A Refresher on Ritual — Managing Your Day in 18 Minutes

This article was originally posted on August 25, 2009.

[Hill & Knowlton Clock, originally uploaded by MarkHillary]

In the “ Attention Economy,” as it’s been called, how we allocate our (scarce) time across many competing (abundant) things calling for our attention may be the single most important skill to have.

I am generally fairly well-organized, but I find that at times like these, as I sprint/limp (choose your metaphor) toward a week’s vacation, I occasionally get overwhelmed by all the things that need to be done, and lose focus on my priorities.

An article I read today by Peter Bregman in his “How We Work” blog served as a good reminder of the trick to time management and focus: Ritual.

Consistently and deliberately work toward specific goals, and use a process to keep focused on them. Here are the three simple steps Bregman prescribes:

  1. Plan your day before you turn on your computer (my biggest challenge!).
  2. Stop periodically to refocus.
  3. Review your day at the end (again, after you’ve turned off the computer).

Not rocket science, huh? I don’t generally get that excited about books or consultants that try to tell me how to live my life, but as I get older and more self-aware, I find that there are indeed some best practices that I need to be reminded of occasionally. This is clearly one of them.

Being motivated but prone to procrastination, I plan on re-doubling my commitment to these steps, just as soon as I get back from my vacation. :)

Originally published at https://mikegil.typepad.com.