Recently I decided that I have too many to do lists. Not wanting to just let anything go though I decided that I needed a place to collect everything, kind of a brain dump if you will. This was partly because of my summer of rumination and partly because I had run into a couple of conflicts, particularly with my schedule and I found myself saying: “I need to learn to say no.” When Netter agreed with me, I knew I was onto something.

Before I started saying no however, I thought it would only be fair if I at least tried to keep the commitments and obligations I already have in place.

Wow! What a list I found for myself. A lot of ticky tac stuff, some big projects, some projects whose time had passed - the assessment was formidable.

Just look -

No, my handwriting is not worth a lick, but I can at least read my own chicken scratch.

How on earth could I ever even dream about catching up and changing my workflow?

What is it Major Winchester used to say on M.A.S.H. ? (Kinda dated myself there didn’t I?)

I do one thing at a time. I do it very well, and then... I move on.

Um, no that won’t work either... That means some folks have to wait longer than others which might be okay most of the time, but not when you’re already playing catchup.

Okay - I need to designate time. I’m calling that time pockets.

Each category or project will have a pocket. Currently there are 6. This is how I’m lining them up. I have a very big, very important project I have to finish first, but as soon as that is finished - these are my pockets.

  1. MJB Foundation work - 2 hours every Tuesday until caught up, then every Tuesday thereafter as necessary - at least during down (non-event) times. So, yes this will be very much like regular business hours and if you have something MJB Foundation related you want to discuss, the office opens at 6:30 p.m.
  1. Work projects - every Monday - while I’m fresh - could be Network Logix, Library or other career-related activities - anything that moves me forward in the professional realm. I’ve got an awesome family and friends. It’s high time I find my career.
  1. Special projects - currently busy with a college football related activity. That comes on Wednesdays until bowl season is up.
  1. Writing, blogging prep, (not to be confused with actual blogging which can happen any day.) Social Media maintenance is on Thursdays. Learning to pick my spots better - i.e. I don’t need to sign up for every service and I need to be conscientious about pulling myself off of the platforms I don’t use. Finding time to read and comment on other people’s work and digging my way through hundreds, maybe thousands, (years - yes plural) worth of favorites and must-reads and not letting that all get piled up again are among my other priorities in this area. This medium is very important to me. I think it is worth its own pocket.
  1. Fridays and Saturdays are time for family and friends. Time to be social away from the computer screen. If you see me post something on Saturday or Sunday it probably came from my phone. I don’t want to completely miss the conversation on the weekend, but I need to fuel those real-life relationships too.
  1. Sundays are time for family and family business.
Now, this doesn’t mean I won’t do other things on those days, but it does mean that I will devote some pocket of time on each of those days to each of those things, and for right now - those are the only things I’m working on on a regular basis. Does that seem fair? Exclusionary? Am I over thinking this?

Hey, a fella has to have a plan.

Doesn’t he?

What do you think? What are your pockets? Do you have a better or different idea?


drlori71 said...

Sounds like a great plan! Good luck!
(Your handwriting isn't bad and I know bad handwriting...I'm a doctor) :-)

Greg said...

Focused time has been a big key for me in changing my productivity habits. Takes some discipline, but once you get rolling then you feel odd if you aren't doing the work you should be doing.

Single tasking is another big key...your MASH quote is perfect!

So when starting these things, are you clear on your next actions AND more importantly, what are the most important priorities you need to focus on?

WineLover said...

I get distracted rather easily so I hung a cork board right in front of my face so that my To Do notes are right there and I know what I am supposed to be focusing on. It's helped me a lot!

Cat said...

Very admirable. I'm anxious to hear how it works out for you. Also, you need to be easier on yourself. If some of those blogs don't get read, or some of those faves get cut, life will still go on, and your friends will still be your friends.