Posts Tagged ‘time management’

It is proving harder than I expected to make a blog entry daily. The blog one one of several things that I am committed to doing every day, but sometimes when I haven’t exactly been on top of things, it takes a while to get on track again.

Here are the items that are on a checklist that I print out for myself every day:

Must Do:

❒ 5 minutes on Steam
❒ 5 minutes on stories
❒ 5 minutes on nonfiction
❒ 5 minutes teaching
❒ 5 minutes to-do lists
❒ 5 minutes teaching entropy
❒ 5 minutes office entropy
❒ 5 minutes stale BYKI
❒ 5 minutes new BYKI
❒ 15 minutes more Steam
❒ 5 minutes exercise: Did it become 30? ❒
❒ 5 minutes blog

Try To Do:

❒ Listen to BYKI items when cooking, walking, falling asleep, etc.
❒ All stale BYKI reviewed
❒ 10 new BYKI words learned
❒ One FSI tape
❒ 5 minutes general entropy
❒ 5 minutes David Waggoner isolation

The thinking behind this checklist is that there are a number of things that I want to stay on top of. The best way to stay on top of them is to do each of them for just five minutes a day, or a total of 20 minutes when it comes to the novel.

Since I started using this list about ten days ago, there has not been a day when I checked off each of the twelve “Must Do” items, much less all 18, including the optional ones. But working a system imperfectly doesn’t mean that the system doesn’t work. In time, I’ll get more items done each day.

Why five minutes? Five minutes is just enough time to actually begin sinking into a task. I can’t get much done in five minutes. However, in five minutes I’ll be sufficiently engaged by the task to decide whether I want to continue, and sometimes the five minutes will become an hour or more.

And even if I don’t manage to get anything crossed off of my to-do list in five minutes of trying, at least this practice reminds me that I do have a to-do list. Without such a reminder, I can easily forget that I even have such a list for days on end.