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Wednesday, March 26, 2014


Some days nothing progresses. At HHF it happens to each of us occasionally but most of the time it is a fleeting event lasting a day although it has been known to go longer. We were discussing this yesterday while we drove into Newcastle to perform some shopping.

The conclusion was that inertia comes about when the sum total of jobs to be performed become overwhelming. To the point where there are so many that it's difficult or impossible to discern a starting point. And so nothing gets done which adds to the situation and another days chores are added to the mix compounding the problem. Escape is difficult. You could read a book but you feel guilty because the incomplete work hangs over you head. Sometimes a little internet research extents into a few lost hours and this again worsens your position.

Stay away from the computer.

Solutions are really just good time management strategies but first breaking the cycle is necessary.


Yep, it doesn't;t matter which task it matters that one is completed. It can be the most difficult or the easiest, that is not important. Just do one task.

And then do another. By the time you have done three things you are on a roll and confident and can start to set some priorities.

Once you are under way and forward progress is being made it's time to set priorities. It's not possible to do only things we enjoy. Reward for doing an onerous task is to get to do one that you enjoy, of similar elapsed time, no cheating. Reward is not that piece of chocolate. This is a like for like program. Tough job, easy job. Food rewards are a path to hell.

All the time management advisors have a program of techniques to manage time effectively and set priorities. But lets just look at a few concepts.

  1. Start with a clean slate. Sometimes my workshop gets untidy and there are a swag of repairs and projects that need doing. The first thing is a big clean up with everything put away and stacked neatly and the floor swept. An amazing thing happens. The clean area inspires and I feel motivated to get on with the repairs and projects and before I realise they are all done.
  2. If you touch it do it. Lets say you are cleaning up your work area which has become messy. Pick up something and put it away in the correct place. Don't put it somewhere else to put away later. This applies to everything during the day. When you finish a task put everything away before moving onto the next task. No exceptions. I wash up cooking utensils as I go. This frees up work space and lessens the end of cooking work. And keeps the sink clear. Amazing how much time is saved by not tripping over all the stuff that hasn't been put away or losing time as you try and remember where you last used an item which didn't get put away.
  3. Each night make a list of jobs that you need to complete the next day You only have so much time each day and so it is not possible to do everything. The list of jobs that you compile should be realistic and contain two types of tasks. The 'A' list and the 'B' list. The 'A' list is the things that really need doing that day like feeding the chooks. The 'B' list could be changing the nesting material. Write these two lists out and put beside them how long each will take. If you plan to set 8 hours aside for jobs then your 'A' list should add up to no more than 6 hours i.e. about 75%. This provides an allowance for tasks that are underestimated and for interruptions. If at the end of the 'A' list there is still heaps of time remaining then get stuck into the 'B' list. Each night the 'A' and 'B' list alter depending on the next days urgencies. And remember an 'A' is something that is absolutely critical and needs doing that day.
  4. If you can get this far then the next tip is to start planning your week in advance and refining the daily tasks the night before.

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