Have you ever tried something over and over again and repeatedly failed at it? There are times that I have done that with productivity and only to realize that it doesn’t work over and over again. There is a saying for something like this that I coined when I was child when I really loved balloons “trying to blow up a popped ballon.” Have you ever tried and to blow up a popped ballon and did it successfully? It is something that is a lost cause and is not worth pursuing. While no one can actually blow up a popped balloon, time management and productivity is not always as cut and dry. What works for you may not work for someone else. The very first step to knowing this is to first realize what works for you and what doesn’t. Then embrace who you are and focus on the strategies that yield the highest returns. Here are a few things you can do when you find realize something isn’t working.
- Make sure it is not working. Give what you are doing enough time to be sure that it is not working. Don’t give up too quickly on any strategy just because of a few bumps on the road. For example, if batching your activities do not work, it may just because you haven’t mastered it yet or found an effective way to implement it yet.
- Find out the reasons why it is not working. Once you are able to confirm that a strategy doesn’t work for you, the next point in the process is to determine the reasons why. When you do find the reasons why it doesn’t work, this can help you determine what other strategies may or may not work as well. If a detailed schedule does not work well for you, it is also possible that a detailed to do list isn’t that helpful either. It may just overwhelm you and seem excessive.
- Don’t give up. Just because some strategies don’t work doesn’t mean others won’t as well. It may be easy to lump everything productivity and time management together. Just like health and fitness, some people don’t even bother exercising because they have a hard time eating healthy. Some is better than none. We can always make progress little by little.
- Focus on what you do well. Focusing on your strengths and what strategies work best for you is an excellent path to take. If you do that, this will keep you energized and satisfied the most, so even doing what you don’t like and are not as good at is more tolerable. I can speak from personal experience when I say doing something that you don’t like and are not good at can negatively effect every aspect of your life. If making a time budget throws you off and totally ruins time management for you, then don’t do it! Do what works for you.
As I said earlier, we are all different and do things differently and have different strengths and weaknesses. We need to do what helps us the most possible. There is no sense in a strategy that wastes your time, makes your life harder, and ultimately causes you to manage your time worse than before. Don’t try to blow up a popped ballon, if it doesn’t work and you know it doesn’t work, don’t do it.