Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Anticipation - The Greatest Time Management Tool

So you think everyone has a better grip on their time than you, right?
You wonder why you can never show up on time for meetings, why you are always running late for everything and whether you will be late for your own funeral. Organizing time is not “rocket science” ( or brain surgery, pick the metaphor you like best) but most of us struggle with it. Even professional organizers show up late for meetings with the wrong or no files.

When it comes to time management, there is nothing more valuable than the ability to anticipate an event or events. Isn’t that what our organizers, calendars, day timers, and PDA’s are all about. The multi million dollar industry of calendars is based on the notion that we like to anticipate what is coming in our lives. With anticipation comes the ability to schedule both our time and our resources – like the car for example. When you look to next Tuesday and see that you have four reports due on the same day, having a whole week to get them done is very, very helpful.

Here’s a primer on organizing your time that will help you to anticipate what’s coming up.

1. Find a calendar that works for you: electronic, PDA, puppy dogs, whatever. The size, style and platform are really only relevant in terms of what works and what looks good.

2. Enter in all the fixed dates over which you have no control: meetings with the CEO, annual meetings, sales travel, interviews with childrens’ teachers, your piece of the car pool. Put them in for the whole term or year until the known completion date.

3. Enter in all the regularly scheduled flexible time such as gym time, squash night, book club, time with spouse. If it is scheduled, the intention moves from a 1 (would like to do) to an 8 (really intend to do) and has half a chance to get to 10 (will absolutely make sure this happens) at which point after 28 days it becomes a habit.

4. Enter into the calendar the activities that lead to what you would like to accomplish by year’s, month’s, week’s, day’s end e.g. I will read one chapter of an organizing book three times a week until I can get to meetings on time.

Have fun anticipating your wonderful life!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a great news;etter. it reads like it was written just for me.
Thank you, DYC.