Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Time Management Tuesday: Low Expectations Could Be A Good Thing In Some Situations

Ah, summer. Ah, summer and the 4th of July. Ah, summer and the 4th of July and family gatherings. Ah, preparing for a summer event and the 4th of July and family gatherings. Yes, preparing for a summer event is different from preparing for a family gathering, because summer events are outside, which is another magnitude of work, whereas family gatherings could be inside, which is less work. That's what's going on here this week, in addition to two care giving excursions and, to be painfully honest, a morning hike on Friday.

This is most definitely an example of needing to develop a time management plan around a situation. I'm talking situational time management. I have only two real workdays this week, and that's assuming the morning hike on Friday doesn't run on and I'm home by ten. If it does, I have only one-plus real workdays this week. The rest of the week will be hit and very miss. Thursday, in particular, will be all miss as far as work goes.What should I do?

You know I'm going to say I'm going to rely on the unit system. And that's true. I'm using the unit system right now to squeeze in this blog post between getting home from a 5-hour excursion and heading out for another.

More importantly, though, I'm not trying to do a lot this week. What I find usually happens during weeks like this one is that I'm trying to do a large number of things, the situational problems involved with family and holidays become inflated, and very little work gets done. My theory on how to handle this? Plan to do less and actually do it.

This week I've planned to use my one definite work day for units of writing. That was yesterday. It went very well. I'm happy with an essay I'm working on, and I even managed to do something spontaneous. After learning about a new journal that might be a good match for my work, I chose a short story, did some modest revisions, and submitted. A good use of a unit or more on a writing day.

Friday will be the other best day of work for me. I've recently started committing Friday to marketing, as a means of keeping marketing creep from taking over the rest of my week. So I'll be using whatever units I have on Friday for 3 or 4 marketing tasks.

I got a little professional reading done this morning and have reason to believe I'll get a little done tomorrow. This blog post will be completed soon, and I'm hopeful for another tomorrow. Otherwise, any time I have today and tomorrow I'm going to use to compile notes on a professional book I finished reading a couple of weeks ago. It seems like a good task for small bits of time.

I was going to plan some blog research for the evenings, but, realistically speaking, that's unlikely to happen. Committing myself to it is setting myself up for perceived failure. I'm also not going to try to do anything on Thursday when I'm visiting an elder and seeing some relatives. Again, I'd rather not set myself up for perceived failure.

Now, if I were in the midst of a big, long-term writing project instead of working on essays, I would have committed whatever time I have to working on that. At the very least, that would keep me in the midst of the job and improve my chances of getting back to work quickly next week. But that's not the situation I'm working with this week. How you manage time is always dependent upon your present situation.

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