Tuesday, June 22, 2010

time management

Do you get all the things done you need to? It seems a continuing saga for me. I do get it all organised, some things planned and some things on the fly. Prioritizing is an ever lasting event, and some things are put on the back burner; driveway, new wood burner installation. But things are surely changing. It's habit changing and simple gritty determination.

Task-lists generally give me the jitters but the fact is if I don't remind myself to simply churn through them I have a huge pile when I don't need it. So they help save my tush that's what. Basically I try to keep track of the following both in my brain and my diary (my diary is most accurate):
  1. What I promised to do for someone else: husband, friends, work, professional relations and also includes myself (socially based)
  2. The simple weekly to do's: groceries, bill paying, car stuff, house stuff. This includes haircuts and other fluffing (maintenance)
  3. The long haul plans: business, farm, personal goals (long term)
  4. Legal and banking paperwork (in case any slipped past in 1,2,3)
Everyone has different ways to get here. My husband is incredibly apt in keeping track of the mundane and boring things. He has Sheldon Cooper tendencies regarding "logic". Unsurprisingly my brain seems to lose details of these items as I consider them boring (yes yes I know they are important). I guess that would make me quite like Penny. Still: a Penny on a mission because all those loose ends drive me nutty.

Getting back to some time management tips: (inspired by Steve Pavlina )
  • focus + list: what do you need to get done right now? ask yourself
  • flexibility: know your goals and be willing to make adjustments while en route
  • quick turn around: finish tasks as soon as you can as it keeps your mind clear and allows more time to do other things; don't procrastinate
  • decide: best to fire and steam ahead: too much time to think can kill progress
  • get rid of time wasters. Use the trash can liberally. Stop watching tv.
  • be effective: "also known as the Pareto Principle, the 80-20 rule states that 20% of a task's effort accounts for 80% of the value of that task."
  • don't disturb sign: make sure you're not interrupted when doing a job 
  • self discipline:  don't get sidetracked.
  • multitasking: if you can do something else while having to do a maintenance or activity that you simply have to do; see if you can combine the two.
  • enjoy: go after what really inspires you. Don't chase money. Chase your passion. If you aren't enthusiastic about your work, then you're wasting your life. 
  • eat and exercise well
And another thing: use your diary and cellphone with reminders. Every time I stop using my diary and think I can remember things on the go: I can't. I finally came to the conclusion that an organized and focused approach actually saves me wasting time and therefore have more "me-time" later, something that is a luxury item to me. 
I am interested to know what your experiences are.

1 comment:

  1. Time management is unavoidable. We either use our time well or we don't.

    These tips are helpful reminders, to which I would like to add another two...

    Firstly, having clarity about what you want to achieve, whatever the time frame, is the starting point for deciding what to do. The is in the form of goals that are either in our heads (ineffective - they just float away) or captured on paper (much better - the burden of remembering is taken away).

    Secondly, actually using a system to manage everything that appears in your life seems to be the best way to do stuff. I try to do whatever comes in one day during the following day. That way I have a limited list of things to do.