Friday, 11 April 2014

Best laid schemes...

...gang aft a-gley indeed!

A week ago, I thought I would go back to time-boxing and instead of trying to plan tasks, plan time on projects (and if a task reached completion, I would, of course, tick it off the list). I thought I had 11 ½ free days up to May 4th and I guesstimated 8 hours/day of usable time and drew up a plan on how to spend the hours on different projects.

Oh dear.

Almost immediately it all went wrong.

I found out that I am back to Malawi on the 2nd May, neatly removing some of the days I thought I had. Not only that, but ‘stuff to get done before I go to Malawi’ then started to impinge on other remaining days (sorting out travel medicine seems to be taking up a ridiculous amount of time!).

Then came a couple of unexpected events, taking some more time chunks.

Then came the 8 hours a day issue. I had evidently forgotten that my first day ‘off’ after work (I work part-time) never seems to involve me having my backside in the chair ready to write/edit first thing. I am always slow to get the day started (whatever it is I have planned) for some reason. 8 hours in the day to do stuff? Er... no.

Then came a huge heap of ‘unexpected tasks’ which were either more important or more interesting to do than what I had scheduled. More slippage!

Then came that rebellious tendency I can have. I saw my day carved up into boxes and thought, nope, not doing that.

Then my head intervened with its ‘yes, I know you were just scheduling time and trying not to get swept up in a task, so that other things would get completed, but you’re only 5 pages away from editing the whole of this chapter, so why don’t you just finish it?’ and of course, I did.

It was also pouring with rain so gardening got crossed off the list.
I wasn’t well so running got crossed off the list.

In the picture below, I have my planned day on the LHS and the reality of the day on the RHS.

Let’s just try this all again shall we????


  1. Oh, this seems very familiar to me!
    I think that if I give myself too much structure, then I'm like a kid & it just seems too much like hard work... I've spent too much time in the past planning out exactly what to do in a day & when the reality doesn't match up with the plan I'd either have a strop or beat myself up.

    Nowadays, I write down all the stuff that I'd like to get done that day & just choose three to do. I focus on them, give myself time to mess around & then if I get more done from the list it's a bonus :)

  2. Oh, my gosh. I can so relate to this: "Then came that rebellious tendency I can have. I saw my day carved up into boxes and thought, nope, not doing that." I hate that rebellious tendency. It is so annoying.

    I like the way you set that up with "plan" and "reality". If you didn't want to do that all the time, it would be a good way to see how you're actually spending your time - kind of a creative version of a time log. I might have to give that a try.