Saturday, January 23, 2010

Right Brained Time Management

View of the river Leie--Leon de Smet-1881-1966 I read a lot of blogs during the week and get a lot from what I read. Sometimes I read something that really stops me cold and makes me think.

When I read this interview with Christina Katz on Debbie Ridpath Ohi’s InkyGirl’s blog, I read one part several times through (and I have cut a couple of sentences here. Read this for the full interview):

What advice do you have for writers who are “time management”-challenged?

I’d tell them there is no such thing as time-management challenged. What we are probably talking about is that most left-brained time-management techniques don’t work for right-brained people. So people are not actually “time-management challenged.” They are likely right-brained trying to live in a left-brained world.

If a right-brain person is waiting to be more like a left-brain person before they can master time, they are going to be waiting for a long time. But if they explore and experiment with what works for them within their current work context, and strive for their own definition of time-management success (assuming it harmonizes with those around them), they will start to thrive and be more productive.

I’ve heard and read a myth that left-brained techniques work for right-brained people, if we’d only use them. But I’m pretty sure that’s the road to misery and frustration for anybody right-brained person, who buys into that myth.

My first instinct (because I’m super Type A and an organization nut) was to completely disagree.

After a couple of days, I completely agreed with Christina. Because what I’m doing to organize my day and my writing isn’t exactly a left-brained method. But it works. (Except some days…days that explode out of control. But it works 80% of the time.)

But I’d never thought about the fact that it’s not something you’d read about in 12 Steps to an Organized Life. And I keep thinking there’s a *better* method out there. But I can’t stick to the *better* method.

What works for me is to forgive myself for deviating off the schedule. But I do have an ideal routine that I have on paper as what I’d like to follow. In the perfect world…a world my brain and I don’t live in.

Instead, I’ll deviate off sections of it. Some days just seem to need a different order of events than others.

Some days I’ll start off writing.

Some days I’ll start off answering emails for 15 minutes.

Some days I’ll visit blogs first thing.

For me, mornings are key. The more I can knock out in the morning, the more productive I am for the rest of the day. I’m not sure why that is.

I do live by my calendar (online calendar and physical calendar).

I do realize that anything that doesn’t get done will either get done during my catch-up time right before I turn in at night (after family time is over) or else…it just won’t get done that day. And I forgive myself for that.

I do my writing on the go. And I allow myself some flexibility.

What’s your overall plan for getting things done that you need to accomplish? Do you follow a right brained plan or a left brained one?