Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Schedule Less

Many people I know are in a constant struggle to get more time trying to fit more and more into a day.  Scheduling everything down to the minute, and leaving no room for deviation.  This leads to higher stress levels, especially if you have a life that has variable that are not part of a system you can control, most of us do.  I think that scheduling is great and it does make all of us more efficient.  But I don't like to pack my day so tight that if there is an accident or some other time, that I'm chasing that  perfect line the rest of the day.

Life has flux, that is one constant thing about life.  If you have it planned out perfectly, then something will be thrown in to force you to change your approach.  Life is a living breathing thing, it is not static.

A more effective way of grouping your tasks is to use a tiered method.  I recommend having a loose list of things that need to be done, and move them over to your daily list as you find your self with more time.  If you don't find yourself with additional time, you should take a look at how to close your open loops.

The approach that I use in my personal and professional life is 3 tiered.  First, I have a calendar of the hard lines that are required of me that day.  These include meetings, appointments, anything that is scheduled.  The scheduled part of my day make up no more than 40% of my hours awake.  Second, I track my soft lines in a list of the tasks that need to be completed in the near future, these are set as upcoming.  The upcoming threshold I use is a task that needs to be completed within 30 days.  Lastly, I have a list of float items that I want to get to.  I typically leave these items to fill the gaps, when I am early to an appointment, or taking a break in my Pomodoro sprint. These float items are things such as reading an article, or catching up on email or reading the book I'm working on.  

Here are the 3 tiers 
  • Hard lines in Calendar
  • Soft lines in Upcoming Task List
  • Float in want To-Do list.
I hope this helps make you more effective.  To your success.

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