I invited Randy Ingermanson to blog with us today because I wanted to share this interesting author and teacher with you. I read his newsletter and blog (sometimes even daily). He is interesting and has a lot of useful ideas, information and insights. He continually teaches me new things. Being me, I never follow anything he (or anyone else, for that matter) suggests exactly. I always find ways to adapt it, change it and make it work for me. Randy is one of the few, though, that I return to again and again when I want to learn and grow and improve.
THAT PESKY GOAL-SETTING
Managing your time is supposed to be simple. You figure out what you want, set priorities, make a plan, and then execute the plan. Right?
Well, sorta right. The problem is that none of those are easy. And furthermore, Real Life has a nasty way of infringing on that excellent plan you made.
I have tried all sorts of ways to manage that pesky time of mine, and here is what works for me:
Every morning when I sit down at my desk, the very first thing I do is log in to my favorite time-management web site and spend about 10 minutes doing the following exercise:
1) Do a brain dump of all the things that I “gotta get done someday.”
2) Review the current stack of things that are coming up to see if any of them need to get done today.
3) Review the current “next big thing” that I most desperately want to achieve in the next few weeks.
4) Take a quick look at how I’m managing my time, my energy, or my money (I alternate between them on successive days) and add any tasks to help me improve in those specific areas.
5) Review the whole list and cull out things that really could be done later.
6) Review what’s left and delegate whatever I can.
7) Prioritize what’s left so I’m sure to get the most important things done.
Then I get rolling on the day. I have never had a day when I got it all done, so at the end of the day, some stuff is left for tomorrow. That’s OK. Tomorrow, as Scarlett once said, is another day.
Everything that I didn’t get done today will get rolled over to tomorrow. Tomorrow, I might decide that some of those things I thought were important obviously aren’t, because I’ve been rolling them over for six weeks. In that case, I’ll dump them.
Every quarter, I review my life to make sure I’m making progress on the Big Picture things in my life.
All that takes me 10 minutes per day and I actually enjoy the process, because the web site that I use makes it very quick and easy.
Doing all this has made me remarkably more productive.
The nice thing is that I don’t have to write anything down. I just type in to the appropriate pages on the web site and the system keeps track of it all for me.
The even nicer thing is that all this is free. There is no charge to use this tool, which was created by an internet marketing genius named Mark Joyner who provides this free tool as a way to create traffic to his web site.
You may decide to buy some of Mark’s other products or you may not. (I’ve bought some of them.) It doesn’t matter to Mark. His time-management tool is free to anyone who wants to use it.
The only thing I DON’T care for is the name of Mark’s site, “Simpleology,” which sounds to me like it’s the study of “simple.” (Mark’s thesis is that managing your life ought to be simple, and I agree with that. But I still don’t like the idea of studying an adjective. I like studying nouns.)
Here is a link to Mark’s page:
If you want to start using the Simpleology tool, go to this page and enter your name and email address in the form on the right side of the page and follow the directions. It’s not complicated. It’s simple.
Randy Ingermanson is the award-winning author of six novels and one non-fiction book. He earned a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from UC Berkeley and has worked as a computational physicist for about twenty years. Randy is famous around the world as “the Snowflake Guy” for his invention of the Snowflake Method of designing a novel. He also publishes the world’s largest electronic magazine on fiction writing, the Advanced Fiction Writing E-zine. Randy and his wife and three daughters live in southern Washington where they cower in fear under the cruel domination of three cats and one dog. Visit Randy’s site at http://www.AdvancedFictionWriting.com.