Aug 16, 2016
I have been trying out some (new for me) time management techniques. Various people tell me that they do this naturally, but I had to learn it manually.
This one involves:
In a worked example:
Total: 3hrs 25mins + facebook time.
In this example; if my facebook time takes 35mins I have literally no wiggle room on my estimates. But more importantly - if I do my facebook time first - and then fail to stop at 35mins, it means that I will either be running late for the rest of the day OR I will have to cut something short. The old me would probably cut the last task in the list short. Which might mean running late to the appointment, and it might mean not finishing writing a post on that day, and leaving it as a draft.
Recently I have been trying out a new factor on this system. To change the order of the tasks. Some tasks have fixed lengths in time. Some tasks are more flexible. For example, the amount of time it takes to shower and get ready is relatively fixed in time. However the amount of time it takes to write a post can vary extensively.
With this in mind, I will change the order of the tasks. Where I used to have a shower last, just as I am rushing out - so that I am fresh clean and ready for a meeting (a great idea if I do say so myself). I will now do something like this:
Do the fixed tasks all in a row and then do the flexible tasks last. This means I might have got to my appointment 65 minutes early in the 2nd order, or 35 minutes early in order 1, and worked there on the FB or email.
This also means that if any task has to get cut, truncated or shortened due to a failure of myself to account for time, or some blip happening, like traffic, difficulty finding parking, a blog post taking longer to write or any number of other possibilities - The least important task (of checking facebook) gets cut. Not one of the more important ones.
Today is not a day to work on cutting down or cutting out of facebook, or sending strategic emails that reduce my email workload. Today is just a day to do things in a different order. See how that goes, and make incremental progress on the problem.
Meta: this took 21 minutes to write and I am nearly running late to my next appointment.
Cross posted to lesswrong: