The Time Diet

Rick Mattson Uncategorized 7 Comments

Assumption #1: If I don’t plan my time I will drift.

Assumption #2: My wisest moments happen in advance – that is, during the planning phase of life.

When I skip planning and just ad lib “in the moment,” things fall apart. I make bad decisions on the fly.

Note: I married a person (Sharon) who is naturally organized inside her own head. She goes from one thing to the next, efficiently, without getting sidetracked.

Not me.

Thus, I present to you: The Time Diet. 

It’s how I cut the fat from my schedule and actually do what I’m supposed to be doing (well, mostly):

Step 1: Make a list of all the things I need to do in the next few months. This is a rolling list that I update every day.

Step 2: Choose the things I must do this week and write them into my calendar.

Step 3: Choose the things I must do today and make a detailed schedule of my time for the day, including: 

  • When I will start and stop each task.
  • Exact time I must leave for appointments. Otherwise, I’ll be late, guaranteed.
  • Fudge time. Add some extra time here and there for interruptions. 
  • Rest and fun. Can’t work all the time! 

If I get off track, I re-write the schedule for the rest of the day, and move an item into tomorrow.

If I have big tasks, I make an appointment with myself at an exact time this week to get it done. Example: Wednesday 3-5pm, create proposal.

The whole thing seems a little crazy, eh? A little extreme?

That’s because I’m crazy and extreme.

I don’t have the gift of internal organization. Rather, I’ve got the gift of daydreaming — the floaties. 

The Time Diet helps me lead a more balanced life . . . 

. . . and maybe even clean the bathrooms on occasion for Sharon, who feels the love vibe from her husband through acts of service.

That reminds me: Sunday 9pm, scrub shower stall.

Comments 7

  1. Rick, this resonates with me a lot. Although I am naturally more like Sharon, the circumstances of my life right now are pushing me more toward the floaties (homeschooling mother of four). The only thing I would add is the necessity of recognizing the divine appointments God has for me, be they service outside the home or extra time for discipline/connection within the home. If I'm too attached to my schedule, I miss them or plow through them.


  2. Hey Susanna, good point. How do you recognize those divine appointments? I seem to remember that you, like me, live very intentionally.

  3. Ha! As usual, this is written in your typical clever and upbeat style. Nice twist at the end.

    As for the detailed time mgt schedule and calendar, I'm glad you've found something that works for you. At my advanced age, it's hardly my thing however. I did like the idea of writing your goals into the schedule and will give that a try.

  4. Thanks, John. I happen to know that you get a lot done, even at your advanced age! 🙂

    Care to share any quick ideas of how you do it?

  5. Hi Rick,

    Great idea. In the last month I've been trying to develop a system myself to cut out the “floating” time – one of my specialties.

    Anyways, helpful suggestions. I appreciate your ministry and hope you are doing well.

    Andrew Vargas

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