To continue on the yesterday’s theme of time management, here is part 2 to Time is precious.  Manage it!

Here is a good article called Seven Essential Time Management Strategies, from Susanne Madsen.

If you like project management, she is a good person to follow on Twitter, at @SusanneMadsen.  I like and retweet many of her post.

Get the right things done in less time

To get ahead in your career, deliver your projects successfully and to get a promotion or a pay rise, you must learn to consistently focus on the activities that add the most benefit to your projects and your clients. The better you are at maintaining focus and managing your time, the more you will achieve and the easier it will be for you to leave the office on time. Not only does effective time management allow you to get better results at work, it also helps you withstand stress and live a more fulfilling life outside of work.

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I was also discussing yesterday the importance of organizing your life, work and personal, with a friend of mine.  I tried to convince him of how important, even essential it is, to clear the head of all the to-dos if someone wants to maximize productivity.  This is a key principle of David Allen Getting Things Done.  The mind is burning energy to remember and organize all your to-dos.  Create the space for productivity by putting them in a system outside your mind.  It may feel like having a system will slow you down and limit your creativity.  It is actually the opposite.  To be creative, you must free the space in your head first.

We are only one person, so this is why I believe we need a system that can handle all our life, work and personal.  Our mind will think of anything it has to think of, either personal or work.  It will not make a distinction, like we so conveniently do.

I am not sure he is convinced.  And I understand because I used to be like that, and enjoy spontaneity.  Until I realized that I was not progressing towards my dreams and goals as much as I wanted.  Actually, I was probably trying to do too many things at the same time.  And also not using my time in the most focused way.  As I said yesterday, what is choose to not do is actually just as important as what we do.  Because it otherwise it takes away the precious time we have.  This is why lately I have unsubscribed from many sources of email.

Yes time is precious.  In the end, let’s say we live about 85 years, and count only from year 20.  We have 65 years available, 365 days (actually more 365.25 days per year over such a long period) times 24 hours per day.  60 minutes per day.  60 seconds per minute.  This gives us a finite bank of time available of:

  • 65 years
  • 23,741.25 days
  • 569,790 hours
  • 34,187,400 minutes
  • 2,051,244,000 seconds

So the next question is:

What are you going to do with this time available?

Because it is not like a bank account. You can’t save it.  After every day, you have 86,400 seconds less available.  They don’t accumulate, awaiting for you the next day.  After a week of thinking about this question, you have 604,800 seconds less available for your dreams and goals.

So anyone can choose to answer the questions lately, but it has consequences.  They are automatic and the same for everybody.

After talking to my friend, I tried to find my copy of the book Getting Things Done, by David Allen.  I couldn’t find it.  So today I bought it along with the 2003 book from David Allen called Ready for Anything.  I will read the first one again, because it is a good refresher and each reading brings new discoveries.  I will read Ready for Anything with curiosity.

My personal key challenges?  I am too passionate and curious.  I easily try to do just too many things.  Being passionate is a nice thing, life is never boring.  But you can easily fall in the non-productive zone of being lost in too many things to do, and then actually doing… not much.  This is why I think before actually focusing on doing things, and being productive, you need to identify, prioritize and manage your goals.

Interestingly enough, it seems that having unclear goals can also be linked to depression, according to this article.

Depression Associated with Vague, Abstract Goals

By Senior News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on July 9, 2013

A new UK research study suggests a difference in goal-setting behavior among those who are depressed versus those without depression.

University of Liverpool scientists found individuals with clinical depression were more likely to set generalized goals that were difficult to achieve, while non-depressed individuals were more likely to have specific goals, which were attainable.

For the research, participants were asked to list goals they would like to achieve at any time in the short, medium or long-term. Psychologist Dr. Joanne Dickson then analyzed the lists comparing people who suffered with depression and those who were not.

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