Does This Sound Compulsive?
Posted October 8, 2008on:
photo by macinate
For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been planning my day hour-by-hour, and writing my plan down on my daily planning tool. I’ve already posted that this was an idea I got from Simple Mom‘s Daily Docket, but I had no idea how well it would work for me.
I’m sure some of you are thinking that I’ve gone over the edge in my pursuit of order and organization. But I have to tell you, this is one of the best time management and productivity tools I’ve ever tried – and I think I’ve tried just about everything.
Someone like me – who works at home, has multiple balls in the air, and is easily distracted – often gets to the end of the day and wonders just what exactly I accomplished. With my hour-by-hour guide, I make sure I set aside time for my paid work, for breaks and for household tasks. I may not get absolutely everything done on my list, but knowing I have a plan for the day gives me great peace of mind. I think this is what David Allen is getting at with his “ubiquitous capture” (i.e. write everything down) concept: once you have a task or project accounted for, you can stop worrying about it.
Mr. Allen’s system was too complicated for me, but now I understand its effectiveness a bit better. If I start the day with a specific plan for how to spend my time, I don’t have to make decisions on the fly about what to do when. At the appointed time, I stop one project and move on to what’s next on the schedule (hmmm . . . kind of like junior high, but who was talking about Sarah Palin?).
If you have a lot of trouble staying on task and feel that most of the time your day gets away from you, I can’t recommend this practice enough. Give it a try, just for a few days, and let me know what you think.
I’ll be interested to learn that either I’m a total freak, or it’s a really wonderful tool!