There's never enough of it.
Or it drags.
Or it flies.
So we write lists; to do lists. Lots of people I know add things to their to-do lists after they have done them just so they get the pleasure of crossing them off.
Stephen Covey's Urgent/ Important matrix is a tool I sometimes use. I do the urgent and important things first and the things that aren't important or urgent I cross off my list completely. I find it really helpful.
urgent important matrix
I also like the Big Rocks time management approach. In this one, the Big Rocks are the really important things that move you forward with your life, and you do them first leaving the smaller stuff like washing the dishes and tidying to last and fitting them in around the big rocks. The metaphor used is that if you try to get rocks, pebbles and sand into a beaker; if you put the sand in first, there isn't enough time/room for the big rocks so you have to put the big rocks in first and the sand will wiggle into the gaps.
This too works for me and I have whole pages of my note books with different size circles on them.
However, recently I've made up a new one which has emotions and Flow at the heart of it. Flow is when we are doing something that we are so absorbed in that we lose all sense of time, place and self. When we are in flow we are being the best we can be and using our strengths and talents. So I think that Flow is worth prioritizing.
How do you find what puts you into flow? By doing thing that you want to do. Simple.
So here, today, ladies and gentleman is a revolutionary new time management tool called the 'what do I want to do matrix'!!
I like to keep things simple.
So, we all have things we have to do so put them in the first column but be really strict with yourself..do you really have to do them??
Then ask yourself 'what do I want to do today' and write those things in. Then the things you could do.
When I management my time like this it really seems to cut through the crap. There are things I have to do but not as many as I thought I had, because when I really ask myself if I have to do those things, then the answer is 'no' more often than I would expect.
I love asking myself what I would like to do today. It makes me feel excited about the day and is a huge motivator to get the 'have to's done first so I can get to the 'want to's. Just the question 'what do I want to do today' is so much more in the moment than the other tools which are all about what will be important to your future goals whereas the 'want' column is about now.
The coulds are 'nice if', but don't inspire strong feeling or need and they seem to fit in around the other 2 columns when I have a minute or 2.
So there you have it.
Try it and let me know how it works for you.
Have a good weekend.