One of the big problems I have had with modern time management systems is that by the time I follow the structure, there is always more things on my list than I can possibly get done. My lists become overwhelming, with the same stuff on them day after day, and I start to ignore them out because I get discouraged looking at all the things I still haven’t done.
It is hard to be realistic about what I can accomplish, either in a generic sense, or in a right now, this hour sense. I always take on more than I can do.
Also, it’s hard to decide what to do; the easy stuff is quickly dispatched with and often times I will do that just because I need to feel like I am getting things done, and also because I don’t have a sense of what I should be doing. I never got into the high-falutin’ talk about mission statements, and my lifetime goals are not very concrete. But in the article If you could just do one thing…, Mark Forster give an easy-to-follow method to help us past that hump.
The method is simply this: ask yourself if you could do just one thing in the next X (insert time period here: year, week, day, hour), what would it be? And then ask for another one, until you have a list of about five.
I’m not saying this is easy, because it requires thinking. But I suspect that the more we get in the habit of doing it, the easier it will become.
For me, it’s worth a try. I would rather be moving toward something instead of standing still and cranking widgets.