Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Time Management

I don't remember where I read this story about time management, but it's a good one and it goes something like this:
A CEO of a big company approaches someone who appears to be really organized, and asks him to be a time management consultant for the CEO. The guy says, "I'll tell you what. I'll write down a system for you, and you think about it and then pay me whatever you think it's worth." The system is this:
1. Make a list of everything you need to do.
2. Choose the most important thing on the list and do it.
3. Repeat.

A week later, the guy received a check for $10,000. It is a good system because it forces you to prioritize and stay focused, and if you didn't complete everything on the list, you wouldn't have anyway. But at least you got the most important stuff done first.

I tried a bunch of different systems for myself, and eventually settled on this one. This one works for me. I might have one list at work and one at home, but otherwise it doesn't get any more complicated than that.


That is why I'm so irritated that I just spent the last 2 hours listening to my teacher excitedly lecture about how to use a DayRunner. Remember? Those old paper organizers from the '80s and early '90s, that weighed 10 pounds and you had to take a class to even learn how to use them? Well, my teacher did take a class back then, and now has committed to teaching everyone else how to use one of those horrible things. We learned how to number all of our goals so they can be cross-referenced on multiple calendars and various other worksheets. It took 2 hours to learn how to use each page, and you have to commit to at least half an hour a day just to update it and color-code everything. And then you have to carry it around and consult it constantly. Gag. The example planner she passed around had a calendar in it from 1991.

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