How to Be Rigidly Flexible About Time
March 31, 2017
Let me start by saying that I only have a few minutes to compose this entry.
The fact that I have any time flexibility at all is because I was rather rigid about planning my day today. Having said that, i have already made several revisions in the schedule - lowering expectations in some areas and increasing them in others, moving arbitrary deadlines and getting ahead on a few projects.
So, here I am with about 5 or 10 minutes to blog.
The title is a bit deceptive because I cannot really tell you how to do this. Having a time management program like Outlook fully operational is helpful. Making attempts in the direction of realism is a plus. Commitment is necessary. Margins are indispensable. Grace is crucial.
Having things to do during the gaps is a useful tool - especially small jobs. Otherwise we slip into a pattern of time-consuming thumb-twiddling - which can be both tiring and frustrating.
Well, here are a couple of list items which are not meant to be exhaustive.
1) No matter if it does seem to be a waste of time, take time, and plenty of it to really think about your week and your day and what you really want to accomplish and plan it analytically, realistically, and rigidly, knowing that you will have to be flexible in order to cope with the unexpected.
2) Plan margins. That means you do not back up appointments on top of each other without allowing a little room between them.
3) Plan projects that can fit into those margins.
4) Plan breaks and do not negotiate these away. If you are like me, plan changes of focus regularly.
5) Raise your expectations of yourself in some areas and lower them in others.
6) Use that infuriating alarm bell in MS Outlook or on your smart phone. For instance, mine just went off telling me it is time to pack up and go - which I am going to do - even though I am not done.
I said this would not be exhaustive or plenary in nature - just some passing observations.