I frequently hear time management advice that tells us to prioritize our days based on the “ABC” system. A’s are things we have to do, B’s are things we’d like to do and C’s are things it’d be nice to do if we had time left over. I’m sure this system works for some people. Here is why The Time Diet works better for me.
Most of my things end up being A’s! I try not to waste my time doing unessential things, so everything ends up being a “have to do.”
I could easily spend my entire day doing “have to dos” and never have time for anything else. This leaves me stressed out because all of a sudden “everything” has become a priority. It also seems like anything fun or enjoyable in your day will become a “C.” It isn’t fair to ourselves to always place our own enjoyment as a last priority. That’s how we get burned out.
I prefer to think of my day in The Time Diet food groups of Meats, Vegetables and Desserts.
Meats: Thinking-intensive things that are difficult to accomplish
Vegetables: Less thinking-intensive things that are easier to accomplish
Desserts: Enjoyable things
When planning your day, it’s important to plan a balanced diet of tasks so you balance out your difficult work with easier and more enjoyable things.
In The Time Diet, everything you have to do is “important” otherwise you wouldn’t be doing it! By balancing your work according to difficulty, you’re less likely to become overwhelmed and more likely to finish more work than if you’d simply tried to tackle all of your deadlines at once.
Is prioritizing important? Of course it is! However, trying to prioritize without taking difficulty into account is not being fair to ourselves.
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Photo Credit: Digital Art