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Continuous Reflection *Before* Time Management

27/09/2010


Mirror-inajeep-5033604
I recently reflected on my daily breakfast
, and noticed that I didn’t really enjoy it. Swallowing two slices of bread, and one glass of juice, was just my way of getting through the morning without fainting. So I made a note to find myself more enjoyable things to eat.

I also recently reflected on how I make illustrations. And I realized that I sometimes develop a pain in my neck after drawing for an hour or more. So I made a note to purchase an easel.

And I reflected on how I use various tools, like Word, Gmail, TypePad, Dropbox, and Remember the Milk. And I realized that I know only a small percentage of what such tools have to offer. So I made a note to flip through their manuals and help pages.

There are many time management techniques available for people who want to get more done in less time. But I have a feeling that most of them skip an important question:

Is what you’re doing the right thing?

What if time management techniques teach you to run faster in a wrong direction? What if they teach you to be more focused, and more productive, while working behind your desk? Maybe what you really need, before anything else, is an easel!

Last week I started my own Individual Improvement Initiative. (I’m shortening it to I3, with a capital I, so I won’t get into trouble with Apple.) Its first step is:

Follow (almost) every action with a reflection.

I now consciously reflect on the phone calls and meetings that I have. (Are they worth having?) I reflect on traveling and conferences. (Am I getting the best out of that time?) I reflect on my bookkeeping. (Can I do that in less time?) And I reflect on my speaking engagements. (Can I do them better?)

Each action ends in a reflection. It is the atomic version of a continuous improvement cycle. Act, Reflect, Act, Reflect, Act, Reflect… I suggest that, somehow, you work such continuous reflections into your daily busy schedule before adopting a time management technique that will make you go faster!

And now it is time for me to reflect on this blog post. (Because, I might be able to do better than this.)

(image by inajeep)

Jurgen is an experienced author, trainer, and speaker. Why don’t you hire him to add some spice to your company event or seminar?

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This article is written by on in Individual Improvement. Jurgen Appelo is at Happy Melly. Connect with Jurgen Appelo on .

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  • http://doubletimetoday.com/distractions-management/ Distractions Management

    “Each action ends in a reflection.” – I like that!
    Let me give you my take on it!
    Before people get into action all sorts of things may happen, such as: excuses, distractions, time wasters, procrastination.
    It is great to reflect on our actions, because that’s how we improve and take things to the next level…
    However, in order to get to the “action” we need to have this unshakable motivation that moves us forward and eliminates the threshold of procrastination and time wasters.
    Everything has certain threshold, when it is reached, then we are ready to take action.
    If there’s no motivation, there’s no WHY we wake up everyday, go to the bathroom, have our breakfast, perhaps quick exercise, and so on… if there’s no purpose of doing all this stuff, then action becomes a dream…
    And we “think” in action, rather than actually perform the action… these two are very different things :)
    If you’d like more to learn more about how to overcoming procrastination and eliminate distractions, go to: http://doubletimetoday.com/distractions-management/