Decorating my Calendar to Spark Learning Habits [productivity, procrastination, learning]

Here are some ideas that seem to be helping me with learning of new habits and being more productive.

Key concepts as alarm reminders

While reading 4-hour Workweek, the book by Tim Ferriss, I was really immersed in the ideas, while reading. The problem was that over time, for example when reading another nice book, I realized that the concepts went blur I — I would simply forget something important.

But Tim Ferriss himself gave me an idea, when he asked the reader to stop reading books except his. When I reflected about his recommendation I understood the certain topics from books could live outside the norm, they could be escalated.

The way I started do implement this was via inserting many Tim Ferris advice notes competing with my calendar, as reminder systems — literally the author calls me and speaks the advice. An example is Tim’s request to *Remember, 3 times a day, to check if you are not inventing things to avoid working in the real important things*. That became my alarm clock at 8AM.

The way I did this was connecting Google Calendar in the Android with a Clock Alarm system that is able to speak loud repeating the alarm until I buzz or accept the event.

Reverberating concepts for extended time

The above is nice and BTW now I get calls from Tim Ferris, from Andy Grove (beyond the Grave), and other amazing people living in my personal board of advisors.

But then suddenly I noticed that I could well use this system in different ways — it was the anti-agenda or the agenda working for habits just like distractions would normally work.

With that I decided to interleave Tim Ferris with not only other masterminds but expand to test prompts, challenges or things that I had to consider in the long-run.

One benefit, for going ahead in time in my calendar and setting up these agents, is the very notion of interleaving which is backed by research as you can see in Learning How to Learn. Another point relates to being able to relax from the very moment that I have learned using the focused mind, thus naturally having the opportunity to consider the concept in another environment in a more diffuse situation.

This system seemed to correlate with what Adam Grant referred as experimental innovation, allowing some ideas to be open and influencing myself for extended time in different context such as blending with ideas from other books.

Goal concepts moved to “the grid”

The problem with the above is that we have all the time new concepts and ideas coming our way. With that I moved certain concepts into the calendar as tasks pushing the demand and defining a norm for working behavior.

An example of this is *The Weekly Journal* a concept that I also learned from Learning How to Learn. The journal idea offers an opportunity to reflect via writing, about the things that works and the things that don’t work, also in terms of learning. Instead of creating a new item in my calendar I stole the time of the “weekly planning” to incorporate the concept in it — Write up assessment of what works and what does not work in terms of learning productivity.

Therefore, new concepts are moved into advice of sub-tasks within existing agenda items, so improving the agenda with new eyes, norms, methodologies, or concepts.

Routiners tag system

This is, in a way, related to the above, as many area. Here, however, and as shown in the following video its about using tags to the moments of time in my agenda. With that the goal is to simply mark the good practices. This could be used to highlight bad habits too BTW.

Routiners are tags that indicate the value of an effort in time: they add an attribute of characteristic, one also that may relate to management, productivity, or learning oriented concept.

From the Calendar Framework to a Culture Norm

All this is yet fresh, the “planner journal” at the end of the week is also there to help me evaluate all. Nevertheless, I am feeling that the more I move concepts to the framework I may be stumbling in reflecting about habits, about norms — maybe even being able to cross them with the business goal so I would expect some culture insights to emerge. Right now this is about self productivity.