In this article, we take a look at using Segmented Planning as a time management tool.
In Part I we explored some of the ways that you can allow yourself much more Segmented Planning can help you sharpen and maintain your focus. I’m sure that you have noticed that, throughout your day, you have ebbs and flows of energy. Proponents of the Pomodoro Technique advise us to chunk our time and build in short breaks as a way of enhancing focus and flow. If you’ve tried it, you know what a powerful tool this can be!
With Segmented Planning we tweak this technique slightly.
We might still have our built-in break times, but the regular planning times allow for fuller reflection and for making conscious choices about how your time will be used in the next segment.
Here’s an example of how this might unfold in a typical day:
Suppose you have just had an upsetting call with a client with whom you have worked for many years. It’s really derailed you. You find that your thoughts keep returning to the call. Clearly, your ability to focus is compromised, but you try to plow through, because there’s a pile of work for you to finish up before afternoon.
You come to one of your Planning Points and review your To Do List, feeling overwhelmed and stymied. What can you do?
- You realize that you’re full of feelings and struggling to concentrate.
- You shift your plans around to allow for 10 minutes of writing about how you are feeling.
- You settle down with pen and paper, set your timer, and let the feelings flow.
- As you write, you can feel clarity and calm emerging … and you may make discoveries that you jot down for future reference.
- You return to your work when the timer goes off, feeling refreshed and focused … and you’re off and running!
So often we think that we don’t have time for feelings and try to “soldier on” in spite of their pull. The reality is that when we find time to give feelings their due, we are able to return to our work much more quickly and productively than if we ignore them. Not only that, but when we give our feelings their due, we invariably emerge from the experience with new self-knowledge.
Segmented Planning is one way to help yourself do that. What a wonderful gift to yourself!© Copyright 2010 Paula Eder, Ph.D.