Thursday, May 19, 2005

Time Mismanagement System

Lately I've been feeling like I'm not getting enough accomplished in a day. Actually, I feel that way quite often. When that feeling comes over me, the first thing I do is revamp my goals and time management system. Surely if I'm not getting enough done, then it must be due to problems with the system and not anything that I myself am doing wrong...right?

So yesterday I came up with yet another fantastic refinement on my system that I’m sure will be a winner. I've described it here in detail for you.

1) Pray for help. That way I have someone else to blame if it doesn’t work. ;-)

2) Write down on a big piece of paper everything that’s been nagging at me that I need to do.

3) Go through my schedule for the next month and identify more things I need to do. Write these tasks on my paper also.

4) Go through my goals and find yet more things I’m not doing that are making me feel guilty. Write these things on my paper.

5) Copy each item onto a new paper, this time dividing them into four categories:

  • A-level items (important and urgent)
  • B-level items (important, but not urgent and could be put off, which means that I probably will until they become urgent)
  • B-level items that I’ve been putting off long enough that I feel incredible guilt over them and they are now almost as urgent as A-level items
  • new B-level items that could reasonably be put off several weeks so I don’t need to feel guilty over them yet.

6) Decide I’d rather have these pages in my day planner for easy reference instead of on big loose papers. So, after I’ve copied down all my items into one of the four categories, the next step is to spend several minutes cutting and punching paper to fit my day planner (because I’m out of paper and buying more would be too easy), and recopying my lists again.

7) Now that these pages fit my day planner, the next step is to take a weekly planner page and recopy all of the tasks again, distributing these items by day so days are more or less equally weighted and more urgent things are scheduled for earlier in the week.

8) Remember that I forgot to take my schedule into account when I distributed my task list over every day in the week. Go back over my schedule for the week and recopy the tasks again, making sure that more tasks are scheduled for the days I have fewer appointments.

9) Recopy tasks again into daily planner pages so I know what I'm supposed to do every day.

10) Buy a new pencil, since I've decimated the last one I had after recopying my task list in fifty different places.

11) After Day 1, panic because I didn’t get everything done that I needed to.

12) Repeat as needed.

So far it has been working well. I've gotten everything done on my list, except for the things that I looked at and decided I didn't feel like doing. Maybe I'll have to fix my system again next week, so I'll have a better chance of getting some of these other things done.


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