No, I’m not solving weight, exercise, money-management, stress, appearance, career, self-doubts, accommodations, knowledge/educations, what people think, negative people, trust issues, friends, family, procrastination, goals, aches, pains, health, resentments – not any of society’s most common problems.
Platitudes ring familiar (not necessarily true), reminding us every time we’ve tried to change and failed, made resolutions that became jokes or failed to eat differently, exercise more or achieve more. We weren’t lazy or ill-intentioned. We didn’t lack desire to commit. But we failed. Nearly everyone does.
If I reconstruct/deconstruct – every part of my day, time will emerge as FREE, available for other things, right? Better habits? New habits?
I’m solving time. Mine. Time I’m missing, time I’m losing, time I’m not using and most of all, time I’m not enjoying. I’ve been trying to make more free time, but am I committed? Free time may be free, but freeing up free time requires schedule contortions and brain re-training. I’ll get there …
What else? Examining everything I do – not from an ‘is this the best way to do this?’ perspective, but asking: should I do this at all? Most days I can’t make any at all.
No magic recipe, no secret sauce. Like dieting, I think time management is a subject area where we easily toss around familiar clichés, but don’t change much. I’ve tried sleep-deprivation to produce extra time, but borrowing from sleep to do work rarely produces effectiveness.
I’ve spent time tweaking everything I can – but real change requires more, requires fundamental change, discipline and rejection of my FOMO tendencies .
Saving five minutes. Or ten, every chance I get. They’ll add up.
When it comes time to make more ME time, FREE time, time to relax or play time – that’s a management problem of a different sort. Beyond examining ‘daily routine’ to make this ‘new regime’, the next question is ‘what has to go?’ Sounds like tossing out old things when housecleaning, but far tougher – not so much emotional attachment as it is habit attachment …
Some ‘pet projects’ and ‘potential pet projects’ have to go. Backlog, has to go. Focus has to narrow.
Baby steps feel like progress, but is it really? Biggest ‘hard to do’ so far: the zero in-box. And zero out-box. And their companion – managing interruptions differently.
From ‘always on’ or ‘checking every blip/bleep/sound or screen change’, I’m now checking email five times a day. 9, 11, 1, 3 and 5. Top of the hour, check them, deal with incoming, file what I need, delete what I don’t. And replies: file them or delete them. Right then, not ‘later’.
So far: I’ve reduced my storage by 30%, and achieve what feels strange – because I’m changing behavior – but it IS better focus.
Hard – like walking through the bakery section at the grocery store when I’m hungry; that urge to check, just in case there is something urgent. I’m not totally there yet, but I’ve found stress fading, energy level elevated.
Solution? I like it so far.
Next? Voice mail. Trying it. Seems simple so far – during summer when phones doesn’t ring as often. I’m scheduling ‘when I make calls’ – to find optimum times/days to be more effective. An experiment.
Or, I could make fewer calls …
written / published from Calgary, AB
morning walk with Gusta: 14C/57F, sunny (a nice day for the las day of Stampede), Gusta feeling frisky, tried to make friends with a running group going by; I was up early (British Open golf final round on TV), walked late – and still have time to fit in the whole day!