GTD Cafe: How Much Time Should You Spend Alone Each Day?


Each Wednesday The Daily Saint hosts the
GTD Cafe, focusing on David Allen's system for Getting Things Done.  Today we look at the value of time spent alone.

In the Myers Briggs Type Inventory, I register as a strong "I" or introvert, indicating that I get tremendous energy from time spent alone.   As a school administrator, there are many times during the day when I can "turn it on" and appear to be the center of the crowd but when it's all over, I get a quick recharge from going back to my office and doing some simple tasks.

In the Getting Things Done mindset, we often talk about creating a simple process for accomplishing the most important tasks in the course of a day.  What about when that most important task is just time by yourself? 

  1. Take the MBTI personality profile test. There are many versions online and the outcome will surprise you- pretty accurate!  What I've also discovered is that my brothers and father also share a similar personality profile. 

  2. Create self routines for the morning. How do you want to start your day?  Write it down and then put it into practice.

  3. Create breaks during the day.  I am fortunate to work in a nice neighborhood in which I can take a brisk 10 minute walk during the day- it's an easy recharge.

  4. Create self routines for the evening. Rather than watching the latest Die Hard movie prior to sleeping, why not write in a journal, pray or do a mental inventory of the day?

  5. Learn to say "no".  If you're a people-pleaser then this tip won't come easy but it's true: when you set parameters for your commitments, life gets simpler and you have more time for you.

  6. Drift away, responsibly.  If the day is cruising along and you're feeling like you need to get away, learn to drift.  Drifting can look like taking a nap or going into your office and shutting the door. As long as your drifting is responsible, go for it.

  7. Use food & drink, in moderation. An afternoon cup of tea is like a mountain rush for some people while others find that a crisp apple does the trick during a down time in the day.  Find your healthy pick-me-up and go there.

Resources for the Road
Zen Habits: 15 Ways to Create an Hour of Extra Time for Solitude
What Does Your Morning Routine Look Like?
Why Doing Less May Actually Be More