Originally published on 21 December 2006.
If cutting foods out of my diet and saving money was easy to do by writing out a menu and sticking to it, perhaps I could apply some of those ideas to time management, and get my to-do list lean and good-looking.
The question is this: If time was food, what would be on your “Foods to avoid” list?
I hate the concept of dieting. I have failed at every “diet” I’ve ever tried – simply because I could not commit to them for the long term. Eating certain foods with others off limits, strict eating or exercise regimens, counting every calorie/micromanagement — these are sure-fire ways to get me to fail.
But a plan of balanced, sensible eating, which allows me to indulge occasionally, has yielded better results for me. This concept of doing well most of the time, leaving nothing on the “off limits” list, and being aware of when and what I eat (and why), along with portion sizes, is really the key to success for me losing weight.
It’s the same with my to-do list. If I say that certain things are off limits, I want to do them even more. I have to maintain my balance. Even if I want to read the latest mystery, I cannot do that for hours without putting something else on the back burner. Knowing that I am more likely to fritter away time surfing when I am tired means that I should get myself off the computer and to bed at a more decent hour. And as for portion sizes: I have a tendency to bite off more than I can chew, and consequently my to-do list leaves me overwhelmed and frustrated. At that point I start ignoring it. So I have to be very careful to make sure I have a do-able amount on my daily lists, not look at the big picture all the time, and also to make sure my current project load is do-able.
So my time “diet” would follow the same plan as my eating: moderation, correct portion sizes, and balance.