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How to find time for loved and wanted projects?

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  • How to find time for loved and wanted projects?

    The system supposed to keep reminders of what we have to do. First I want to have hard edges between work, home, self development & other activities. I want to be sure I have time for all of that and do not make too many appointments that prevent me from doing other things. That's easy to give a promise to meet with someone but then you find yourself in a situation where you spent the whole week in meetings. I tried time mapping a few times but failed (i.e. self development reading for 1 hour before work) because of office interruptions, interactions with more important meetings or simple sleeping too much . Then I tryed putting seld development reading as Next Actions but failed of higher priority work projects. Work always tends to push out other activities that I love and want to do. How do you block time for what you love and want to do (time mapping, scheduling, blocking, next actions, or any other methods)? And what time do you prefer to block (evenings, mornings, weekends)?

    Regards,

    Eugene.

  • #2
    First, learn how long common work-related activities take. Until you do that, it's impossible to plan effectively because you simply won't know when you are overcommitted.

    Second, learn to say no. Once your list of work-related commitments is full, stop adding to it.

    Katherine

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    • #3
      Agreed with Katherine. I'll go further: Say "no" before your list of commitments is full, because some of your commitments will undoubtedly take longer than you anticipate. Build spare time into your schedule.

      I wonder if, when you block off time, you're giving those blocks "hard edges," so to speak. If the phone rings, do you pick it up? If someone walks by, do you tell them "I'm afraid I'm in the middle of something; can you come back later?"

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Borisoff View Post
        I want to be sure I have time for all of that and do not make too many appointments that prevent me from doing other things.

        How do you block time for what you love and want to do (time mapping, scheduling, blocking, next actions, or any other methods)? And what time do you prefer to block (evenings, mornings, weekends)?
        If you can, identify how much time a day or week you want to allow to be taken over by appointments. When you've reached that limit, schedule the next thing in the next week. Not always possible, but tryable.

        I've found that things that I love make time for themselves. For example I love t read, so there is a book to read anyplace I may have a few seconds to read. Book on CD in the car CD player, book on the nightstand, book in my briefcase if I have time at lunch, book beside my chair in the family room (and of course, if it's a really good book, I'm carrying it around between these places.) If I'm watching a show and a commercial comes on, I'm reading the book, when the show comes back on, I may still be reading the book.

        However, things that I don't love and either want to do or think I want to do don't make time for themselves and I have to make time for them. As a morning person, the best time for me to make time for things like this are first thing in the morning at home or first thing in the morning at work.

        While I like to read, I don't usually care for business books. So I'll skim the intro, scan the table of contents, and try to find the chapter (or sometimes paragraphs) that have the nugget. Usually business books and self-help books spend a lot of time up front trying to convince you why you need to read the book. So if you're reading a book on exercising, you've already decided you're interested in exercising, so you can skip the chapters on why exercise is good for you. If it's a book on business planning, skip the chapters on the problems that happen to businesses that don't plan. Spend only 15 minutes on most books of this sort. Then if you find a book that really resonates for you, you'll shift into the "I love to" mode and because you truly want to read that book, you'll make time for it.

        We all manage to fill all of our waking hours with something. If there's something you're trying to fit into your schedule, you usually have to identify something already in your schedule that will have to be changed, compressed or replaced to make room for the new thing. You have to really want it more than something you're doing now. So if you're not replacing idle channel surfing, or an extra hour at work with an hour of something you think you love and want to do, perhaps you need to really assess it a little deeper. (Do you really want to do it or do you want to have done it? Are you getting something such as relaxation out of channel surfing that you will lose if you spend that time reading?) If you consciously choose which thing you're replacing, you'll have to convince yourself you want to do the new thing more and perhaps provide yourself with some type of trigger so when you routinely start the old behavior you're reminded to do the new behavior. (A note taped to the mouse or remote control that says "You could be taking a pleasant walk outdoors instead.")

        Things that have worked for me are:
        Setting the alarm clock an hour earlier to go out walking with a walking partner at 4:50 in the morning. (Since it was too early to call and wake the other household if I wanted to roll back into bed, I had to get up and go walking.)
        Booking something on the calendar that I wanted to do.
        Making something I wanted to do a reward to completing something I didn't want to do.
        Doing some mental association - Associate with a mental image of your desk chair an image of whatever it is you wish to do instead. When you see or start to sit in the chair, the other image witll show up and you can make a conscious choice.

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