We all have limited time. There’s a lot to think, learn, do and live in this duration. At times it feels a single life is not enough. And it isn’t! This makes effective time management a serious thing.
While we may not have been able to unearth an elixir to make us immortal (it’s good it doesn’t exist), we have been equipped with a good enough intelligence for us to do wonders with – if we use it effectively.
One way to do that is by trying to allocate and manage our life and its duration in an effective manner.
Time Management is simply the process of managing the time allocated to us for an effective life.
I developed a time management formula a few months ago and I have been implementing regularly. It has proved to be effective.
Now that I have fully committed myself to a life as a writer, there are a few elements which I think are essential to such a lifestyle.
This time management is simply an allocation of those elements to the clock-time embedded in almost all of us.
I had been very random and all-over-the-place with my time and work management. This particular formula has helped me get a little bit more organized.
I hereby coin this formula — The C-Clockwork (because it contains a few Cs)
The C-Clockwork consists of 4 Cs sub-grouped into 2 Cs each, which in turn are allocated into groups of roughly 3 hours each. Each pair of Cs get around 6 hours and are interconnected. The clock cycle begins at 6 AM and ends at 6 PM.
The Cs are:
- Coordination (Communication)
Here 1 and 2, Contemplation and Consumption make a pair while 3 and 4, Creation and Coordination make one.
Let me briefly describe what they mean so to show why they are paired like that. But I would like to remind the reader once again that this allocation or division is based on what I think are the essential elements in my life as a writer.
The 1st Pair: Contemplation and Consumption
Contemplation: This is where I think. I begin the process at 6 AM by trying to answers questions that are integral to my life as an individual, such as —
- What is going on in my life currently?
- What do I want?
- Why do I want what I want?
- What have I wanted?
- What should I want?
- What is the status of all that I have wanted?
- What should I not want?
- What do I need?
- Why do I need?
- What should I do?
- What should I not do?
- What is helping me?
- What is ailing me?
- What do I need to do to remain motivated/inspired? etc.
More often than not, I wake up confused or curious on these. So by asking these questions walking to-and-fro with, firstly a cup of warm water followed by a pinch of black pepper in a cup of warm water and finally a cup of tea, I try to answer all these questions. I note the important points.
On rare occasions where I do not wake up bothered by my personal conditions, I contemplate on social, political, scientific, artistic and philosophical issues. The questions vary. There is no set formula in this. It may often be what I had been exposed to the day-before or in my dreams.
This lasts for 2.5–3 hours.
Consumption: It begins with my bathroom time at about 9 AM where I read the news followed by mostly continuing with the book I have been reading.
I use the term consumption for any reading, listening or video-watching activity — from others. But it is mostly reading.
I have made reading a great priority in my life. But before this structuring I was very haphazard in it. If I was reading a book, I would go on and on for the whole day until I finished it. But I noticed that such reading had an adverse affect on my thinking and writing. Most days would just pass by reading books without anything else. Reflections on books read were not happening. Writing wasn’t happening. This gradually became very problematic.
This C-Clockwork has allowed me to manage my reading time well. Now, I read at a certain period of time and have adequate time to think and write about it.
This ends at around 11:30 when I have lunch.
The 2nd pair: Creation and Coordination
Creation: After lunch and chores, at about 12:30, I begin the process of Creation. This is when I write. This goes on for about 3 hours.
Writing on medium has proved to be very helpful for me in this process as it has allowed me to dedicate myself to one piece of writing a day. Otherwise, I wasted a lot of time either wondering on what to do or debating with myself on why not to write xyz.
The writing projects I have has to be worked on in this time period.
I am also involved in visual-arts projects. I make documentaries and animated cartoons. Writing them, directing them, is reserved within Creation.
Coordination: Interchangeable with Communication, this is the time-span when I:
- Meet in person- go outside, talk to people with whom I am working or am supposed to work together on project(s).
- Meet on the Internet- talk to people online with whom I am working or am supposed to work together on project(s).
- Seek people with whom to work together on project(s)
My poor organizing before this system had me isolating myself for days without any communications with others, whenever I was reading or writing something important. That got me ignoring a lot of projects and people. Didn’t turn out to be a good thing at all!
Beginning at 3 PM and extending up to 6 PM, I spend my time going outside to meet people, making phone calls, sending or reading emails, finding relevant people and organizations, etc.
I have paired it as such because Contemplation and Consumption are inward, introspective processes. Nothing comes out of me during these. I just intake. They are about organizing and receiving thoughts respectively.
Similarly, Creation and Coordination are extroverted processes. Here the thoughts go out. They are outbound. They are about creativity and communication respectively.
Of course, there are days of inconsistencies. I may have to go out early in the morning or read a very important work in the evenings. I try my best to not divert but at times circumstances get the better of me.
But I try to cover-up by doing the activity missed in that timespan, the activity of which I did in the period of inconsistency.
After 6 PM: It’s Personal time. I spend time with family or doing activities of joy. Going out for an evening walk or some glass of beer takes place here.
Before the implementation of this formula, I wasn’t spending much time with my family or in activities of joy.
Now I feel things are sorted out well.
Let’s see how long I can prolong this!
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