- Organizing A Time Management Plan
- How to Manage Time
- Tasks: Maintenance Versus Progress
- When Things Don't Go As Planned
- How NOT to spend Your Day
| Home Time Management The Organized Prioritization How NOT to spend Your Day
PrioritizationHow NOT to spend Your Day
Stop. Think. What are you doing (aside from reading this)? What were you hoping to be doing 10 minutes ago? Distractions abound. Strive for focus.
Marianne Rankin, one of our loyal newsletter subscribers, once passed along this humorous story she found that I felt would be enjoyable for you. It's basically a description of how NOT to spend your day.
There was no indication of the original author, but it was the perfect description of someone who I would consider to have strong Drop and Hop personality tendencies--someone who starts something, gets distracted and then starts doing something else--all to the detriment of anything getting done. Hope you enjoy it!
I decided to wash my car. As I start toward the garage, I notice that there is mail on the hall table. I decide to go through the mail before I wash the car. I lay my car keys down on the table, put the junk mail in the trash can under the table, and notice that the trash can is full.
So I decide to put the bills back on the table and take out the trash first. But then I think, since I'm going to be near the mailbox when I take out the trash anyway, I may as well pay the bills first.
I take out my checkbook that is on the table, and see that there is only one check left. My extra checks are in my desk in the den, so I go to my desk where I find the bottle of soda that I had been drinking.
I'm going to look for my checks, but first I need to push the soda aside so that I don't accidentally knock it over. I see that the soda is getting warm, and I decide I should put it in the refrigerator to keep it cold.
As I head toward the kitchen with the soda, a vase of flowers on the counter catches my eye--they need to be watered. I set the soda down on the counter, and I discover my reading glasses that I've been searching for all morning.
I decide I better put them back on my desk, but first I'm going to water the flowers. I set the glasses back down on the counter, fill a container with water and suddenly I spot the TV remote. Someone left it on the kitchen table. I realize that tonight when we go to watch TV, we will be looking for the remote, but nobody will remember that it's on the kitchen table, so I decide to put it back in the den where it belongs, but first I'll water the flowers.
I splash some water on the flowers, but most of it spills on the floor. So, I set the remote back down on the table, get some towels and wipe up the spill.
Then I head down the hall trying to remember what I was planning to do.
At the end of the day, the car isn't washed, the bills aren't paid, there is a warm bottle of soda sitting on the counter, the flowers aren't watered, there is still only one check in my checkbook, I can't find the remote, I can't find my glasses, and I don't remember what I did with the car keys.
Then when I try to figure out why nothing got done today, I'm really baffled because I know I was busy all day long, and I'm really tired. I realize this is a serious problem, and I'll try to get some help for it, but first I'll check my e-mail.
The moral of this story: It's so easy to get distracted. If the above sounds like your day, then there's a good chance that you have 'Drop and Hop' tendencies.
I highly recommend you set an alarm to go off every 10 minutes. Each time it sounds, be sure you are working on what you originally started working on. If you are, great! If not, stop what you're doing, and go back to your original task.
It's a sure-fire way of ensuring you don't end the day with lots of incomplete tasks. Instead, you'll discover that you're actually getting some tasks started, and completed!