How to organize my time and improve productivity comprised a false trail to success for me since the time I was introduced to the topic and presented my very own set of DayTimers. I’ve gone the Getting Things Done with David Allen. This blog reflected some of my thinking for a period of time several years ago.
Some of what I learned I’ve used. Much has been discarded. But all was a learning experience. Recently I ran across Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals by Oliver Burkeman and subsequently subscribed to his newsletter, The Imperfectionist. A recent issue passed along this thought:
The Zen teacher Kosho Uchiyama once wrote: “Life completely unhindered by anything manifests as pure activity.” Orient yourself to the world in this way, and the question is no longer “How can I get myself to do things?”, with its implicit and unwelcome answer: “By putting in more effort, you lazy jerk!” Instead, the question is something a bit more like “What’s seeking to be done through me, right now?” And then, whatever the response, all you really have to do is to allow it to happen.
Have you experienced bosses who prized activity over results? I have. Drove me crazy.
Break up your day. Figure out the best times for different tasks. Find a way to devote about three hours to that “what is seeking to be done through me” task. Break. Block off a shorter period of time for discrete tasks—email, meetings, calls. Another shorter period for “urgent” to-dos.
My Yoga training has conditioned me to “go with the flow.” Find that thing seeking to be done through me and go with the flow. Accomplish meaningful work.