Time Management for Anarchists
I’m fairly sure I’ve posted about time management techniques and tools on this blog before, but I can say with absolute certainty that I’ve never written anything about day planners. And why would I? Seems like a boring subject, right? But the really odd thing about day planners is that every single person I know who uses one on a regular basis is not only dissatisfied by the planner they currently use, but has never found a planner they actually like. Which obviously begs the question: How can it possibly be so difficult for multi-million dollar personal organization companies like FranklinCovey and Day Runner to create the perfect planner?
I’ve been using day planners since college, and I’ve always wondered why they didn’t really work for me, either. But about a week ago, I was taking a break from work and fooling around online when I came across an incredibly well made Power Point presentation about the potential power of day planners, and now I’m not so sure the planners are actually the problem. Rather, it’s those of us who use the planners — or to put it more accurately, those of us who aren’t using the planners to their full potential — that could do with a bit of improvement.
The Power Point presentation, by the way, was created by Jim Monroe, a relatively well-know author and independent publishing champion. It can be accessed on his No Media Kings website, which is filled with all sorts of good information for DIY types. Click here to view the film, which is full of useful ideas about taking complete control of your life by documenting all the steps of your various projects in a day planner. Monroe has even lectured about time management techniques, and on his blog you’ll find a fantastic collection of notes about organization and the self-employed lifestyle.
Here’s what Monroe says about the power of self-discipline and organization, and why those two qualities are so important for the type of people who prefer to work for themselves:
I know for lots of anti-authoritarian types like myself, being organized and productive is a big challenge. People with a rebellious streak tend to be more creative and less focused, and often have an inherent dislike of structured thinking. But most ornery people I know hate having bosses most of all. ‘Cause when you think of it, what a boss does is take a cut of your labour for managing the employees. If you have a job, you’re kind of paying a boss to discipline you. Once I learned how to make my own structure, I was able to kick my expensive boss habit and work on my own.