Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Time O Time

For a few weeks now, I’ve been feeling a little under pressure due to the sheer number of things I am into. I strongly suspect that the feeling has accentuated after I got into blogging and blog-surfing. Blogging actually happens without any effort most of the time as I write on the fly or spend some extra time during the weekends to write up some of my lengthier essays. At times, I do end up spending 1 hour on some of my posts, but I think it is more than worth it. But it is blog-surfing that has presented to me the enormity of the challenge I am trying to tackle. Reading almost 100 blogs on a weekly basis, leave alone on a daily basis, is not a joke. This, despite RSS subscriptions. I have been concentrating on work and a couple of other things and have not read many of the blogs that I’ve bookmarked, for 3 weeks now. Not to forget, the deluge of informative emails that one gets. Email is like a never-drying ocean of information. Anyways, I decided to put pen to paper and come up with a mind map of things I am into. Next, for a lowdown on time-management, I approached an expert and asked her for suggestions on what I could do to make my life less of a clutter. I am already feeling slightly better. Hopefully, as I start working on her suggestions in this new situation of improved awareness, things will look less formidable. Here are the ideas I’ll be working on:

- a daily/weekly/monthly timetable/planner that takes into consideration everything I want to do
- a clear demarcation between what’s urgent and what’s important and getting rid of the urgent and unavoidable things. understanding the implications of not doing or doing each task and prioritizing based on desired outcomes
- setting aside one day a week (that’s relatively free) at work (mon thru fri) for catching up with a few non-core-work related tasks (reading business magazines, catching up with business material on the net etc)
- look up mintools.com for ideas and tools
- read and use Steven Covey’s book and planning tools respectively
- using the 80:20 rule to understand what those critical 20% tasks are that make up my life
- maintain a daily time log to note where my time’s ‘going’ and act on it if it is undesirable
- ask myself what I really want to do and prioritize based on that

Here’s the mind map I drew.

There is an interesting coincidence associated with this exercise of mine. When I began drawing this map, I saw a coffee cup in front of me and the cup had this etched on it – “In life, it is more important to participate than to win. To enjoy the journey than to rush towards a destination”. Well, that will be the guiding light in this endeavour of mine. We can’t forget the pleasures of life (read: journey). We can't always look at the ends and forget the means. Can we?


srini said...

i dont think we can slice and dice life rationally and try to live it by that analysis.

we need to take each event as it comes - we can never be completely prepared for what we will face tomorrow.

of course that doesnt mean that we dont ready ourselves for the future - only that we shouldnt go overboard.

- just some thoughts out of ether. dont kill me nimmy!

Nimmy said...

you're right srini. no one can be COMPLETELY prepared for life. :)what we need to do is to learn to be effective and efficient! And that happens through analysis - an analysis that does not result in paralysis... :)

Sarita Shekhar said...

The activity map is a good reminder for us to allocate time for a particular phase of activities, as I see it. A time table with rectangular columns is too constraining for creativity. However, a graphical map like this gears the timely need for focus in our hobbies and interests!

natalie said...

I appreciate your information on Time Management. I just bookmarked your site and will be back regulalry to keep on top of it. Please check out my blog on Time Management Exposed - I'd really appreciate it