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Blog Posts for "time management"

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The To-Do List and the To-Don't List


In some ways, is still under construction. For example, the other day, purple fish posted to the graffiti portion of the site, but I hadn't written any notification for myself when that happens, so I just read it today. What's more, purple fish was just trying to email me. As Doug did the other day, but my email address is nowhere on the site. You can't email me...

So this weekend, I hope to alleviate those things. And follow up on the "meme tag" suggested to me.

With the rain coming down, it could be an interesting weekend. All five kids will be at my place, and it's not a big place, so if it's rainy, things could get cagey. Lots of games help with that. We'll do some painting as well. Since I've been mixing color quite a bit lately, I'll probably do that with Austin and Jacob.

That's the To-Do list.

The To-Don't List is a phrase I first heard from management guru, Tom Peters. To find more time and more sanity in our lives, sometimes it's smarter to manage our To-Don't list. These would be things that don't really have to be done by us right now, or simply can't be done by us at all. I think the concept dovetails nicely with Stephen Covey's notion of Circle of Concern and Circle of Influence. Covey insists that we're more effective when we exert our energies in those areas where we have influence. But too often, we exert our energies (or mental time) in those areas where we have concern. I'm concerned about homeland security, for example, but aside from writing my legislative representatives and the president, I can do nothing about it - I have no influence beyond my "yop-pish" contribution amidst 275 million Americans, and, in a larger realm, the rest of the world. Little ol' me.

I mentioned on Doug's site the other day that I'm news-ed out. In the scope of my Circle of Influence and my Circle of Concern, better and more immediate minds than mine are addressing the problems of the world. I used to know a guy in Corvallis, Oregon (where I once lived), who paid no attention to the national and world news. None whatsoever. I asked him why...

"Why work myself up into a dither over things that I can't control when I've got a yard that needs mowing right here?"

There's a lot of wisdom in that.

There is work that only I can do. Can I call that my Circle of Sole Influence? My kids fall into that. My home. My work that I do for clients. The friendships that I share with people I know. In terms of prioritizing my time, my Circle of Sole Influence gets top billing.

Everything else is either on my To-Don't list or it's on the verge of being there. Life is better that way.


Tags: time management
by Brett Rogers, 4/22/2005 11:21:48 AM