Dana's September plan illustrates two time management techniques we've discussed here.
- One is that she is using the month of September as what I call a set-aside time. It's time we set aside for specific tasks. Time we're going to use in a particular way.
- The other is that she's taking advantage of September being a temporal landmark, a calendar event that creates a fresh start opportunity.
Dana has inspired me to republish, as part of this year's observance of Original Content's twentieth anniversary, a blog post from 2016 on the value of the month of September for managing time. I was on vacation when I wrote that post, which explains the beginning and ending.
When you finish reading this, you may think, oh, I can't do anything with this, because it's already September. I needed to plan ahead. The month of September isn't even half over, people. Run with it.
Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Time Management Tuesday: Now Is The Time For Change. Hurry!
I know, I know. I said I wasn't going to be blogging until next month. However, I actually read those newspapers hotels provide gratis, and I read something last week that will not keep. It is time sensitive.
First off, I'm sure you all recall that I've written here about the significance of beginnings and endings of units of time. January, the beginning of a major unit of time, the year, is a big moment here at OC with the creation of goals and objectives.
Last week The Wall Street Journal carried an article about the end of one unit of time and the beginning of another and how that beginning has become very important. In Now Is the Real New Year, the WSJ reports that September is now "the start of the real new year." It lists masses of ways that September is now outpacing January for people making changes in their lives. And there's a couple of statements that suggest that September works better than January for doing this. "In January, postholiday exhaustion can make New Year's weight-loss resolutions feel even tougher, nutritionists say..." and 69% of respondents in a British survey "believe small improvements in September are easier to achieve than New Year's resolutions."
There's not a lot in this article explaining why this is happening. There's talk of shifting back to routines after the summer and the Jewish New Year coming in the fall. But what is going on that is so big that it blows January, the stereotypical time for changing our behavior and getting started on new projects, out of the water?
My own wild theory is that, at least here in the U.S., we have generations of being enslaved to the school year and its calendar. We're tied to it as students, ourselves, and then those of us who have children are tied to it again when they are students. Teachers are tied to it. Children's writers who do school presentations are tied to it. The school year, which begins in September, has become more meaningful than the calendar year because something truly happens when it begins. January, not so much.
So can we use this sense of a new beginning and a time to get started fresh in our work?
I can't, obviously. I'm on vacation. But maybe you can.