At this point, you’ve performed a brain dump of every activity in your life (and the activities you’d like to include in your life) and have quite possibly recoiled in horror at the magnitude of it all. Before we attempt to bring order to the chaotic — and pages long — list, we need to do one more step. In the first post of this series, I said this:
To get on top of your schedule, you need to know what you have, what you don’t have, and what you need. [Tweet.]
Consider this: You want to organize your disaster of a closet. It currently has little to no structure at all, so you know you’ll need to get some closet rods, shelves, bins, and other supplies. Before you make your purchases, you write down a list of things you’d like to put in your closet and things you remember storing there. If you stop there and skip off to The Container Store without looking in your closet, you’re in for trouble. You’ll invariably find 30 clothing items more than you thought you had, along with four-foot stuffed Pooh. Then it’s back to The Container Store for you . . . with less skipping this time.
Likewise, while it’s a critical starting point and gets you flying down the path to success, it’s not enough to write down what you want in your schedule, what you recall having in your schedule, and what amount of time you estimate that each of those activities occupies. In order to create a time management plan that truly works for you, you need to see what’s really occupying your time and how long those tasks are really taking. [Read more…]