I decided that today will be a ‘Maker’ day.

I focus on the white canvas of the future in front of me and create it.

I use blank paper or an unconnected tablet device to capture ideas for this.

On Maker days, I plant seeds. I create workshop materials. I mostly write. I plan webinars. I think of the months and years ahead.

I deliberately put myself in do-not-disturb mode and do my best to avoid anything short-term, except for dedicated breaks. The focus today is to create, not to react.

I will give myself the freedom not to respond to the things that arise during the day. It gives me peace of mind to know that I will have the chance for that tomorrow anyway. When short-term things come to mind, I offload them on a dedicated ‘Manager’ task list. This way they are captured and respected, to be done when needed (tomorrow).

Tomorrow will be a ‘Manager’ day.

I will focus on the challenges and excitements of the days in front of me and execute. I think of the current and future days and weeks ahead.

On Manager days, I maintain and execute on what I have. I harvest what I created. I meet customers, coach, deliver workshops, run trainings, respond to emails, WhatsApp, Facebook. I get things done. I use Mel Robbin’s ‘5-second rule’ and the Pomodoro Technique to push myself through the day in productive bursts. I know that otherwise, my bad habits will kick back in and I will start to procrastinate.

I manage the necessities of the day and focus on efficient use of time. For this, I define a concrete list of things I want to accomplish on paper at the beginning of my day. Even though it feels like a waste of time. I write down 1 thing I absolutely must do today, 2 things I really should, and 3 things I can do. I have learned about myself that anything more dilutes my attention.

The Impact This Maker and Manager day routine is not always easy to maintain, but the clarity of the goal at the beginning of the day is startling and liberating and feels like a ‘compass for the day’. I try to be modest and reserve just 1 full day per week to be a Maker day. I plan these into my schedule weeks and months in advance and work hard to protect them. 1 day does not sound like a lot, but the intense focus on those days makes me so much more productive.

Think about it.

Is today a Manager or Maker day for you?