Systems that have worked for me

In the last post I covered a few of the ways that I have tried to organize my life. Here are a few of the published systems that I have also seen personal success with.

I am not afraid to say that I love organization and order. I am also aware that at times this can be a fault because I tend to analyze things a lot (possibly over-analyze) before taking decisive action. This over-analysis can be useful for others though because I have a few systems that I have tested, been happy with and can recommend.

Personal organization

Getting Things Done – This was one of the very first ‘self-development’ books that I read and still one that I swear by. Much of the tone of this is in line with my view that you can start with a basic concept and then make it work for your personal situation.

Setting and Managing Goals

Bullseye! by Blake Beattie – This was especially great for me because I had no real idea what I even wanted from life before starting to read it – Just that I had a desire to improve myself. In addition to having a set of (time based!) goals that I had committed to achieving, I actually even felt that I knew myself a little better.

Much of my approach to time management is based on a collection of personal perspectives that I have collected in my personal and professional lives. Some of the key principles though are centered on these concepts:

  • ‘Sacred Scheduling’ which I picked up from Lori Fields. In essence this is the process of having a good look at where you are spending your precious time and then confirming why each thing is important enough to be on your schedule
  • I am also a fan of applying the idea of opportunity cost to my personal and professional life. This is the concept that when you are spending time on anything, that time is not being spent on anything else. This becomes particularly powerful when considered in combination with the point above – That is, should this thing that I am spending time on being given the priority over something else that I am not?
  • Spending time working in focused 45 minute blocks (which often stretch a little further depending on where I am at) and then spending the rest of that hour resting, reflecting and refocusing

It is important to view time as the critical resource that it is. We should all be extremely conscious that if we do not use it as effectively as possible, it is really only ourselves and those around us that we are cheating.

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