Do as I say I'm going to do, not as I do

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Published by Matthew Davidson on Mon, 22/07/2013 - 11:56am in

The good news, I think, is that I have a cold, I think, and not some exotic lethargic illness, probably. The bad news is I'm still non-optimally organised.

I had known all along that there was one assignment due in week five and three in week six. I knew that I should therefore at least start the other three before completing the first. I had a colour-coded chart to tell me this, with arrows and everything. I don't even have to tell you that it's the end of week five, and I'm only just starting three assignments simultaneously, do I? This is where the weekly planner is supposed to support the session planner, and I have yet to sort that out. Urgent and important, I would say.

I've also just returned from a meeting with a web development client for whom I owe work. I have two major non-domestic extra-curricular obligations: this project and the one day a week volunteering at the Men's Resource Centre. Which of these is important? Both. Which is urgent? The web development project. I'm going to have to tell the Men's Resource Centre they can't count on me till the end of this session.

One of the many asinine aphorisms from the productivity course I did a few years ago was "You don't find time; you make it." Really? Out of what? (You can't get the wood, you know.) The key insight for me from the chapter from Covey (1996) on our reading list was that the above should be reframed as "You don't find time; you take time from something else." And this often means saying "no" to somebody. This may be painful, but not as painful as eventually disappointing absolutely everybody, yourself included.