Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Time management

Recently I've been having trouble with time management in some places in my life.

Work has defined hours so I'm fine there. Other things like my personal trainer appointment, team trivia night, and Fri Night Dinner have defined days/times so I'm fine there, too. Its my activities with undefined days/times that are giving me trouble. I feel like I need some time management help. Maybe I should read 1 of those books about 'how to get everything done in less time', only I don't have the time to read it!

I usually reserve weekends for 'projects' like cleaning out a closet, filing paperwork, etc. Evenings are usually spent with Spouse and we'll watch TV and talk. I often read blogs at the same time but find it difficult to concentrate if I'm interested in the show that's on. I also need to be respectful of Spouse's feelings regarding blog reading. He has said to me in the past "You work on a computer all day long. How can you sit here all evening long on that computer?" I tried explaining that working and reading blogs are completely different, despite the computer as the common denominator.

Then there's also the time needed to write my posts, and Facebook!

I've mentioned here recently that I am terribly behind in my blog reading. I follow over 80 blogs (my fault, I know) so you can imagine how overwhelmed I feel when I get a week behind. Naturally I'm tempted to just skip that week and begin reading that day's posts. But I'm afraid I'll miss a crucial post where one of you pours your heart and soul out in emotional distress, or shares some wonderful heartwarming reunion story. I just can't take the risk of missing such delectable morsels. That's why I read blogs!

So, on Mon of this week when I found myself a full week behind in reading your blog posts I made the executive decision to skim. I decided not to look at most of the posts from the 3 photo blogs I usually enjoy. Really, I can live without the photos temporarily. I also decided to read the 1st 1 or 2 paragraphs of the non-photo blogs and decide if I should keep reading or not. I know, I hate to admit it, but it seemed the only way to catch up.

This skimming technique worked pretty well, as I was able to read Mon-Wed and 1/2 of Thurs on Mon night. Then I read the other 1/2 of Thurs and Sat and Sun last night, leaving me just 2 days behind.

But I don't want to skim forever, which brings me back to the whole idea of time management. I want to keep up with all your blogs but I can't do it the way I used to, which was reading them a few at a time during my work day, and in the evenings. When work was a little slow I'd read a few posts, then when someone called or I received some request to work on, I went back into work mode. My work level has increased so I think 'slow periods' will be few and far between. I need a different strategy.

Any ideas? When do YOU read posts? How do you manage your time?

Crush du Jour: Jake Pavelka


Bob said...

You're not skimming ME are you? =)

I usually do some blog reading/commenting in the morning. I get up early, with Carlos, so we can have breakfast, then he's off to work by about &:20; I have until 9AM to get moving.
I also read a bit around lunchtime--it's like my newspaper/gossip/pop culture fix, and then I may read a little before bed each night.
I rarely do any blogging on the weekend--instead I pre-post. That way we have our weekends off.
Mostly it just seems to slip into open spaces I have during the day.
Now, back to my lunch.

Sean said...

When I need to manage my time, I stop refreshing my blog page. This way i read through it and then make myself not look at it again for at least 4 hours.

anne marie in philly said...

I never watch tv, so I usually read blogs (about 20) in the evening.

I can also read during my lunch hour (which I am doing now).

me likey the crush, except he needs more chest hair!

Paul Benjamin said...

Wow, you read 80 blogs and still find time for little ol' me and my blog? I feel so honored! Thank you!

Larry Ohio said...

I read way too many blogs too. I don't use a blog reader. I subscribe to all of them through their RSS feeds and have the individual posts delivered to me via email. I can read them as if they were email messages without having to surf all over the internet and can read them offline.

I definitely discriminate when I'm short on time, otherwise I'd never be able to get my work done. A blog post with pic of hunky stud? Delete. A post that is a link to some gay news story? Delete. Poems, song lyrics, material copied from somewhere else? Delete.

Original material filled with thoughtfulness and emotion (the delectable morsel as you called them)? Winner!! That's where I spend the little bit of free time I have on my busy days.

Also on busy days I forego my usual commenting. I try to make one thoughtful, well-reasoned comment each day (today is your day) no matter how busy I am.

Like you, I'm afraid I will miss out if I skip my blogs even for one day.

Anonymous said...

80 blogs? Damn.

I read about a quarter of the blogs I follow before work, then another quarter at lunch, another quarter throughout the day, then the remainder before bed.

If I get behind, I do tend to skip over posts that are merely photos -- unless obviously accompanied by text that clearly is more than "click here for more."

John Gray said...

miss my blogs recently mark and all you have missed is village community council meetings and bullying turkeys!!

Anonymous said...

My calendar on my iPod is my guiding light.

It doesn't really happen unless it gets in that calendar which is part of the reason I "Maybe" all invites on Facebook.

I follow 103 blogs. If I didn't use an RSS reader it'd be damned near impossible to do that. RSS readers help to aggregate your blogs and sites. Google Reader is an RSS reader. I happen to use Sage under Firefox.

Stephen said...

I read 90+ blogs & I try to do you about every 3 days... I like to save them up. I am not sure if I like being skimmed... does it feel good?

Thekla Richter said...

I monitor about 60 blogs a day. The ones I am most interested in I am subscribed to via Google Reader, the rest I read if I happen to see an update that sounds interesting in Twitter. For the blogs in my reader, I read all the post titles, but only click to read the full article if it sounds relevant to my work, or especially interesting/profound. I'm okay with the possibility of missing things. After all, what am I missing out in the real world if I spend tons of time reading too many blogs word for word online?

My overall time management system is a notebook and my calendar right now, soon to be extended to a whiteboard to help me with big-picture tracking of my projects. I am a fan of simple systems, though everyone needs to find what works for them.

tornwordo said...

I get behind too. Skimming is a good way to catch up.

cb said...

I never trust those Time Management gurus. Seems to me, all they have to do is sell their system for like 1 hour a day, and then spend the other 23 raking in money and fucking off.


dannielo said...

If you’d like a tool for managing your time and projects, you can use this application inspired by David Allen’s GTD:

You can use it to manage and prioritize your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, schedules and a calendar.
Comes with a mobile version too, and with an Android app.