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Living Life 16 Minutes At A Time

June 7th, 2007

use a timer to control your dayA few weeks ago I was preparing dozens of CDs to marketing JibberJobber at a convention. Instead of paying over $4 per disk I decided to just buy a special CD burner and burn them myself. So every 16 minutes and 20 seconds I would take the freshly minted CD out of the drive and put a new one in.

It was kind of a flakey process for my laptop so I closed most programs and had to figure out other things to do while I was burning the CDs.

Something interesting happened during the two or three days that I did this. I found tasks that could be started and finished in 16 minutes. I got so many other things done – things that I had been putting off for a while!

I’m not much for personal improvement in organizing my time, projects or stuff. But working on this 16 minute schedule helped me become more effective.

If you find your need to be more effective (especially if your day gets away from you but you still spend time “researching” a company online, or “catching up on the news,” or something else that really isn’t a value-add activity), pull out an egg timer and set it for small increments, make a list of doable tasks (pay bills, go through e-mail, make a networking phone call, update your JibberJobber network, invite 5 people to your LinkedIn network, backup your computer, plan on going to a network event (and invite others), reach out to a friend, etc.) and get some jobs done!

From one cluttered mind to another :)


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11 Comments »

11 responses to “Living Life 16 Minutes At A Time”

  1. Laura Moncur says:

    I do EXACTLY the same thing when I’m burning Starling Fitness DVDs! It’s so funny how we can measure time and fit our chores into a framework, even if it’s artificial!

  2. Jason Alba says:

    It is funny, and I’ve heard of stuff like this before, but never would have thought about how powerful it is until I was forced to do it. Thanks Laura :)

  3. Lately, I’ve been deliberately stopping whatever I’m doing at about ten or fifteen minutes before the hour to walk away from the computer and do one of those “something elses”. While I’m taking that time to do some mindless task, my head has a chance to re-group. By the end of the day, more things have been finished, I feel a better sense of accomplishment, and (this one’s great) my eyes don’t have so much of that computer-screen fatigue.

  4. […] Jun 9th, 2007 by Bengt Jason Alba has an interesting post, Living Life 16 Minutes At A Time, where he describes how me managed more in less time since he for a while had to work in 16 minutes sessions. […]

  5. Imagine the power you have in accomplishing great things in balance when you break your day like Jason suggest. Add to this the ability to plan and delegate every day of the year like you do before a vacation – You WILL balance and produce more!

  6. David, I’ve often thought about how we can get it together before vacation and came to the same conclusion. It’s said that the time it takes to do a thing expands according to the time we have available. Maybe we should try to plan surprises for ourselves to decrease work time. Maybe I’ll try that.

  7. Carolyn – I just posted on my blog http://www.yourindividualbrand.com about planning for vacations, etc. You might enjoy my recent post called “Eliminate Try” as well!

  8. Great posts, David. Thanks for pointing me to them. Also, thanks for the trackback from the forum — just joined it.

    Jason: good bit of networking you got moving here. Thank you, too.

  9. Daniel Sweet says:

    I knew a marketing guy who had printed up simple “Schedule / To-Do” forms in a pocket spiral notebook form factor. The difference was that he split each hour into two boxes so that he could schedule two things an hour instead of the normal tendency of one.

    He said that he was so much more productive that he had a printer print them up for him.

    I’m still not using this. Perhaps I should start…

    4:30pm – Start using “48 Hour Day” concept.

    Dan

  10. […] Tackling the ‘to-do’ list 17 06 2007 How to accomplish things 16 minutes at a time…. A new approach to getting stuff done. We can probably all use a tool like this to improve our abilities to get tasks done. […]

  11. […] For Jason Alba over at JibberJobber, he figured out how to live life in 16 minute segments. That’s worked well for a lot of people, but not me. […]