What’s Your Time Management System?
My experience with time management started when I served as a missionary for the LDS Church. As a missionary we were trained to use various time management tools (all paper based at the time) and we had a strict schedule of when we woke up and went to bed, when we studied, and when we ate. We also had virtually complete control. I had no girlfriend, no wife, no kids, no job, no classes, and no other commitments. It was one thing and one thing only I needed to concern myself with, and that made time management relatively easy. I had a simple calendar book, with a page for each day. Each morning I looked at it, and then we left the house, went to our appointments, created new ones, and that was that.
Time management is not so simple these days. I have a business, I have time zones, I write for Forbes, I write on this blog, I have meetings, I have a wife and kids, there are emergencies, appointments, meetings, and a host of other factors I have to deal with. I’ve worked with the FranklinCovey system, to do lists, reminder lists, Basecamp, Highrise, and a number of other tools, although my primary tool for getting things done remains email and my Google calendar. But it’s not enough. Things fall through the cracks. Emails accidentally get deleted or marked as read. Emails stack up and important ones go below the fold. I forget to look at my calendar. Events get placed in the wrong week on accident. And many of the things that I want to do don’t lend themselves to being managed by email or an online calendar. Things like priorities.
I’ve got some ideas and I’m looking into more, but what’s your time management and task management system? How do you make sure you’re taking care of everything that needs to be done and not missing things that are important? Are there any books that have helped you? I’m reading the Power of Habit right now, looking for further ideas on managing myself better.