Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Time Management, or, An Hour to Myself

It's the one thing that's mine. My runs every day are my thing. It's my therapy, my hour to myself. Nobody can really take it away from me... It's such a huge part of me.
Summer Sanders, Olympic Gold Medalist, Swimming

I know, I know. You don’t have time to take an hour for yourself. How about 15 minutes? Perhaps you’ve heard of brief therapy. You don’t even have 15 minutes? Then it’s time to consider time management.

You know about Steven Covey’s time management matrix? It’s a good way to think about what you chose to do. If you’re like most people, you do the important, but not urgent things first. That is, instead of running, meditating, playing your instrument, or whatever you do for your personal therapy, you do the important but not urgent things. These important, not urgent things include returning phone calls, answering email, writing your plans for the day, doing research, etc. The important but not urgent things are often done quickly and don’t take much thought, but they add up. You can spend your entire morning in this kind of mindless activity. Things get done, but you didn’t get your therapy in. I’m not saying you don’t have to get to these things, I’m just saying they’re not priorities.

Then there are the activities that are not important. These include a bunch of things you can delegate or reject completely. You can get your 17 year old to do his/her own laundry, and decline to be on the committee for which your colleague’s brother’s uncle needs you desperately. Also unimportant are things you don’t need to be doing at all. These include things like baking cookies that are actually not as good as the ones you can buy at the bakery, or playing computer games when you’re supposed to be working.

Think about where you can find some time for your therapy, whatever it is. It will help you be creative and productive in your “real” work.

Time. Pink Floyd

No comments: