Saturday, December 08, 2012

Simple time management trick

Have you ever thought that given a small amount of extra regular money you might work out how to also get the time to develop a skill or work up a business idea? The trouble is that the shortage of both the cash and the time, means that such meaningful ventures are unfulfilled for many people. In the book The Free Lunch - Fairness with Freedom, one key idea is the payment of a Citizen's Income to everyone each month which would enable the release of such human creativity. The book shows why the idea is quite possible and gives an example of where this has happened long-term.

But whatever the cash shortages, time always seems short and here is a tip to enable you to achieve those things that are getting neglected because the lack of motivation stops you even starting them. 

What you do is set yourself a very short-term deadline using the timer / alarm on your mobile phone. For example, you might have a large and daunting backlog of work that needs hours to complete, it may even be accumulating and seems impossible to get through.  What do you do? On Day 1 you decide a time - say 30 minutes - and set the timer on your  phone and start the work. When the alarm goes off, you stop the task and then get on with other pressing things.  On Day 2 (or later on Day 1, or whenever) you repeat the routine. Slowly you chip away at the task. 

Another example is when you know you really ought to practice some new task, such as watercolouring, or piano.  Maybe you have not worked out a new routine yet or  because your skill level is lowish you lack motivation to begin the practise session. On this type of problem you might set just 10 minutes on your phone timer. Stop when the alarm sounds. Then do something else. But you may find that self-motivation has crept in and you run on hardly noticing the bleep that came and went. 

This method is the diametric opposite of having a'blitz' on a problem over many hours or days which in most lives are just not available. Manage these large neglected problems by  nibbling away at them.   

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