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How The Spanish “Jornada Intensiva” Method Boost My Productivity And Allow Me To Enjoy The Summer

Applying “Work hard, play hard” to the Time Blocking [Free template included].

By Juan CienfuegosPublished 9 months ago 8 min read
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Photo by Anna Tarazevich.

For Europeans, “summer” does not mean the same as for the rest of the world. Although summer is synonymous with happiness, Europeans take it to another level.

They have a system designed to carry out the working day without a break during the working period, called “jornada intensiva” [intensive working day]. And although I don’t fully agree with how companies use it with their employees (You lunch when you finish your work), I have modified this system a bit to adapt it to my way of working as an entrepreneur.

And, I’m going to show you how I use it on a normal day to achieve all my goals and how you can do it too.

But be careful, you can burn out if you don’t use it wisely.

The first thing you should know is that in Europe, winter is eternal, and summer is fleeting.

In winter the sun rises around 8–9 a.m. and sets early around 4–5 p.m. And it usually lasts about nine months. Summer usually lasts just three months, and the days are long. The sun rises around 6:30 a.m. and hides around 11 p.m.

The second thing you should know is that the jornada intensiva method is used specifically during the summer. It consists of working fewer hours in order to enjoy the day and the sun. In other words, instead of working from 9 to 5, you work from 9 to 3. Nonstop.

If you’ve been paying attention, you may have noticed that I mentioned that the sun sets at 11 pm, so if you finish work at 3 pm you have 8 hours to enjoy your life.

This is the main reason why Europeans enjoy summer more than anyone else.

I’ll tell you what we do during those 8 hours to enjoy life. For now, let’s talk about how this system increased my productivity.

For a long time, I have applied different methods of productivity. And none of them quite fit my lifestyle. Until I discovered The Time Blocking Method.

The Time Blocking Method is a productivity system that people like Elon Musk, Tim Cook, and even Bill Gates use to do all the tasks they need to do in a single day. Even though they focus on this system to run their companies, I use it to enjoy my life.

It definitely changed my game.

This is what a random day of my life looks like.

As you can see, I do many things during my working day. And while this system is primarily designed to manage your work, I’ve modified it to plan my day, including my social life. This way I can “trick” my brain to stay motivated every day and do everything I plan to do.

How to use The Time Blocking Method efficiently?

In the template, there are three sections [My most important task for today, Brain dump, and The Office]. Each one is designed to perform a specific task. And they perfectly complement each other.

Let’s talk about the left-hand side first.

The first section I personally call “M.I.T.” which means “My most Important Tasks for today”. You can modify this section daily, however, I don’t. I have three tasks that I consider essential, and every day that I achieve them I go to bed with a smile on my face. Those tasks are:

  • four hours of non-distracting work
  • do some workout
  • read at least one chapter of my current book
  • If I complete these tasks I feel completely satisfied.

The second section is called “Brain Dump”. This is a pair of columns for collecting tasks and ideas that come up while you’re in the middle of executing a time block. By writing these instructions down in the moment to deal with later, you’ll avoid the need to divert your attention. I personally call it “keeping your sanity and peace of mind”.

The third section [the most important one] is called “The Office”. This is where I write in the box all the work that I have to do that specific day. Each row represents half an hour. Moving from the top to the bottom. The first column represents working hours. You can modify it in the best way that suits you. If you notice, I don’t exactly use the intensive schedule (from 9 to 3).

I start my work schedule at 8 and finish at 4. This is because I spend one-hour cooking/eating lunch and one hour walking the dog and working out.

If you look closely, I also use parentheses to display the list of tasks that I must perform in a specific period of time in case they do not fit in the second column.

And that’s all you need to know.

🚨 There’s a bonus!

If you keep scrolling you can see that there’s a calendar view. Why is there?

Every day, once you have finished work before you leave and turn off the computer, write down the work for that day on the calendar. At the end of the month, take a quick look at the calendar and you will see everything you have managed to do, you will feel very proud of yourself, and you will give yourself the necessary energy to continue working hard.

I personally see the calendar at the end of the week and when I realize how much I have managed to work I feel really happy.

See an example of what all your work would look like on the calendar by the end of the week.

Once you’ve completed all of your tasks for the day, check the “WE DID IT! ENJOY THE REST OF THE DAY” box. The satisfaction of crossing that last box is incredible.

I want you to make a commitment to me and to yourself once you check that box. Every time you crush that box there is no turning back, alright?.

Once you complete your workday, disconnect from everything and go live your life. You turn off your computer and leave, ok?

Thank me later.

Now, it’s time to enjoy your life

Do you remember all those things you wrote down in the section called Brain Dump? If they are tasks related to your work, you can organize them to carry them out when appropriate. If they are tasks related to your personal life, now you have the time to do them.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, the idea behind the Jornada Intensiva is to enjoy the summer. And I promised to tell you what we do during those 8 hours to enjoy life.

You see, in Europe, there is an infinite schedule of activities to do during the summer. Many of them are free, and many others paid. Either way, there is always something to do. And if you finish work at 3 pm, even 4 pm, you have about 8 hours to enjoy the day, without the need to wait for the weekend.

Photo by Ron Lach.

To give you an idea, continuing with the example from that day, in the afternoon I managed to do the following things:

  • Made laundry
  • Read a book for one hour in the park
  • Bought a baguette, tomatoes, cheese, and wine
  • Called my parents
  • Spent some time at the beach with my girlfriend
  • We had dinner with friends
  • Went for drinks on a hotel rooftop
  • And all this on a working day.

    But there are hundreds of activities to do every single day. Only this week in Barcelona you can:

    • Go to a concert and have beers with friends
    • Attend a live painting
    • Go to a party with Spritz and music
    • Friday and Saturday, art, wine, and live music
    • Market Saturday where you will find fruit and vegetables directly from the producers
    • Barcelona Fashion Documentary Film Festival

    None of them are sponsored

    Imagine being able to do this every day? Well, it is possible, without having to wait for the weekend. This is just a small example of a given week in a random city. But this is the lifestyle throughout the summer in most parts of Europe.

    For this reason, Europeans enjoy summer much more than anyone else.

    Does this mean that it is impossible to live the same for the rest of the world? No, it is absolutely possible.

    What I want to make you understand is that it is important to work but it is also important to enjoy life. If you are self-employed or an entrepreneur, perhaps this method can help you be more productive and use your time more efficiently.

    As I told you at the beginning of this article, the idea of this work method is to be more productive, but be careful and use it efficiently, otherwise, you could end up burning out, and the goal is to be able to enjoy your life more by working fewer hours.

    Maybe it can help you to have more free time to do whatever you want. Here’s a FREE template for you. Feel free to download it and use it as you please.

    See you next time.

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    About the Creator

    Juan Cienfuegos

    Engineer + Author + Entrepreneur| Founder of @KeepingCryptos and Apple Newsweek on Medium | #Bitcoin is the king 👑

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