Thursday, January 05, 2006

Bad management

Yesterday served as a good reminder of why I bought the executive desk sized organizer in the first place. Juggling my in-office day with a training seminar, two outside business calls scheduled around someone else's agenda, a doctor's appointment and a church service and the womanchild's realization that we could swap her Christmas clothing gifts that didn't quite fit right at the store that just happened to be almost exactly in the middle of the doctor's office and the church made me realize I really have lost my time management balance.

After years of compulsive time-slotting and list making, I really tried to ease up on that and went to one small notebook that could fit into my smallest purse last year. OK, the untimely death of my Palm Pilot might have had something to do with that as well. Quick notes and reminders were intended to replace every minute planned, booked and when used contrary to plan, used to make me feel like a failure. The intent was to live more in the moment, to ground myself in actually living in action and enjoy those moments where time seems not to exist.

Big mistake.

As in all things, balance is the key. By lunch, I had realized that my fear of overplanning had created days where mindfulness in my activities was lost to the rush of just getting through them. I took out the notebook and doodled the quadrant from Stephen Covey's time management books on importance and urgency. I then made a list of chores and responsibilities, making sure to include things like reading, writing, blogging, meditation and prayer, physical activity, daydreaming, family fun time and sleep. I'm still sorting out just where everything belongs. I'm not going to slot everything on a calendar, but I need to see my activities prioritized, not just sense their importance. As a writer, I ought to know this. Part of the pleasure of writing is seeing the words on paper, not just coming up with the ideas I write about.

All I know is that I don't want another day of playing catch up at 1:30 a.m. If I'm up and enjoying that time, that's one thing. If time has driven me to ignore living well, whether it's from over or under planning I've really screwed up.


Blogger Gannet Girl said...

Oh, this is such an endless challenge. I bought a 5x7 book with a pad of notepaper in it and a sleeve where I could insert a weekly/monthly calendar. Then I bought a big monthly calendar for the kitchen counter. Then yesterday I gave in and got out a zippered binder I had tried last year with room for notepaper and pocket pages and dividers for each of my seven life areas (yes, I try to follow Covey's ideas, too).

There is just too much. I have a list that breaks down the seven areas and it has 40-50 line items. I too have included prayer time and journaling time as well as bill paying and all the rest, just so that I can try to get an overview on all the components of my life.

And what I REALLY want from that overview is time for the rocks I talked about.

January 05, 2006 11:52 AM  

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