Corporate types spend a lot of time, dear readers, talking about time management. It's important,after all, for the busy corporate executive to manage their time wisely and efficiently - or, perhaps, manage their employees time wisely and efficiently so that they can spend more time on the golf course or with their liquid lunch. But what about us, the unemployed?
Your MatchGirl thinks that it's quite important to manage one's time wisely when there is absolutely nothing but time on one's hands. Personally, I have a schedule that I set for my Monday through Friday and, though I fall off it from time to time, I find that sticking to the to-do list, getting the satisfaction of crossing off even the smallest detail (buy stamps, CHECK!, wash hair, CHECK!, fold laundry, CHECK!) definitely helps me keep my day on track and in sync. I mean, sure, the order may be out of step from time to time, but it's more a matter of accomplishing things - and for the unemployeds, setting an agenda of things that need to be accomplished.
Today's to-do list had time stamps on it - yoga at this time, breakfast at this time, check e-mails and troll Craiglsist and the other job boards at this time ... This, my dear ones, is not the kind of list for your MatchGirl. While your MatchGirl needs some structure to her day, she also needs to ba able to switch-task if something comes up - it's one of my main skills as a manager (which was what I used to do, back in the long ago employed days) - without a time set to something. That said, there is a lot to be said about concentrating on one thing at a time, and then checking your e-mail or Twitter or Facebook, as opposed to checking your e-mail every time that little red MacMail icon appears at the side (or bottom) of your screen.
This morning on The Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC, Sue Shellenbarger of the Wall Street journal offers tips on managing time more efficiently, based on three tested methods. Shellenbarger tried each one out for a week and on the show, she discusses which worked best for which parts of her life and offers advice on where to find out more about the methods.
Sure, these methods, and the article in the WSJ, were really devised for important, management types, but who is to say that unemployeds couldn't use a bit of it as well? I know the days that I have a ton of stuff to do and I make a detailed list, I get a lot more done than I do on those days when I have a lot to do (or could do a lot) and I just let the list roll in the back of my mind.
How do you spend your lazy, unemployed days? Are you lazy? Or do you fill your days with a million and one things and never seem to finish any of them?