A new discovery about time management: It is worth your time to take ten minutes at the start of the day to plan what you are accomplishing that day. I have now done this for eight or ten work-days running, and I find that if I set aside time to get specific tasks done, they get done; if I don’t — things tend to spiral and I tend to wool-gather.
I find that it’s harder to plan for interruptions using this method, or to manage disappointment. I laid out time in my and Leah’s schedule to drive to Worcester for poetry on Sunday, but we were too tired to go. I laid out time on Monday for going to the Monday night reading, but discovered the reading was cancelled. Laying out time for those events made it harder to re-task, although I did. It felt like those things were rewards or positives for getting other jobs done, and not having them was quite difficult.
In today’s schedule, I had time set out for travel to and from our fencing match, and as a result I was able to say no to several requests for action that had to be addressed semi-immediately.
I also got run over by someone else’s schedule snafu. is coming to my school on Friday, and I’ve spent several days talking to and managing all the relevant issues — who to talk to about payment, who would want him in classes, and which rooms he should speak in. Today I received notice that senior administrators put someone else on the master schedule back in September — but didn’t send out a notice to us the teachers until today… , if you read this — you’re still welcome at the school, and you’ll get paid the same, but you probably don’t have to be here much before 9…. maybe 9:30. I’ll know more tomorrow.
So, time management is about scheduling the right number of chores and rewards, being flexible and dealing with other people’s schedule changes, and taking ten minutes a day to get your to-do list sorted by priority and fixed to actual specific times in your actual, specific day.