Friday, October 14, 2005

Time Management

Jory has another wonderful post about breaking appointments. I can relate to her frustration of always being first and always being early. I have the complete opposite reason to blame. Rather than being early for everything as a child, I was always late. Often my mother's fault, who still has to work out this issue. I've had friends who get their own time schedule for events. Example: In college one girl was particularly bad. If we needed to leave at 7, she was told 6:15. EVERY TIME. What I particularlly liked about Jory's article was this:

I went to a seminar a few years back for people interested in taking on enormously ambitious projects. The instructor made a brilliant distinction. "I really don't care what you feel like doing," she said. She was in the midst of a family emergency and she didn't want to be there with us that day, "But I am committed to being here," she said. I thought of all of the grand plans I've had in my life--the novels, the businesses, the trips with friends and family--and wondered why most of them had never happened. They didn't because, at some point in the planning process I didn't feel like doing something. We don't always feel like making our lives better, but if we are committed to that outcome, we do what we need to anyway.
I got an email ages and ages ago about time management. The professor took a clear 1 gallon jar and filled it with rocks. He then asked the class if the jar was full. Unanimously, they agreed it was. He then poured in mid-sized gravel. He asked again if it was fully. Still a few agreed, maybe half. He then poured tiny rocks, like fish tank gravel. Repeat question, but with fewer people agreeing. Next he pour in sand. Once again, everyone agreed that the jar was full. The professor pour in water until the jar would hold no more. The students were welcome to try and find something else that would fit in the jar, but he was positive that any addition would cause the water to overfollow. He point was, do the big things first. Add in the rest by progressively small units. But then the big stuff will always fit. I took this approach in college. My "rocks" were anything listed on a course syllabus. Everything was written into my day-runner while the teacher reviewed the syllabus and any expectations held. What else could the first day of class be for? I usually found a conflict between a project and a test, but it would be easy to resolve. Find out as much as possible about the project requirements and work on them ahead of time. Often, it could be handed in early even. My mid-sized gravel was often my work schedule. Then a group of us made regular plans to go to a coffee shop the next town over. Little by little, my scheduled filled. I never felt rushed or hurried. My GPA and close friends will attest that I was thoroughly obnoxious in my study skills. I contribute all of it to applying that email to my student life. Adult life is a bit harder. No one is handing me a schedule that says in three months a 1000 point project is going to be due. Most of the time, I have to make it up as I go. But I still write as much of it down as I can, knowing which things are rocks, which are gravel and which are sand.

1 comment:

YourSimplerLife said...

A great way to get started with anything is to sit down and decide what your goals are. Personal development