Imagine Time Is a House With Four RoomsDondi Scumaci relates the following analogy on time management in her book Designed For Success:
Imagine time is a house with four rooms, and all of your activities, tasks, and commitments must be placed into one of them. Each room has a name, and the name is really a goal.
The first room is called Maximize. Here you will place all of the things that make you better – the actions you can take to be more prepared, informed, knowledgeable, effective, and valuable. The goal is to spend more time in this room.
Into the second room you will gather the things that cause you to react. These are situations and circumstances that throw you into the frenzy of crisis mode. Call this room Minimize, because you want to reduce the amount of time you spend here. Stress also lives in this room. Incidentally, when you spend more time in the first room, you end up here less often.
Next is the room for everything that steals your time. You’ll recognize the activities that belong in here because they don’t add anything. They just take. This is where gossip, perfectionism, negativity, blame storming, fear, and worry live. This room is called Eliminate. If you pay close attention, you’ll be surprised how often you go into this room and how much time you actually spend here.
The last room is called Manage. It’s a place for meetings, interruptions, and communications. This is where conference calls, voice mail, e-mail, and “do you have a minute?” live. Some of these are essential and some, quite frankly are not. You must learn to tell the difference so you can out them in the rooms where they really belong. Quite often this is the most cramped room in the house, and you may find yourself climbing over things to search for what is lost in the chaos.
With your first assessment, you are likely to find some activities living in the wrong room, and you may discover the room called Maximize is nearly empty. This goal is to take inventory, put things in the proper place, and spend your time where you will realize the greatest return.
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