Paralysis of the Plentiful

With so many electronic gadgets and office systems offering to help our productivity, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. At some point, it tends to turn into “paralysis of the plentiful”, or so many options and so little time to use them all.

This is like “analysis paralysis” where a person gets so wrapped up in making the right decision based on endless amounts of information that nothing gets done. The same is true for “paralysis of the plentiful.”

You’ll see these people; they have a cell phone, a tablet, a wireless headset, online calendar, to-do list on the computer, calendar posted on the refrigerator at home, and day planner in hand.

This doesn’t even count the myriad of yellow sticky notes at home and at the office. This person has “paralysis of the plentiful.” If that sounds like you, then you have to make some tough choices.

When you find a new device that claims to save time, you grab it then add it to whatever you are currently using.  Before long, you have several time-keeping options but you are still running late to meetings or forgetting to prepare reports on the date due. This is a case of working for the time savers instead of making the times savers work for you.

Start by choosing the most comprehensive, yet still easy-to-operate to operate scheduling system. Don’t feel like a low-tech copout if you find the paper and pen day planner is that system for you.

If you are spending time programming an exotic phone or handheld organizer, then you are wasting time. That’s not the point. Another problem you may have encountered is using more than one system.

Maybe you use the electronic planner for work items since it hot syncs with your computer, but you keep the paper day planner  for your personal life. That’s a huge mistake. The more systems you have, the greater the chance for forgetting an important appointment.

Do you spend more than ten minutes daily updating your time management system? If you do, you may be working with more than one device or planner and that’s what’s wasting time.  Let’s face it, you will not your improve time management by spending more time with “paralysis of the plentiful,” trying to keep all your systems synchronized.

Time management systems, once engaged, are supposed to give you a sense of relief and security that your schedule is under control. If you have the opposite feeling, take a look at what you are using for your time management.

If you have more than one schedule method, cut back to one and use that until you are confident in the system. Later you can experiment with a new method; just resist the urge to add more and more options. Otherwise the time savers become time wasters when they throw you into “paralysis of the plentiful.”

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