Mini Day System

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Mini Day System

Postby Alexia » Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:20 am

Some years ago, NeoTech in Nevada published a system for \"doing everything\", i.e. coping with a multitude of different tasks and activities. They called it the Mini Day System, because the idea is to work with such intensity that you do in an hour what it would take other people all day to think about and do.

You start by listing all the tasks and activities you normally do in the course of a week, and those you would like to do, adding the number of hours you spend/would spend on each. You then divide up the list into basic movements, i.e. writing, phone calls, meetings, sedentary jobs such as craft work, computer, studying; going out, etc and etc, and you write your next week's program in terms of the movements, allowing, say, seven per day; an hour each is usual, but you can allow more time if needed. Thus, you would put all the writing jobs together, on whatever subject, all the phone calls, all the shopping in one trip out, all the library work at one go, and so on. The theory is you save time by not having to change place, equipment etc in between every little job because they're all integrated. And you work faster, and with greater intensity, because you know you need to get several things done within the hour you've allotted.

I must say I've never practised this system on a long term basis - I don't think I could ! But I have used it at times when I've been overwhelmed with work, and it has achieved miracles.

These days I resort to it occasionally, but not in quite such a concentrated way. I find the intensity quite brutal, but I offer the idea for anyone who may be overloaded, coping with backlog or deadlines, or just needing to clear the decks. It does work, and it enables you to deal with a lot of different things.

Alexia.
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Postby tiggie » Sun Aug 13, 2006 8:42 pm

I like that idea. I can see it working for me when I get overwhelmed with having to be everywhere and doing everything at once. I waste a lot of time starting something then remembering I have to make a phone call, then remembering I've got to be somewhere etc etc. I feel like I'm forever running but never actually accomplishing. So I will definitely give it a try.
thanks!
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Postby Alexia » Wed Aug 16, 2006 2:44 am

Something I should have added: You must always start exactly at the time you have scheduled, and finish exactly on the hour, to begin the next hour's slot. This takes high grade discipline, especially if you're in the middle of writing something and want to finish it. You can't ! It has to wait until you do the same writing hour (or whatever) the next day.

If you get interrupted in the middle of an hour, do whatever has to be done, but don't go back to the same work hour if the time has passed. Go to whatever hour has started, and do that scheduled work or movement. Interruptions do happen, but usually at different times of day, so different things get hit. It helps to unplug/switch off phones, except when you want to use them for your telephone hour. It also helps to tell the more persistent telephoners that you are available for phone calls between, say 3-4 p.m.

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Great idea but ...

Postby cheeryquery » Fri Aug 18, 2006 11:09 pm

I do the exact opposite and what doesn't work for tiggie works well for me. I love to have a dozen projects going at once so I start them all and then flip back and forth, according to mood, until they are all done. The key is to never give up. You can imagine what a disaster my work space sometimes looks -- although I actually do know where things are (most of the time).

I used to be a terrible procrastinator but learned from Peg Bracken (the humorist) to \"never let a housewifely impulse pass you by\" which means if you have a sudden urge to wash that pot, wash it immediately, then go off at a tangent if you want to. Or stay and wash more dishes if you feel like it. Either way, the pot is washed and the job will be a little easier to face when you finally get around to it.

Before Bracken's advice, I waited for an hour long block of time when I wanted to do all the dishes and clean up the kitchen. Guess what, it never happened. And I waited until I had the time and inspiration to write Chapter One. Guess what, it never happened. And make that phone call. And, and, and.

Now, for a truly awful task, say phoning somebody I don't want to phone, I might find the phone number and put it on a To Do list (day one), make a few notes on what I need to say (day two). Look up the right person to talk to (day three), let it sit on the To Do list for a few days, and finally make the darn phone call when I suddenly feel like it (day seven).

I find that, surprisingly often, I have the urge to do part of a task that, in total, I would probably resist forever. Then finishing the task starts to look doable and not nearly as unpleasant as it once was.

With my method tasks don't usually pile up but when they do I will definitely sort them as suggested. No doubt it is a tidy and efficient method of approaching a mountain of work.
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Postby Britta » Sat Aug 19, 2006 1:40 am

At first I thought this is most boring, how can you bare to work that way.
I am more of the kind a little bit of this and then a little bit of that..
But I can also see how very efficient that must be. Since currently work is piling on my desk with lightening speed, I will try it in the office next week. Let you know how it went.
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getting things done

Postby Izbit » Sat Aug 19, 2006 4:19 pm

It sounds a bit like some of David Allen's advice, the Getting Things Done. He recommends:

a) For every project you want to do (from writing a novel to cleaning your room), figure out what the next step that you can do is (look up a phone number, write a specific scene, buy a mop).

b) Sorting to-do lists by \"context\" -- eg. \"on the phone\" or \"downtown\" so you can always figure out what else you can do where you are.
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Postby flygirl » Sun Aug 20, 2006 7:32 pm

Ah, lists..my bane...i have a 'list pile' actually..i think i accumulate it unconsciously just so i can have the pleasure of throwing it all away :lol:
\"Wow, none of this must be important if I've ignored it this long!\" :lol:

But...it is put forth that the most successful - if we define success as financial for instance - people are those who make VERY SHORT LISTS every night.

OK, but let's say they don't have short lists...at least not at first...

Write down everything you can think of you should, would, or could do the next day. Start the list whenever it suits you so if it's ten minutes before bed then, fine...

If you have thirty items - you poor thing lol - start going through and lettering them A, B, or C. No 'D's allowed.

Anything with an A is an immediate action item the next day, and so on. ONLY complete the A's the next day. Once they're scratched off, move onto the B's etc if you have time and scratch them off as well. Write it on a napkin and stuff the list in your pocket, whatever, just keep it with you as you move through your day as your reference. What B's and C's you cannot scratch off, move on to that nights list as 'A's. In other words, real priorities get knocked out and lesser ones bumped up in priority for the next day.

The goal is to get to no more than three A's on an average day. Adapt to sudden circumstance of course.

This doesn't have to be written or typed at your desk or put on a calendar unless it helps. But don't impose anymore rigidity to your list at first other than deciding that night what is an 'A'...

I use lists only when I know I will without fail forget something the next day I know for sure tonite...

:oops: :lol:
\"So...what's the speed of dark?\"
--Steven Wright

http://www.insectsoul.blogspot.com
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Postby SomeDay » Sun Aug 20, 2006 9:58 pm

I'm with you cheery - I lose interest if I've only got one thing to focus on! Need to have several and switch around...
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More Opposites

Postby cheeryquery » Mon Sep 04, 2006 8:18 am

Flygirl, I sort my To Dos from least to most reprehensible task and then do the good stuff, first. Later in the day, having some successes behind me, I find myself able to face the stuff I really don't want to do.

It probably depends much on how fast you get started in the morning. I am a slow starter and knowing I'll begin with fairly pleasant tasks makes it easier for me to get on with the day.

Agreed that it is wise to do a good part of the A list each day but how to accomplish that is the question.

Like right now, I need to get the canaries ready because we are going away for a week and a friend will come in to feed them. So: clean up the cage (I use pine litter), change water, top up seed, give the little guys some greens (they eat enormous amounts of fresh greens), etc. I don't want to do that, particularly, but finishing my packing sounds even worse. I didn't put \"check in with Barbara\" on my To Do list last night but it's pretty much a given.

Luckily, my husband no where near ready so I have time.
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Re: Mini Day System

Postby Layla » Wed Dec 30, 2009 11:14 am

Great thread!

I will try some of the ideas recommended!

I tried GTD and well - I really love the part about organizing stuff into file folders! I'm not near yet where I want to be with the weekly review, and I rebel the tasks, often, or get confused about what to do, when there are so many 'next actions' to choose from (giving the most important ones stars just caused greater anxiety, sigh)

I'm thinking to set up a 'daily schedule' mixed with 'days off' from the schedule to do other stuff (like 'Doctor's life' model) and to have these seasonal (I'm interested in learning gardening too, etc - I really loved having days off for gardening/farm stuf etc) It's probably going to be a combination of all sorts of things - has anyone come up with a good combination that works?
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Re: Mini Day System

Postby Britta » Tue Jan 05, 2010 7:02 am

I just remembered another great system flylady
Go to www.flylady.com
start small - start now (sounds like Barbara :lol: )
if you want to clean house perfect- use the system for other stuff like work

Joyful new year to all by the way!
orientation coach - happiness teacher - success team leader - physician
www.brittahilse.de
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