Productive people fascinate me. You know, people who are prolific. The people who get a lot of things done amaze me. I admire their ability to set to a task and complete it, while also juggling new ideas and other commitments.
I saw this TED Talk recently, and it got me thinking:
I have a lot of ideas swimming around in my head. They don’t have any real direction, so maybe they are just floating – bobbing up and down – in my head. Aimless. Clustered. Spaced out. They’re just up there. Sometimes they are plucked out of the water and set to task but most of the time they sink when they get tired of treading water.
I’m sure that I’ve written about this before but I need better structure in my life. I need to find a system that works for me and use it. I’ve been trying to keep a daily to-do list and it’s been helpful. On the days when I don’t write out a list, I find that I’m just doing things. When I have a list, I know why I’m doing something, even if the only reason is that it is on my list.
I’m not a busy man. I have a lot to do but I’m hardly busy. My schedule is wide open. But, somehow, nothing seems to get done in good time. The list isn’t enough. Of course, it gives me some sense of direction but it doesn’t do enough to actually get me to do what I need to. After some consideration, I’m thinking that I need to schedule my days on a calendar. I mean, plan out my days the same way that I put together day plans for each day at school. The idea came to me while talking with my girlfriend about how busy her boss is.
My girlfriend’s boss is a busy woman. An extremely busy woman. Her schedule is solid. When something comes up, something else gets knocked down. Priorities must be set and schedules must be kept. The importance of a matter is measured by who is asking and the benefit is brings. If something isn’t on the calendar, the likelihood of it getting done is low.
If I can keep a schedule, planning when I’ll do something and for how long, maybe I’ll be able to get more done. Instead of simply writing down, “work on painting,” scheduling in painting time from 18:00 – 19:00 on Monday evenings might work better. It might help me see where I have time and how I can use it. Maybe I’ll go from finding time to making time.
N.B. I started writing this post 19 minutes late and have run four minutes over schedule.