I have a lot to do. I haven’t had a full time job since last April, but I have my event planning course that I’m supposed to be finishing this summer, my blog to keep up with, and a few fun projects that I’m working on (more on those later this month!).
I should have lots to fill my time with. But I seem to have cultivated an exceptionally well-practised skill of procrastination and bad time management. What is it about us, that sometimes we can even procrastinate those tasks that we enjoy???
I’m attempting to apply some new time management techniques to my weeks, to help me combat my laziness and have something good to report to Rasmus when he gets in from work every evening. (Just to clarify, I’m doing this for myself of course, but gosh does the accountability thing help!)
- The Pomodoro Technique. I came across this recently. It’s so simple really – you set a timer for 25 minutes and work on just one task on your to-do list during that time. Once the buzzer goes you have minutes to take a break and assess your to-do list again, and then you start another pomodoro. The name comes from the tomato-shaped kitchen timer that it’s founder used.
- Project-based to do lists. I have three or four different projects that need to be worked on each week (counting studying as one) so I need three or four to do lists to keep me up to date. Also, if I think of something I need to do, while working on something else, I just write it on the appropriate list and go back to what I was doing. No distractions!
- A general to-do list. All those tasks that don’t fit in any other category. For these I love the teux deux website. It’s simple to use and moves any incomplete tasks to the next day.
- Structured (limited) time for emails/twitter/blog reading. These could take over my whole day if I allowed them. So I give myself an alloted amount of time and then have to move on to something else. The glory of this is that I no longer waste time reading articles that I’m only semi interested in. I focus on what’s actually important to me.
- Rewards. “You can only go and bake when you’ve done three pomodoros on your coursework.” Rather effective…
- People time. I am an extrovert so all day by myself in the flat causes my energy and motivation to falter by mid-afternoon. Once Rasmus is home I am usually bizarrely excited to get back to working on my projects – not because I don’t want to spend time with him, but being with other people and talking about my work makes me excited for it. Being in a new town makes this hard because it takes time to make friends, but I am planning to be very intentional about seeking out time with other people during the day.
So those are my attempts at good time management for this month. If you have any more tips, I am all ears!