Read This Before You Buy any Time Management System

Last week I managed to convince an aging relative to part with enough dry trash to fill a city council recycling wheelie bin.  Old jars washed and never used to make jam, cardboard boxes, newspapers, empty plastic and glass bottles, magazines, and a good number of CD and DVD cases.  (Empty as all the discs were them transferred into space-saving albums).

 

There is now less clutter as you enter that house and an airy feel giving rise to an ability to plan for the future, tranquility and time management.  Said relative was going to wait until December to start, although still putting out an empty recycling wheelie bin every second week.   So we agreed on my giving $100 in return for a wheelie bin full of the non-personal debris described above.  So far, so good and it was only October.

 

Organization is best kept as a daily practice, rather than backlogged until enough time is accumulated an event has to take place.  Because that time never comes and that event is never completed.

 

Then a couple of days later on our island paradise, I set out to explain our company’s Core Four Management system and doing so touched on the concepts of the sun and moon, four seasons, menstruation and circadian rhythms, our bodies and societies all seems to conspire against.

 

In short, by simply first taking into account the season, phase of the moon and time of the day, it is easier to schedule certain tasks, duties and activities when the mind, body and spirit are in the mood to encourage effortless flow.  It is impossible to improve on nature in this respect.

 

Back in 1996, the multinational I was with sent us all on a six month journey to corporate time management.   We were given leather bound clip paged journals with specially printed pages and pockets for expenses, project planning, although mostly to record to do lists down to the minute each day.   A year later I bought a PalmPilot and a copy of The 7-Habits.  Master of my Universe, got my first wife on board, started a two new companies and a total disregard for nature’s own punch cards and planetary cycles.  Ironically, this was all in Hong Kong, where so much of peoples’ lives are governed by moon phases, seasons and 12-year cycles.

 

It wasn’t until 2013 in Thailand when we were building Core Four, that I started re-researching moon phases and circadian rhythms.  Prior to that in 2007, the Jack Reacher novels were all the rage and my main take home was a new found ability to know exactly what time of the day or night it was, without looking at a time piece.  (It is very easy, once you start paying more attention to the sage, natural lighting, local temperature, immediate activities and your body clock).

 

The key objective was to determine what time of the day was best for certain activities and to compensate or reschedule depending on the phase of the moon and season.   For example, not trying to do financial book-keeping activities in summer at 4pm when blood pressure rises and there is a full moon.

 

When you look around at local public holidays and local cultural festivities, things do make a lot more sense.  School calendars are on to this and most daily schedules of early primary grades mirror circadian rhythms of young children.

 

1. Plant in spring, Nurture in Summer, Harvest in Autumn and Rest in Winter.

That means start new initiatives or projects in spring for example.  Cultivate their success throughout summer, and so on.

 

2. Check the Moon.

In general, your energy under the moon mirrors the four seasons.  In the week leading to a full moon you will increase your highest physical energy and it is best for high impact exercise and physical activities like washing and waxing the car, pleasuring your wife and playing sport with the kids.  Think of it like you do Summer.

 

The week following the full moon is one of rest and like Autumn.  One harvests what has been sown.  Pack up and clear away.  Do the accounting and filing.  Make space for the next month’s projects and the new school term etc.   Little to no exercise.  No high impact.

 

Then in the week leading into the new moon, start increasing activity to low impact.  This is winter of the moon and you need to keep the blood flowing and warm.   New projects can be initiated and plans can be underway.  Exercise is best between 06:00 and 09:00.

 

In the week following the new moon, up the tempo and exercise is best between 09:00 and 12:00.  It is like the moon’s spring.  Working towards summer.

 

3. Only then check the Clock

For general daily activities, the circadian rhythms are best summarized as follows, with a little value-added by Stayatworkfatherofthree:

 

05:00 – Join the 5am Club and rise before the rest of the World, look out the window at what kind of day it is going to be.  Sit down with a beverage and start creative writing, painting, exercising.

 

06:45 – Blood pressure rises sharply.  This will be the creative burst that gets you those amazing paragraphs, images will clarify on the canvas and you will get a second wind in training.

 

07:30 – Your melatonin will stop secreting and you will no doubt be able to finish the creative task you started two and a half hours prior.

 

10:00 – This is the highest alertness of the day and when most office workers finally get down to business.  It is the best time for listening and driving.

 

14:30 – Best time for your coordination-based tasks.   Handle tricky items with effortless finesse.

 

15:30  – Best reaction times and why parents can manage to keep so many balls in the air at school pick time which quickly morphs into feeding time at the three -ringed circus.

 

17:00 – Strongest cardiovascular processing and greatest feats of strength.  Good time for second workout, mowing the lawn, cleaning and playing anything.

 

18:30 – Blood pressure is it’s highest.  Worst time to be driving and highest incidents of road rage, accidents and poor coordination caused by confusion of rods and cones in eyes.   Much better to succomb to gently tidying up for the day, kicking a  ball with the kids, de-briefing with colleagues or going for a walk.

 

19:00 – Body temperature is it’s highest.  Shower time!  Swim time!   Get into the open.  Water the plants.

 

21:00 – Get ready for bed.   Melatonin starts secreting again.  Early sleep is the best meditation and poor man’s facelift!!!

 

Go on.  Give it a try.    Nature has given us the best tools and enough waking hours in a day to do all necessary.   Early sleep is the best meditation and poor man’s facelift!!!

 

The next time you are having difficulty with a task, procrastinating or scheduling too far down the calendar.  Take time to see if you are in the correct season for that activity.

 

Perhaps it is the wrong phase of the moon to be starting a new way of filing or a new novel.   What time of the day is it ?  Are you trying to harvest in Spring and planting in Autumn?

 

And what of menstruation?  Well, merely the observation that 364 days of the year can be neatly divided 13 times into 28 day periods.  Not 12 months.  That is enough for a whole different blog.

 

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