Saturday, March 31, 2007

Time Management Gurus Provide Guidance, not Gospel

Does this sound familiar? Someone you know comes across a good time management book or seminar, and suddenly believes he or she has found the One True Path to good time management - until the next good book or seminar comes around.

As with other aspects of organizing, I'm of the belief that the right time management answer for each person is unique to that individual. There are some general best practices, but a whole lot of room for variation. It makes sense to read widely from some of the best thinkers on the subject, and use their thoughts to craft an approach that works for you - whether that be a single methodology or a mixture.

I recently read the following by Mike in the Do It Tomorrow Yahoo! Group; he captures many of my thoughts on this subject. (Quoted by permission; links added to original text)

"I've gone through several periods of falling in love with Lakein's ABC, Allen's GTD, Gleeson's PEP, Limoncelli's "Time Management for System Administrators", Edwin Bliss, and now Forster's DIT. And Ternouth's paperflow management system (search for that). I kept expecting to find the one true ring buried in one of these books, but funnily enough, I never did.

Now, I use bits and pieces from all of them to fit me and how I work. . . . And you know, I don't care if these books can't get me to 100% machine-like iron-chef efficiency. If they can get me to 60% or 80%, they're doing all right. It's up to me to make up the remainder."


jagannatha said...
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jagannatha said...

I agree 100% with your article. My "way" is David Allen GTD by a japanese programmer:
Here is my small contribution, short explanation and links all together for easy implementation:

Jeri Dansky said...

Thank you, Jagannatha! It's always interesting to read what other people have done - so I can have more ideas both for myself and for my clients.