July 19, 2023

Time // Time Management // Focus

Tomorrow I'm giving a short presentation at work about time.  It's taken from another presentation I did at my last job on the similar topic, which covered info from Laura Vanderkam, Oliver Burkman, Daniel Kahneman, David Allen, Cal Newport and others in that sort of "writing about time" sphere.

Last time I talked a lot more about phones and family but this time it's mostly about time - how we perceive our time, and how we feel about our work time.  It's going to be a two part series, this first piece is on Time and the second piece will be on task management systems.  I realized I couldn't really talk about why task management systems are important without taking a bit about why time is important.

It's been a really good experience reminding myself things that I know but forget.  I talk about the Eisenhower Matrix and how it's easier to do the non important but urgent tasks than to do the important but non urgent things.  

I have gotten far to reactive in my day to day and have not been time block planning or even properly scheduling my work.  I've also started to get way more bogged down in teams, and I don't feel I have a good sense of what I need to accomplish in any day, which means I don't feel as focused during the day and then don't feel good about my work day when it's done.

So, I'm working on my task system again, and on both focusing and taking breaks.  I'm also working on scheduling what I need to do in a day and being realistic in how long it will take me.  I've added all my important but non-urgent tasks to my task planner and will tackle them on Friday, which is generally the slowest day in work.

I think part of the pressure is that I've moved from a 9 day fortnight (4 days then 5 days a week) to 4 days a week for July and August.  I don't work on Tuesdays - which is nice for hanging out with the kids but makes my weeks feel so odd.  I generally feel a bit stressed on Monday, then have Tuesday off, and then Wednesday feels like an insurmountable workload.  I'm hoping that this will slow down, but I definitely think if I stick with a 4 day workweek after maternity leave I'll want to have Fridays off.  Tuesdays are just... Awkward.


  1. Any day off work is a good day, but yes the Tuesday break sounds...awkward. Fridays off FTW!

    Good luck on your presentation! I actually enjoy presenting...as long as I get to choose the topic;-)

  2. Tuesdays would be SO odd. It's like you have a double Monday, which sounds horrible. I love the idea of taking Friday off after maternity leave.

    Your presentation sounds so worthwhile and useful. Prioritizing the "non-urgent but important tasks" aspect is such a good strategy but it is so unintuitive -- I'm glad you are going to highlight it. I hope the presentation goes smoothly!

  3. I work a 4/10 schedule (Fridays are my days off) and I love it. Yes, the 4 work days are long, but I'd rather add two more hours to my day than give up my Friday again. Three day weekends FTW!

  4. That's so funny, because for years I had Tuesdays off and I loved it. I work in health care though, so the tasks are usually better defined and self-contained. Having a mid-week day to see the kids and play at SAHM (I couldn't actually do it full time, but 1 day a week was fun!), or as they started school I could go shop unbothered, get a hair cut, dentist etc. It was so nice. It felt like 'me' time whereas the weekend was family time.

  5. Would love if you could share and maybe do a short blog post on what you shared with your team on focus and time management! I so need it right now ;)

  6. I am here to second Mom of Children's request that you share your wisdom with the rest of us, please. I am desperate (seriously) to get a handle on my time, my schedule, and my life. And I don't even have kids. (Pathetic, I know...)

  7. My issue with having Fridays off was that I missed out on the non-meeting/actually productive day each week, and a ton of complicated things would get assigned to me. So I'd sign off Thursday helping a little behind but at least prepared for the upcoming week, and then I'd have a million "please take this on" emails waiting for me Monday morning and my plan for the week would be sit the minute I signed on. If I did 4 days a week again I think I'd take Thursdays off - Kat