Spaghetti on a Plate – Hard-Coded Time Versus Soft-Coded Time

Spaghetti on a plate.  That’s what many of our calendars – electronic or paper – look like. All of our appointments and lists of to-dos mixed together in one place. This accomplishes one of our goals: to get everything written down in one place. However, it doesn’t accomplish our primary goal: to get everything done in a timely fashion with minimum stress.

Another (food-related) way to look at this issue is to answer these questions:

  • Do you have a kitchen?
  • If so, do you have a silverware drawer?
  • And a junk drawer?
  • Does your calendar look like your silverware drawer or your junk drawer?

This is the fun, interactive example I use during my Focus Pocus: 24 Tricks for Regaining Command of Your Day seminar to get people thinking about how they can be more efficient and productive. The point is that getting everything into one place is the first step in efficient productivity. The second step is having a sorting system for all those things so your brain doesn’t have to constantly sort things before selecting which to do next.