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Why Does Time Management Seem Unconfrontable

Updated on September 17, 2009
Ed Dale(on the right) and some of his 30 day challenge team.
Ed Dale(on the right) and some of his 30 day challenge team.

Where Do I Begin

When I was in college, back in the Dark Ages, I took a book designed to schedule patients for a Doctors' Office, and I would schedule every minute of my day the day before. Back then we didn't have fancy planners and scheduling programs, It just seemed to be a good idea to do that.

Now the downside was that I never followed any of my plans. I had an instructor that was totally impressed with my great planning, and totally amazed that I never followed any of it. I have always loved the idea of time management, but I never have been able to do it.

Now that doesn't mean that I haven't tried, but it does mean that I am continually falling short of my ideals. I currently have three planners on my desktop, and a hardcopy planner. I always have a great plan for the day-which then goes into a stream of consciousness flow, leading to place that I never planned for. I believe it is a function of thinking too much, a thing of which I must admit that I am guilty. So how do I overcome this? Well I can only tell you what I'm doing right, that now seems to be working.

I currently spend a lot of my day sitting in front of the computer. So I take advantage of the schedule pop up from Outlook. I carefully write my plan for the day on my Outlook schedule, and then when it's time to do each thing I get a little pop-up. Now that that doesn't necessarily mean that I pay attention to the pop-up, and sometimes I'm in the middle of something that I find quite interesting. But it least it means that I had a choice of whether to violate my schedule or not. At least I didn't fail to follow it because I forgot.

Now for a hardcopy planner, I really like Planner Pads, because on one page they allow you to go from the general project to the exact schedule, much like a funnel. When I actually use this tool I do get more organized, but I don't really stay with it long enough. I'll follow it for a couple of weeks then I'll get too busy and drop it out for a month. I guess it's like when I have plenty of free time I have time to plan, and when I'm busy, I just go from one scene to the next, almost without thought. (In spite of my hyperactive mind)

I have actually tried to improve on this, but in spite of listening to all the time guru's ideas, the only time I am completely organized it when I'm so busy I don't have time to think about it. Now even I think this is sad.

But there is hope, I'm doing the 30 day challenge, and hopefully this'll keep me too busy to think. Now for those of you who don't know there are two 30 day challenges, one put on by a guy named Ed Dale, an Australian Internet authority, and the one hosted on HubPages, which is to write 30 hubs in 30 days. I'm currently doing both. So you can see sleeping might not be in my future.

Priorities- One thing that has worked for me.

What Has Worked for Me

Now I don't want to really give you the impression that I'm hopeless, I always like to feel that there is hope. Prioritizing has been one of those things. Now when I have my list of things prioritized, I tend to be a little bit different than most people. When I start my highest priority task, it all possible, I take it completely to a finished action. For me this is because of inertia. Switching gears to another activity, and leaving the first one undone, tends to leave me with about 30% of my attention still on the first action. But that's just me. I realize if it is an action that is going to take three months to do, I will have to break it up into parts, but I try to make those parts places where it feels like I have done something. This requires being able to break up an action into it sub-parts. Fortunately this is an action that I am good at.

Now I am sure that a great many of you are far better at time management that I am, but I bet most of you don't find it as intriguing as I do. I guess I'm intrigued by the fact that I'm so bad at it. But let's face it, everybody needs a challenge, it's what makes life interesting.


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