My efforts to set priorities and work by a schedule were constantly defeated – often leading to a sense of desperation. But funnily, each time I reviewed my priorities for the year, I was more or less working along the lines though I scarcely met my targets day-to-day. I have been thinking of it for a while but started taking it seriously only after talking to a friend who had a similar problem: in the long run, we seem to keep up to a plan, but are erratic in the short run.
I guess this is perhaps because of my moodiness. There are times when I just feel like watching a movie or read only a theoretical book; sometimes I write and so on. The good news is that I do keep doing something or the other all the time – but I do them in batches. These moods change abruptly and every now and then. Unfortunately, I cannot plan for the week (that I used to try) when I work in bursts. Finally, I’ve decided to do the shift from scheduling my work to just building a shelf of works.
As a result, my time management has shifted from a ‘calendar based approach’ to a ‘list based approach’. I’ve started using a task manager as the centre that regulates my life with broad, long range deadlines. The advantage is that priorities and tasks are set in a way that enables me to choose tasks depending on my mood for the day. I do not stare at deadlines by the hour and feel that I am loosing out on my work, and at the same time work within a plan to keep me well occupied.
Ps. Check this post on a swanky online task manager – www.rememberthemilk.com