular breaks to keep your mind sharp, and body refreshed. This will keep you excited and move the needle in the right direction.
Once you have prepared your space in all aspects, it’s time to dive in and do the work. Remember that themed days should work in your favor, so choose and adapt accordingly.
Regarding the tasks, there is a big variety to not only choose from but add anything that you find useful to have on your list. Mix and match them with your themes as you find the most fitting. These are just a few examples to give you an idea for your own unique themed day action plan.
- Review current marketing campaigns and metrics
- Plan out new marketing strategies and sales campaigns
- Create or consult new campaigns or promotions
- Evaluate and update all social media and client communication material
- Explore co-branding opportunities or proposals
- Pitch new partnership ideas
- Find new revenue-generating avenues like affiliate programs
- Do competitor research to find out where they’re getting the most traction and engagement
- Client calls
- Discovery calls
- Coffee dates
- Podcast interviews
- Team meetings
Internal Affairs Day
- Check last week’s sales reports and respond to internal queries or issues
- Do real-time project management check-ins with team members
- Attend supplier and customer communication
- Create or update manuals or videos that could help you and your team work more effectively
- Work on client communication channels – newsletters, delivery automation, etc
- Review any current projects and find ways to improve
- Team meetings
- Create content for the next week
- 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
- Record videos
Research and Development Day
- Experiment with new plugins or web tools to enhance website function
- Look at courses or programs for self-improvement or business building
- Tweaking 1:1 service workflows, so they give a better client experience
- Reviewing your product/ service
- Thinking through new programs
- Creating new tools for our audience
- Participate in industry groups or paid platforms
- Search for industry-related information you can share with your audience
- Connect with potential clients
- Look for podcasts or blogs where I can help their audience, and reach out to them.
- Adding new people to the CRM
- Updating CRM
- Setting goals for the week
- Reviewing last week’s goals
- Resting, rejuvenating
- Time with friends/family
- Taking a course
What if There Are Unpredictable Changes or Challenges?
Obviously, you can’t just ignore some issues. A crisis 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 the theme’ until 2 pm 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.
Looking for Other Ways To Use Themes?
The key to working with methods like this is understanding that it’s a framework. And the same framework does not work well for everyone. So it’s key to find what is working for you and stay flexible. Weekly themes might be an even better solution for your specific situation.
Here’s another example: if you offer a two-week copywriting service, there is not much time to work on your business. Instead of having batch days, it might be worth having dedicated weeks; two weeks of client work, one week for content creation for the following weeks, and one week to do your other important work for business growth.
If your weeks are different, it might be worth dedicating time until the end of each week to plan out and allocate themes for the week ahead.
No matter the type of work you do, daily themes can help you. I encourage you to test this approach and see if it’s good for you. The ability to focus is the most important result you get from theming your days, and that is truly priceless.
Chances are high that you will get results if you have a whole day set aside for a certain project. No interruptions, no meetings, no other tasks from other projects creeping in on you. From my point of view, the more uninterrupted time you can dedicate to a certain project, the easier it is to make progress in that project.
Start small. Evaluate what is working and what isn’t and make adjustments. Adding even one theme work day can bring huge benefits. Once you have one day sorted out, add a second theme day and keep adjusting until you find what works best for you.
Create Your Themed Day Action Plan
Featured photo credit: Vadim Bozhko via unsplash.com
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