There are list-makers and there are calendar-followers. Either way, one eventually has to look ahead the next eight to dozen hours and figure out where the day is taking you, and what you plan to make of it, and accomplish during it. I've found that visualizing the day as a circle, resembling an analog clock, is helpful in ways that a straight top-to-bottom list doesn't quite manage.

## Step 2: Start With a Circle

Instead of a straight list, try using the circle to help you visualize the day. Even if you haven't looked at a "traditional" two-handed clock in a decade, the circle has benefits that a digital-readout clock does not. The symmetrical alignment of 6AM and 6PM — or whenever it is that you wake and, a dozen or so hours later, begin to phase out of work mode — is more immediately apparent when laid out as a circle.

## Step 3: Lay Out the Day

Somewhere someone reading this may think, "Oh, cool, I'll print out a bunch of circles." I'd suggest not doing so. There's a benefit in drawing the circle by hand as part of the process, dropping in the four compass-point hours of 6, 9, 12, and 3. If you treat the circle as a pre-set container, then you'll just start dropping projects in. Starting by drawing the circle itself reinforces the inherent constraints of a given day.

## Step 4: Pace and Optimize

Only once the 4 compass points and additional 8 hour markings are set in place should you start assigning tasks to particular time slots. Be sure to leave room for breaks and meals. Try to alternate short and long periods of exertion. And when there is travel to be dealt with — a bus ride, for example — consider adding something that can be handled at the same time, like document consumption or simple email chores.

<p>Wow! I never looked at it this way! I hope it helps me and my procrastinating ways...</p>
<p>shaman circle very important</p>
Ha! That's excellent. To-do list: Align chakra.

618views

12favorites

Bio: My book Selected Ambient Works Volume II, about the Aphex Twin album by that name, was published by Bloomsbury as part of the 33 1 ... More »
More by disquiet: