Applying chaotic time management correctly: plan and order to success?


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Rigid scheduling methods are long considered obsolete, because reality often changes faster than you can plan. Chaotic time management sounds so tempting. A reality check.

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Chaotic time management: a self-test

Some time ago I had read something about chaotic time management. It works something like this: work through the urgent things, let everything else go and see what happens. But it can quickly become an endless spiral. At first I thought that was completely nonsense. But the thought has not left me since.

That's why I tried it myself. My conclusion: If I leave much lying, I soon no longer know where my head is - and it creates an endless spiral, because the loose ends are endless. But what exactly does it look like?

3 steps to chaotic time management

Work through the urgent matters, leave everything else behind and see what happens - Chaotic time management essentially runs in 3 steps:

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  1. You have to wait and be able to do without. Wait until something has settled by itself. If not, you can get up to personal top form and get it quickly. Wait for someone else to do it. The work finally goes where it is done. If possible, avoid being there.
  2. Avoid planning, it always comes differently than you think. Better wait and see how it actually happens. Then you improvise, and you're guaranteed to get it sorted out. At the same time you train your surprise skills and soon you can not scare anything.
  3. Stay underorganized and refrain from such pointless activities as cleaning up your desk and dropping it off. You've saved more time than you ever need to search. Avoid the nonsense of making important things artificially urgent, as the planners do.

Should you try it

Now I am not a fan of fixed time management plans - I see something as a guide rather than a "must-do!" First, it turns out differently, and second, than you think. Therefore, in my experience, a rigid planning corset is rather a hindrance. However, don't plan exactly like that. Because what you plan or do is more likely to be followed through.

But, the idea of ​​not sticking to rigid planning lists, I found quite attractive. And so I have started a self-test: The urgent work off, leave everything else and see what happens.

Everything at the last minute?

First of all there is the idea to push everything out until the last minute. It counters the tendency that most of us feel under stress and pressure to be more effective. In addition, we can procrastinate just fine with important things - for example, because you are actually afraid of the task or just a mountain of work sees and does not know where to start.

To be honest, I think that's pretty daring. Remember the stories of friends who had their hard drives rubbed off the day before, or something similar. So ... of course, some things really take care of themselves: I recently wanted to call my ex-gas provider, but knew that that would cost me an infinite amount of time on hold. Then I found out via Twitter that he was broke. I could give myself the call! ;-)

The thing with the loose ends

But the most important argument: Who has the nerve to postpone an important task until the end and remain calm and relaxed? As a rule, you are only really relaxed once you have done the thing. Or am I the only one who does it like that? So my tip: Better do the thing right away, then you can continue working more calmly.

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That is also my main criticism of the chaotic time management: Like in that Article described, too many loose ends remain. In my self-test, I have focused on one important thing in recent weeks: my new book, which will be published in September. With tunnel vision and blinders, I was really able to do a lot. However, the mountains of paper piled up on the left and right. Worse were the imaginary loose ends in the head. I knew that there was a lot left and I always had a guilty conscience.

Chaotic time management and reality

So I had to take a break to work things off and sort them out. And lo and behold, I'm feeling better now. But that was not exactly relaxing. A balanced mix between the main task and secondary tasks would have been better.

The experiment “Chaotic Time Management” failed for me. Maybe make to-do lists again next time? Or is it just not possible to do this with balanced work because there are always stressful, highly productive phases in between? How does it look for you? Perhaps that is the most important finding in the whole thing: That there is no such thing as a time management method. Because everyone works differently. And we therefore need flexible scheduling methods.


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