Updated: Jun 14, 2019
I've never been great at time management. While I've been on this personal development quest, I've noticed some marked chance in how I manage my time. No, I haven't put together a daily to do list. I've tried that, and it hasn't proven to be very effective for me. II have, however, been significantly more intentional about how I spend my time.
The commitments I have made to this journal/blog, to reaching out on a daily basis to a couple of people I do not communicate with regularly, and to listening to podcast on my daily commute have been quickly impacting my life and my ability to get things done for the better.
In a previous entry (Day 22) I challenged myself to abandon the snooze button and get out of bed when the alarm goes off. I haven't snoozed a single time since, and do not intend to start doing so again. While I still would like to do a better job at getting to bed early enough to get 8 hours of sleep each night, I am well on my way toward breaking a bad habit I have had since I was a teenager.
I have also been very conscious of the "2 Minute Rule" as described by David Allen (the podcast guest in the previously mentioned episode of the One Percent Better Project and creator of www.gettingthingsdone.com).
The "2 Minute Rule" suggests that if you can complete a task in 2 minutes or less, you have to get it done right now (i.e. getting out of bed when the alarm goes off, putting the dirty clothes in the hamper, washing the dish when the sink is empty, etc.). Putting it off will lead to unnecessary stress or anxieties for yourself or others.
As seemingly menial tasks get brushed aside to do later, or the onus is unfairly put on someone else due to your laziness (lets call this a public apology to my wife, I promise to do better), the future presents you with a seemingly insurmountable and time consuming undertaking (typing that reminds me that I really need to clean out my car...ignoring the 2 minute rule has lead to it looking like the floor of my teenage bedroom...sorry mom).
Pat Murphy, in his interview with Phil Boyte (School Culture by Design podcast), described the same concept in a different way. He said that if you decide to leave the few specks of dirt in the corner, they will eventually grow into a huge pile of dirt that will be much more difficult to deal with.
Find a way to manage your time in the way that works best for you. Start by making sure to take care of the little things. Little things that get brushed aside and left for later turn into big things that take exponentially more time to manage. Clean up the little pile of dirt before it becomes a mountain of crap.