• Saturday, January 24th, 2009

Are you a Planner or a Doer?  I have to admit to being a Planner.  I love to make lists, thinking of all these great things that I will do.  I break down the big tasks into smaller ones to be done each day, just like I’m supposed to.  But why do those smaller tasks not get done?  When the day is done, most of the things I had wanted to get done are still left unchecked.

In my case, it’s hard to say whether I’m planning too many tasks into a certain time period or simply not using my time to its best advantage.  I suspect it’s a little of both.  When planning out my days, I know which tasks I want to complete by the end of the week, so I spread out necessary tasks accordingly.  Unfortunately, completing my list of tasks in a given week if often wishful thinking.  In order to get them done on paper, I overload each day with work.  I could probably get the work done if nothing else came up.  Yeah, right, how often does that happen??  But since I work in a business instead of a bubble, my days are full of interruptions, constantly changing priorities, and new work to get on the schedule.  Obviously, those unplanned events need to be planned for.  Just expect them to happen and cut back on the time you expect to have for completing planned tasks.

I know I also have an issue with time management.  I do all the right things as far as creating a to-do list, prioritizing what needs to be done, and actually working on my list.  But I’m easily distracted, frequently changing priorities without valid reasons (“If I don’t do this now, I’ll forget about it later!”), and, I admit, just don’t feel like doing a particular task sometimes.  Yes, I’m guilty!  I definitely need to get over that one.  Not feeling like doing something is NOT an excuse for not getting the job done!  Neither is it an excuse for changing priorities mid-stream.

So, my lessons learned:
1) Plan for less time than expected to be able to devote to getting work done during the day.  Simply expect the unexpected.
2) Plan fewer tasks in a day so you’re sure they will get accomplished, regardless of what goes awry.
3) Stay focused on the planned to-do list.  Ruthlessly rein in the temptation to drift into another related task which is not on the list.
4) Maintain priorities unless you have good reason to change them (besides “I don’t feel like it.”)
5) Put your feelings aside and just GET IT DONE!

Category: General
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