Independent Thinking Blog

My Life in Color Blocks

I just spent about eight hours over the past week dealing with a lemon of a new computer. In 2-3 hour time blocks, I alternately tried to get the operating system updates installed, tweeted with @WindowsSupport, and talked to Costco Concierge. The last straw was when the dang thing froze when I plugged in my Logitech mouse USB.

This was not how I wanted to spend my time.

And, as a result, this blog post is a little late. (But the lemon computer is gone—yey!).

I’ve been thinking about time management since a conversation with a newbie consultant who is trying to figure out how best to juggle the different aspects of running a business.

There are 4,995 time management books available on Amazon.

So much to do, so little time.

But apparently we’re reading a lot of books and searching all over for systems and shortcuts.

Busy people don’t find the time—they make the time.

That said, I set out this year to better understand how I spend my workday and how much time I allocate to various activities.

colored blocks

I’m mapping my life in color blocks.

Google Calendar makes it easy to color-code activities. I use green for client work, blue for business development, red for speaking engagements, and peach for conferences/professional development. I’ve also added a weekly hideously garish turquoise block for bookkeeping to keep me on track.

My life in color blocks lets me see at a glance how well I’m managing the different elements of my business on both a weekly and a monthly basis. This is helping me balance my time and holding me accountable to managing my various business buckets.

It’s not perfect. For example, I’ve yet to slot in all the computer futility—because, really, who wants to be reminded of that?

How do you track and manage your time? What program or system has helped you?

Photos by Mike Coghlan and owyzzz (Flickr).

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