One of the limiting aspects to my time management strategy has been a tendency to over plan goals and their related tasks; what I’d probably call an over indulgence in self micro-management, now that the jargon-creating neurons have lit up 😉
By that I mean I’m one of those people who love planning around the status quo. Give me a steady state (life, career, health: you name it) and I can come up with fifty ways to tag, filter, refine and tweak whatever is apparently contributing to observed reality. A self-development Kafka-inspired bureaucrat, haha!
Viewed in a kinder light here’s someone who likes to be on the plateau for a while before climbing to the next level. However, the new scenery does tend to be dramatically different each time I do this e.g. leaving teaching, moving to Japan, leaving a good paying employee role for the challenges of entrepreneurship.
One of the most liberating activities you can do is to observe and describe how you are preserving the current status quo of your life. This is not a judgmental exercise in and of itself - you simply pay attention to how your time and efforts are passing for a week or more in one specific area of your life (this can obviously include career-related time and space).
You can see what you’ve been up to for the past week, month or longer by examining data from the following example sources (there will be others relevant to you):
1- Your business diary, personal journal or Personal Information Manager (I currently use InfoSelect8 on a PC).
2- Your Email sent box(es) and social media experiences (LinkedIn, FaceBook etc) - the who and what of your digital communications.
3- Your Desktop layout (in-tray, filing system and workflow processing) for office and home, where applicable.
4- How much money you’ve spent on yourself and why.
5- Where you’ve been, what you’ve done and who you’ve met.
Instead of just a one-off event, what about making this approach even more effective by choosing a monthly Ground Log Day, GLD (in honour of that Bill Murray movie, Groundhog Day)?This is when you spend about an hour sifting through the data at your leisure and flagging how much any of this is contributing to your desired career and life path.
Time management systems can be great in and of themselves but my experience has been that they’re optimally designed for handling activities and relationships that preserve a present flowing from the past.
By literally taking the time to flow back to the future (another great movie!) you will be encouraging that part of you which is invested in your career path< to make it’s voice heard.
My next personal GLD is scheduled for Tuesday 11 November, Japan time. ( Subsequent months will be on 12 Dec, 1 Jan, 2 Feb, 3 Mar and so on; these are ideal dates not 100% fixed in concrete, as real life does flow on those dates too!)
Care to join me? I am open to scheduling a 1 hour max teleclass where I guide and coach a group of people through the GLD process over the phone.