Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Time Management Tuesday: Who's Doing What? When? Where? And, Maybe, Why?

We lose a certain amount of time--and energy--here at Chez Gauthier because we have trouble making sure everyone in the clan who needs to know about certain activities actually does know about them. Sometimes a plan is of limited use, if not everyone knows about it. Or, even worse, if you're the only one who knows you've made one.

Communicating what's happening so it can happen can relate to managing personal time in order to make professional time. But it can also be specifically about professional time. Writers who make appearances and travel or work with partners or people who manage their graphic and technical needs risk spending extra time bringing others up to speed. It's far faster and more efficient to keep people in your loop in the first place.

A few weeks ago, while trying to research a connection between yoga and concentration, I stumbled upon Creativity and Time: An Interview with Jeffrey Davis at author Laraine Herring's blog. Davis is a writer and creativity consultant. In the interview with Herring, he talks about keeping track of schedules with his wife. He says they will regularly ask each other, "“What do you need today in terms of time?”

I thought of this practice of his this weekend after we experienced another family member slipping through the cracks relating to holiday planning. Now, I have to tell you, Gauthiers are not likely to ask, "What do you need in terms of time?" We're more "Here's what's happening. Now don't you dare tell me you didn't know about it" kinds of people. And touching in every day would really get on all our nerves. But making sure plans have been communicated, especially if they're my plans, seems as if it could save time that I'd rather use for work.

So, I've started a new Sunday planning practice with family members. (Which is not to be confused with my Monday morning planning practice, which I do by myself.) On weeks when the extended family is involved or might want to know what's happening, I'm including a group e-mail. The planning includes what's happening, who is involved, and where it's happening. Sometimes we will have to get into why. The planning could relate to weekdays, evenings, or weekends. It could relate to anything that deals with professional or personal responsibilities.

Knowledge is power, so they say. My theory is that it also saves time.


Amy Butler Greenfield said...

Great post, Gail! And a timely one, too, since the holidays mean there's more stuff than ever to coordinate.

Gail Gauthier said...

Hey, Amy. I'm aware that you did a post sometime in the last month or so that has a time connection. It's somewhere in the back of my mind and may pop up here.