February 1, 2013

Time Management

How is your relationship with time going? Mine is difficult, time is accelerating.

Here my strategy and tactics for time management:
- A "must follow" schedule of my activities on weekly basis. It includes most of the aspects: family, work, development, movement, entertainment, rest. Mind map (here) is great help in making the list, it really wakes up my mind.
- A table, with empty columns, where I enter my activities in half hour periods. That is where I see the "lost" time and the "found" time. I made it in Excel and print weekly: I keep Saturday always empty it is my day of freedom.
- A timer, my best assistant. Time of a hard work takes turns with time of rest. Now it is 45+15, but depending on amount of work ad obligations, it can change. Timer installed into my mobile phone suits perfectly, mechanical timer works fine, too:

- Internet, my weak link. I use internet during the day for my office needs without limits. But I may visit Blogger, Google reader, Livejournal, Facebook only during time limited by my browser (I will go into details later, links work from 21-30 till 24-00).

After a month of using this method I can see where my time goes. It turns out that my day is not so bad and chaotic, as it seemed to me earlier.
There is still one unsolved problem, the speed of my personal time. I mean the situation, when task which I carried out earlier for half an hour, now requires hour, and even an one and a half. Certainly, it maybe my aging. And I am glad to confirm any theory, except to to admit that the reason is my age.

My illustrations today are the last sketches from the trip to Georgia: the view of the window in my aunt's house and the stock of red wines and pumpkins in her kitchen.


  1. I really admire your unique sketching style, Irina, and am so glad you posted these. I am fascinated by your time management techniques and hope they work for you.

  2. I like the spaces you draw

    Sending Aloha to YOU
    from Honolulu,
    Comfort Spiral
    ~ > < } } ( ° >

  3. I always loved your sketches Irina, really great. And yes, time is a tyrant...just runs too fast !

  4. Liked both the sketches, the hatched lines make great shading and give depth. It is good to have a time schedule, it induces discipline to finish the tasks.i have long term, short term, daily goals pasted on my fridge that can not escape my eyes:-).and I don't believe that aging can come in the way, age is in our minds, when we are content, we automatically pick up speed that we have lacked. Excuses are made and do not exist in the realm, don't you think so ?

  5. No, Irina, time has started to accelerate lately for real. If many people see it, it must be a fact, not a subjective impression.
    The sketches in the last few posts are so full of life. You manage to pick your subjects well, not always the obvious ones.

  6. Irina, these sketches have a great feel. I also love your mechanical timer. I've been thinking about the passage of time for the last few years. I do agree that it's accelerating. I'm going to try your methods of handling it to see if I can manage it better. I don't want to miss an opportunity because I frittered away time. I also think you have to have a free day, but I think I have given myself too many free days and am left feeling I didn't accomplish anything and I didn't relax because I spent too much time thinking about what I should be doing:) Yikes!

    I liked Blaga's comment on how well you pick your subjects. Very true.

  7. I admire your sketches very much, Irina, and Blaga is right. Your system of time management seems great! I was going to comment on you following so many blogs that takes so much time to look at and to comment on some of them. I have the same problem and I plan to do as you: not comment so often. I also get confused by too much artistic imput. All the best to you, Irina, I hope you keep finding time to draw and paint!

  8. had not visited you in a while --and what a treat in your blog ! Love your sketches - the touch of orange/yellow is beautiful! and your time management system --I need to adopt that and check where my time goes! Thanks for the inspiration!

  9. Susan, thank you! You are so kind. My time management techniques help to be disciplined, I like the effect.
    Aloha Cloudia! Thank you!
    Jane, thank you!
    Padmaja, I agree with every your thought. Be content is goal for me now. And I should stick my goals about my weight and my fridge on the fridge, thank you for the idea.
    Blaga, thank you. At least I notice that time slows down when I do something really useful. So you are right, I am sure.
    Candy, thank you! To find the balance between work and rest is so difficult. To feel that rest is well deserved is great luck.
    Judy, I am so glad you are here in spite of your busy time. I appreciate your thoughts, as we are in the same boat.
    Meera, Thank you and welcome!

  10. Irina, time management has always been an important struggle for me. I make daily lists, weekly lists, annual lists, all kinds of to-do lists:-) I find that I am usually too optimistic about what I can get done in one day or even one hour and can never check off all the items on my lists. Nevertheless, without this structure, I don't think I would get half as much done. I hope that your system will work very well for you.
    Continue doing your beautiful sketches!

  11. I like your drawings very much. And I applaud your ability to manage your time. After working all day, I just mostly want to sleep.

  12. Christiane, thank you! I wish you to always have time for creativity in your to-do plans.

    Carol, you always find the right word. I did not have time problems when worked in the office full day. Now, when I am my own director, discipline does not want to listen to me.

  13. If you’d like a tool for managing your time and projects, you can use this web-application inspired by David Allen’s GTD:


    You can use it to manage your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, and a calendar.
    Syncs with Evernote and Google Calendar, and also comes with mobile version, and Android and iPhone apps.

    1. Thank you Dannielo, I am very interested in the TM and will check your link right now.

  14. love the top sketch and cafe scene i like your use of colour with B/W sketches colour ...sounds like you've worked out a good stratery irina... hope it's working for you ...age :) !


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