Friday, March 05, 2010
Coming off four very long days at work, and lacking both time and brain power at the moment, time strikes me as a capital theme today. So I'll briefly note two time-related recent posts over at Lifehacker that have piqued my interest for different reasons.
The first concerns "National Procrastination Week," the only holiday for which one can truly say something like "Every week is National Procrastination Week." Obligatory levity aside, I found several interesting takes on procrastination, ranging from how to avoid it to how to take advantage of the urge. Particularly interesting to me was Item Four of Gina Trapani's Top 10 Smart and Lazy Ways to Save Your Workday.
4. Book a meeting with yourself. If your head is spinning with all the stuff you've got to get done and the interruptions keep coming, you need some alone time. If the hours of your day keep getting stolen by meeting requests and drive-by interruptions, box out an hour or so every few days specifically to regroup and get organized. Literally enter the meeting with yourself on your calendar, and if you need to get away from your desk, book a conference room as well. Take your project list, to-do list, and calendar with you to the room and spend that time deciding what, when, and how you're going to tackle all the stuff in your work life, as if you're a boss meeting with your assistant. (GTD'ers know this technique as the weekly review.)I used to do precisely this all the time, except that I never formalized it as a meeting. That's an ingenious touch of workplace etiquette that transforms "hiding from your coworkers" into "something anyone will recognize as productive work."
John Perry's essay on "Structured Procrastination," also linked there, looks intriguing too, but in a convenient marriage of necessity and the spirit of the season, I'll take a look at it later.
The second Lifehacker post I have in mind both reminds me of an earlier post of my own about achieving spontaneity -- something I have neglected since starting my new position -- and suggests a tactic that can help one do exactly that, a "possibilities calendar."
If you've ever been in that frustrating situation where you find yourself with some unexpected down time but don't know how to fill it at a moment's notice, lifestyle blog Life Scoop suggests putting together a possibilities calendar.Since I was already in the process of fine-tuning my methods of tracking to-do lists, I think I'll make such an adjustment to my calendar system. A non-time-dependent "possibilities list" (distinct from a "someday/maybe" list might be a good companion to such a calendar.
Blogger Asha Dornfest says she often runs across events or activities she'd like to attend, but aren't necessarily important enough to carve out special time for. She created a "possibilities" calendar in Google Calendar and now, instead of relying on her memory to remind her of an art showing or movie she wants to check out, she simply parks the details on her calendar and pulls it up when she finds herself with some unplanned free time.
And, speaking of time, Friday may well be my slack day, but I still have to run...