Simple Steps to a Productive Day

Lessons from my two-week experiment

Anum Hashim
4 min readNov 24, 2021


I’m a productivity addict. Does that mean I’m more productive than other people? Hell no!

I probably waste more time trying to find the best system that works. I get excited whenever I see a productivity method that could work for me!

Photo by XPS on Unsplash

I have finally put my foot down and am sticking to a simpler routine.

There are too many complex things in the world; sticking to a simple to-do list is the best I can do for myself at the moment.

I’ve tried so many “systems” that should have worked for me — because they work for others. But productivity is personal.

Why productivity systems have failed me in the past

  • Take too much time — by the time you get what you should be doing, you might be tired!
  • Too complex — if it requires more than a few steps, there was no way I was going to do it. When you lose track of the system for a couple of days, it is a mission to get back into it.
  • They felt like chores — many productivity systems are prescriptive and take the fun out of planning

A two-week experiment

I have been experimenting with a simpler productivity system for myself over the last two weeks. So far, it has been a success!

I have been more productive, focused and feel much more relaxed!

How I plan my days— weekends and weekdays!

I live by my calendar. It is the thing that keeps me sane and on top of any tasks that need to get done. And I don’t forget important things like birthdays, social gatherings or appointments.

So a system that worked for me has to include my calendar.

Here’s how I plan my days:

  • Write or add to my to-do list
  • Pick only four things to do that day
  • Schedule it in my calendar — so that I know how much time I have to dedicate to each thing.
  • Set the timer and do the thing.
  • Repeat!



Anum Hashim

Finance professional / CPA on a break from corporate life. I write about money, productivity and life as a content creator.