Weaving as a scheduling tool

Or how I weft and weave regular tasks with meaningful ones

I’ve been experimenting recently with trying to maintain consistency over my work week. I find myself caught in constant conflict between the things I want to deep dive into and the regular little tasks that need to happen every day.

There is much debate about the effectiveness of multitasking, and yet what are our options when we have so much to get done every day?

I’ve been trying 90 minute timed blocks of meaningful work, interspersed with “mozzies” as I call them. Those annoying little tasks that buzz around and need to be dealt with but which take us dangerously down the path of “busyness”.

As a Passion Weaver, I have been using a literal weaving metaphor to visualise my work week. It is a useful way to see how I can intersperse the daily tasks with the deep focus ones.

If you’re not sure how weaving works, allow me to get you up to speed. Rows of threads are tied off at each end of the loom. They are in a fixed layout and the other threads have to work around them. These fixed threads are called the weft and I liken them to things I like to get done every day.

For example, every morning I like to meditate and write in my journal. I like to walk for a least 30 minutes every day. I also listen to podcasts when I drive and at night I read and write. These are small, but meaningful tasks that cannot be batched and are easy to skip when the day gets busy.

The other types of tasks are the ones where you need to apply deep focus, such as marking all day, or researching an article, reading difficult documents, writing applications and so on. These are akin to the weave or the threads which are flexible and wind in and out of the weft.

So the way I plan my week is to work out the regular tasks that will structure everyday – the wefts. I think of these as being fixed and running horizontally through the week.

I then think about the daily tasks which I aim to apply deep focus to as the weave.

These run vertically down the day and have to weave between my fixed meetings, appointments and weft threads, that form a continuous theme throughout the day. I try and devote 90-minute blocks of time for these.

I find thinking about the little interruptions wastes valuable energy. If I fix them in place each day (weft) and focus all my energy on keeping hold of the daily important thread, I can weave in and out of the interruptions.