Geometric Schedule

Given my New Year’s resolutions, my biggest worry was how would I keep up with such plan. Specifically, my concern was how to schedule my time to do several things in a day and not end up doing only one of them.

Taking inspiration on the geometric progressions, I came up with a visual scheduling tool that stands upon the old saying divide and conquer and could be practical and easy and to use.

geometric progression is a “sequence of numbers where each term after the first is found by multiplying the previous one by a fixed, non-zero number called the common ratio.”

With that in mind, the idea goes as follows. Each day consists of a fixed number of slots that together sum up to a fixed amount (more on that later) of time. Moreover, each task or activity must have a length that respects the geometric progression of the whole system. If a task falls too short or too big for the selected slot size, it’s recommended to split it.

Due to the quick growth of the geometric series and the fairly low amount of time available during the day, the best configuration I came up is one with slots with a power-of-two size.

Slots can be of: 7½ minutes (optional), 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours, 4 hours, 8 hours, 16 hours (optional). An optional rule is that the sum of them all must be the maximum slot size available (8 or 16); coming up with a good partition of the time can be time-consuming.

For example:

  • Check e-mail and social networks: four 7½ minutes slots.
  • Study German in Duolingo: one 15-minutes slot.
  • Study Italian in Duolingo: one 15-minutes slot.
  • Meeting: one 30-minutes slot.
  • Morning exercise: one 30-minutes slot.
  • Test new tools: one 2-hours slot.
  • Work on portfolio: one 4-hours slot.

Will result in the following diagram:


I’ve tried it on paper and, like the picture above, there’s plenty of space inside each partition for any kind of annotation required for such task.

Ultimately, these are guidelines and not rules. Tools help, they don’t build things by themselves; if you succeed or not, depends largely on you.

I’ll be testing the system during the following weeks to see if it’s worthy at all or just snake oil.

Cover image taken from

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