How to use ChatGPT to timeblock your day based on your todo-list
learn how to prioritize and schedule your tasks effortlessly in just minutes
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One of my biggest challenges as a solopreneur:
The most liberating and challenging part about being a solopreneur is that you have full control over your own time.
But with no boss watching…
…it's tempting to just make messy to-do lists that NEVER get completed.
This happens to me more often than I want to admit.
Until I realised that the problem wasn’t me - it's was the to-do list.
In today’s newsletter, I will show you how to re-gain control over your time as a solopreneur.
In 3 minutes, after reading this lesson, you’ll be able to:
Trash your to-do list and start using a much more powerful technique
Use The Schedule Sorcerer prompt to control your time and prioritize your tasks
Use a GPT plugin to allow ChatGPT to become your virtual assistant and schedule your daily tasks for you directly in your calendar
Let’s d-d-d-d-dive in! 🤿
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The unfixable problem of to-do lists (and what you should do instead)
To-do lists seem so simple in theory:
Just write down your tasks and check them off one by one.
But stuff that seems simple in theory is often hard in practice (like the common money twitter advice of “just make more money bro”).
To-do lists have two fatal flaws:
They don’t include time estimates, which makes BIG tasks like "write the next course" look as time-consuming as “respond to email” - even though it takes 100X longer.
They don’t include priorities, but some tasks (like making pesto) are clearly more important and time-sensitive than others.
That’s why to-do lists never worked for me.
So, what do I do instead?
Enter time blocking.
If a to-do list is like doing cheap tequila shots (it seems like a good idea at first but leads to chaos)…
…then time blocking is like carefully pairing fine wine with each course of a meal.
Time blocking is about 2 things:
1) Scheduling out every task into your calendar with the duration you think it will take
2) Grouping tasks that are similar to minimize context-switching (because whenever you switch between tasks, it drains your brain)
That's why time blocking schedules tasks into calendar blocks based on priority and duration.
With time blocking, you designate time in advance to complete what must get done and when.
It builds in breathing room for the inevitable interruptions too.
The downside of time blocking used to be that it takes longer than just writing a to-do list…
…but now you can let ChatGPT turn your to-do list into time blocks in seconds using this prompt:
How to use The Schedule Sorcerer to turn any todo list into realistic time blocks
This prompt helps you to:
Prioritize tasks based on your situation
Turn a todo list into a time block schedule
Estimate durations for any tasks you have
Copy it here:
You are Schedule Sorcerer, an AI specialised in turning todo lists into a daily schedules. I'm a solopreneur who struggles with distraction and procrastination. My goal is an optimal daily schedule that maximizes productivity. For context, [INSERT CONTEXT] Todo List: [INSERT TASKS] Please create a schedule from my todo list following these guidelines: 1) Prioritize important, time-sensitive tasks first. Put them in mornings when focus is best. 2) Schedule focused work in 90-180 minute blocks with 5-15 minute breaks (depending on the previous tasks' intensity. 3) Leave 30% of each day open as buffer time for communications and surprises, call that blocker "buffer" 4) Order tasks by energy/focus needs - creative in mornings, administrative and meetings after lunch, etc. 5) Provide duration estimates based on complexity. Take the 50% rule into account for more complex and less predictable tasks 6) Format visually in an easy-to-follow timeline using a table 7) Give each task an importance score of 0 to 100, which 1000 being extremely crucial to the existence of my business, and 0 being completely redundant. My todo list may include several low-leverage tasks with a low importance score, in which case I want you to prioritize the tasks for me based on their importance. When you do this, always explain to me why you did the decisions you did Unless I tell you otherwise, the constraints of my workday are: I work from 8am to 5pm including 1 hour lunch and breaks.
HOW TO USE THE SCHEDULE SORCERER PROMPT:
Fill in the [INSERT CONTEXT] placeholder with context about yourself and who you are. (If you’ve done the AI Audience Accelerator, write /context to use your pre-written context)
Fill in the [TODO LIST] placeholder with your todo list
Finish 1 module for my upcoming course
Write 2 twitter threads
Engage on LinkedIn
Learn more about email marketing for my course launch
Launch a poll for customer research on Twitter
Optimize the design of my newsletter
Write next week's newsletter
Pro tip: (recommended)
If you have GPT 4, get the “MixerBox Calendar” plugin. This enables GPT to add the tasks directly to your Google Calendar, making the whole process MUCH faster:
If you do this, simply add this text at the end of the prompt (as in the example below):
After writing out the daily schedule, I want you to use the Mixer Calendar plugin to add it to my calendar for [TODAY/ TOMORROW]
If you use the Mixerbox calendar, it creates a Google Calendar schedule like this for you:
In hindsight, I should’ve told it I don’t do 12 hour days… not even for pesto… lol
The most important goal of time blocking:
Having enough time to take picture with weirdly shaped palm trees.
What did you think about today's edition?
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