Outside it is still dark. This is my "Time Management" for the day. It was my turn to post yesterday, but I ran out of time, so early-up I get to fit blogging into today's schedule. I have loved reading everyone's posts and comments on this subject. I love talking about time management with my self-employed friends. I always find inspiration. Over the years I have tried all kinds of time management tools from Franklin-Covey calendars to wall-size calendars with each hour accounted for, mind-maps, pocket-sized calendars, computer calendars, and post-it notes. I have anticipated a week ahead of time and documented a week looking back. I have analyzed and workshopped time management in multiple ways and come to the conclusion that it is best to go with the flow. The evolution and flow of life determines my time, not the other way around. When I think of how much I got done in a day when my kids were little as compared to now, when I have whole days to myself in the studio because my son just got his license and can drive himself to circus classes after school and my daughter is at college, I accept that the flow of life makes it impossible to have one system of time management that always works.
Better than a clock or a calendar, I have found that a few moments of writing in my journal about what truly matters to me each morning helps me plan my day, week, month, even year, around priorities. If I am working on a deadline, then I know early in the day what matters and it helps me to say "No" when necessary to keep my studio time sacred. When I was in college facing choices of whether to finish a paper or go out with friends I asked myself this question: "If I were to die tomorrow, what would be more meaningful?" (Can you guess which I chose?) I still often use this question to prioritize my plans and as I grow older it takes on new meaning. What do I want to accomplish in a day? A year? A life-time? It is no longer the light-hearted college question, but one that carries weight for me.