Thursdays and Fridays are the most productive days every week for me.
Not because I'm sliding into the weekend and therefore get an extra boost in energy.
And neither do the stars align mysteriously to help me be more productive.
I've been involuntarily following a technique that puts me in a focused drive mode and gets things done with fewer challenges.
And that's called The Red Carpet Technique.
In this blog post, I'll show you how you can leverage this simple technique every day and beat procrastination throughout the week.
But, before getting into the nitty gritty, let's understand:
Why do our days fall apart?
Saturdays are the only days I get a full day of uninterrupted work opportunities.
Working a full-time job Monday to Friday and taking Sundays off, this day is my holy grail for getting serious work done.
But here's the thing:
Today is a Saturday, and I spent most of the day watching videos on YouTube and doing nothing else.
I was supposed to work on this article in the morning, but procrastination got the better of me, and here we are:
Hastily drafting this article on a Saturday evening.
Compare that with Thursday, here's what I did that day:
- Drafted around 60% of the Hulry newsletter in the morning
- Worked a full day of office tasks till the evening
- Read and shortlisted articles to recommend in the Hulry newsletter for the following day
Even though I had less time to work on Hulry that day, I checked off more tasks than I did today.
How did this happen?
If you're thinking Parkinson's Law, that's not it.
It's the lack of a visual plan on what to do in a day, how to do it and in what order.
At any moment, you have so many options to choose from on what to do with your time.
Finish that college project, play PUBG, binge on Instagram reels, or learn a new language.
These are examples, but what I'm trying to communicate underneath is that:
Without a proper game plan, procrastination kicks in, and we often choose the most leisurely and most dopamine-satisfying activities over work.
Like, browsing Twitter over designing an architecture project for your client.
When we keep our days too open-ended, we often get lost in a jungle of distractions and low-value work.
Before you know it, the day's over, and you have nothing to show.
And this is where:
The Red Carpet Technique saves the day
Here's how this technique works:
Before starting your day, take some time and visualise how you want your day to go.
Understand what you need to do that day and when you want to finish each task.
This is how a usual Thursday looks for me:
- Work on the newsletter until office hours start
- Work on 9-5 job stuff during the office hours
- Finish collecting any pending resources for the newsletter that goes out the following day
These tasks give me an excellent view of how I should run my day and in what order.
And with a plan like this, it's easy to glide past the "Oh, what should I do now?" potholes and have a productive day.
Similarly, this is how my Fridays look:
- Finish and send the newsletter before office hours
- Work on 9-5 job stuff during the office hours
- Relax or do what I want after office hours
Although I don't have anything planned for the evening, I have a clear agenda for the rest of the day.
And this method has been the pillar of sending out the newsletter every Friday on time.
If you haven't noticed, planning your days like this is like rolling out a red carpet.
You're paving the path you want to walk upon and not getting side-tracked into another route, a.k.a distraction.
Although it's always best to have your red carpet for the day rolled out the night before, this technique works as long as you do it before you start work.
Because once you start work without a clear plan, it's easy to waste hours on distractions or procrastination and then not have any more time left to get things done.
With that in mind, here's how you can:
Roll out your daily red carpet
Let's say you're preparing a red carpet plan for the coming Monday.
Here's how to do it:
- Take stock of your tasks. Make a list of things you need to do that day. It's essential to have clear and actionable tasks rather than vague ideas. With clear tasks, your mind can immediately focus on the task instead of figuring out what to do. Example: "Write an article on the Red Carpet Technique" rather than "Write an article".
- Arrange tasks for maximum success. Your body's energy levels and external commitments fluctuate throughout the day. Use this knowledge to your advantage to line up your tasks in an order where you're most likely to get them done. Example: I'm at peak energy in the morning and have 9-5 job commitments from 10:30 am–6:30 pm. So, the best opportunity for me to work on Hulry is between 8–10 am every weekday.
- Make your schedule airtight. Taking breaks between tasks is crucial for sustained progress. But, with breaks too long, it becomes easy to slide to unimportant tasks like browsing Instagram or killing time. Use the Macro-Meso-Micro technique to schedule appropriate breaks in your day. Example: I take around 15 min break before shifting to office work from Hulry tasks.
- Stay on the carpeted path. With your red carpet or plan for the day laid out, it's essential to get into drive mode and implement your plan. A deadline or some commitment helps here. When you catch yourself straying off the carpet, remember why you must finish the task now. Example: On some Thursdays, I feel lazy to work on the newsletter in the morning. But, whenever that lazy feeling comes, I remember that if I don't work on the newsletter this morning, it would be challenging and impossible to finish it before 10 am the following day and send it.
And that's all there is to this workflow.
It's a small yet effective exercise that'll improve your odds of getting things done tenfold.
For best results, do this exercise of laying down your red carpet the night before.
This saves time at the start of the following day and helps you get into action right from the get-go instead of wasting a productive hour in the morning thinking about what to do.
It's like cooking a meal.
The better you do the cook preparation; the easier and calmer the cook will be.
This red carpet technique has been my indisposable tool to work on and send the weekly newsletter for over a year.
Give it a try, and it may become the best productivity system you've discovered recently.