I admit it. I am a minimalist when it comes to managing time. I block my days in big chunks such as Office / Home days, Client days, and Family or Social Days. Office Days are usually either admin days where I catch up on errands, chores, & mail, or they are writing days, where I work on my blog, website, articles, workshop, book, etc.
I keep a weekly calendar which I customized to my needs and print out from Outlook a few months at a time. I program my recurring appts and reminders in Outlook, and plan my client and other appointments using old-fashioned pen and paper.
I keep all my client folders in a desktop step file. My project folders are kept in a waist high open file on wheels beside me. I can get in and out and see everything in it without ever opening a drawer. And the stuff I'm working on is usually spread all over my desk. It's rarely 100% neat. But it works for me. I know where everything is, spend very little time looking for stuff, and I get a lot accomplished.
So it was with great joy that I discovered this article from Harold Taylor. I'm not alone! and neither are you. You CAN be organized without being rigidly scheduled and perfectly neat & tidy!
For all my fellow right-brained and creative people who find it excruciating to keep a daily calendar, schedule every little thing, and file everything away in drawers, here are some great tips from a leader in the time managment industry, Harold Taylor.
Time Management for Creative People
Left-brain and right-brain thinkers can be equally effective
Although some people may claim that an organized desk is the sign of a sick mind, it is merely the sign of a left-brain thinker. An analytical, left-brain thinker thrives on lists, schedules and alphabetical files tucked neatly out of sight in organized desk drawers much to the delight of those time management experts who promote structure and order to the nth degree. And although organization is not only efficient, but also viewed as a virtue by many, we are not all left-brained thinkers.
Keeping detailed lists in daily journals, cross-referencing with monthly goals and scheduling every task from window displays to bank deposits, to me at least, is bordering on torture. I like to splash my life across
a week-at-a-glance planner [that I designed for myself,] scheduling only the top priorities, and limiting my list to things that should be done that week. I like my working materials splayed in front of me on my desk and my active projects housed in step files in full view. To me, interruptions are opportunities, not hindrances, and quiet hours are figments of time management writers' imaginations. I suppose I'm a right-brain thinker. In my opinion, there are no points for neatness, and the goal of business is not only to make a profit, but also to enjoy the process.
Having said that, I'm not against left-brain thinkers. We can learn from them. In fact I have a left brain myself, albeit not as prominent. It tempers my emotions with logic, keeps me from making a complete fool of myself, and helps me to cope with all the forms, reports and other paperwork that I detest. But some of the same time management suggestions that help left-brain thinkers increase their personal productivity, serve to drive me up the wall. We must recognize that there is no one best way to manage time. We must select those ideas that match our style. Right-brain, creative people should not feel guilty if left-brain ideas don't feel comfortable.
If you're a right-brain thinker, you can practice left-brain ideas. [After all, you do have a left hemisphere as well.] But select only those ideas that are worth the effort. Make notes while talking on the telephone, for instance. Use a follow-up file to house future projects. Record due dates of assignments in your planner.
If you're a left-brain thinker, you should have no problem incorporating time-saving ideas from books and seminars. But leave time for relaxation, keep your life in balance, and above all, have fun.
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