I’m always trying to find ways to be more productive. I’ve imperfectly implemented GTD, 18 Minutes, The Unschedule, Time Management Magic, streaks, and the list probably goes on. I know I don’t give them a real shot because I don’t commit to them because it’s easier to do what I feel like doing and not what’s scheduled or on some list. Also, when things get moved around spontaneously – like your wife tells you she’s going out with friends in a couple hours and you have to now figure out dinner – none of the systems satisfactorily handled all the exception cases so I’d just chuck the whole system. Well, really just let it fall into disuse.
At one point I had a grand plan to start with a baseline system and document where and how it failed and then adjust the system. I’ve also had the idea to commit to doing each of the systems for a month, but that never worked out because it’d always take more than a month to get the system up and running.
So the most recent time management process that’s come across my radar is the one where you schedule everything. The advocate I heard said he does it in 15 minute increments, but says some of the most successful people he knows do it down to the minute. So that’s going to be my starting point. I’m going to spend 30 minutes every night scheduling the next day. I will evaluate where it works and why and where it falls down and why. And as I come across other productivity advice – new or other – I will incorporate aspects that fill in the short comings.
As I mentioned earlier, my wife had a spontaneous night out which really messed up the schedule for the evening. One of the strengths of the schedule was that even though I didn’t have the time slots aligned correctly anymore, I knew the things I wanted to do and how much time I wanted to spend on them. The weakness was that I just blew some stuff off because I didn’t feel like doing them and the messed up schedule was an easy excuse to do so.