Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Email Backup Is A Reflection Of A Larger Problem

75 emails. That's how many emails I have in my inbox that have "unread" priority. That's 75 individual items that I have putt off until later.

The reality, is that that number is hardly the only place in my life where I have projects hanging in the balance.

Too much aspiration, too little focus, or poor time management?

Choosing between those is like deciding whether to call a penalty for high sticking or cross checking when a hockey player gets a cross-checked to his head.

Rather than focusing on how to dissect the problem, I am moving forward with an attempt at a solution.

Trying to block off every minute of every day on my Google calendar. I have an Android-based phone, so my calendar is always with me, can send me reminders, can be shared with others, and can be updated anywhere.

Make time to clear off my desk. You know what, wait here while I put that into my calendar . . .

I'm back. Yes, I stopped writing my entry to input "Clear off basement desk". This Saturday at 9am. What's more, I sent the "event" to Wife so to avoid the scenario where, come Saturday, I haven't told her about this grand plan.

And that's what I need to do, but for everything. In fact, I'm going to design my day tomorrow:

6:30am wake up, put on weather, get dressed for morning run to school
6:50am go downstairs and get breakfast ready for kids, wash face, put in contacts
7:15am wake kids if they haven't woken already
7:16am Bunny (formerly Toodles) on the potty immediately, send JD downstairs to get dressed
7:17am fight with JD who wants to play with his 'guys' and not get dressed
7:18am read "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see?" to Bunny
7:25am get Bunny dressed, hope that JD isn't just staring at his plate but is actually eating.
7:40am walk out the door with dry cleaning bag & checkbook & mail
8:00am arrive at Bunny's preschool
8:30am USPS
8:35am Jewel
8:50am dry cleaners
9:00am stretch
9:10am shave, shower, dress
9:40am UPS store
10:00am make chipotle chicken chowder with JD
11:00am table time with JD
11:15am pretend play with JD
11:45am prepare lunch
12:00pm serve lunch
12:30pm leave to pick up Bunny
1:00pm back home
1:10pm exercise with kids (wii fit / just dance?)
1:40pm get kids out the door for JD Tx session
2:00pm go to park for 20 minutes
2:28pm arrive for Tx appt
2:30pm - 3:30pm JD Tx appt
2:35pm go grocery shopping with Bunny
3:00pm play in Tx center lobby / waiting area
4:00pm arrive home
4:05pm TV time for kids; get dinner ready
4:45pm play with kids (matching game?)
5:30pm Mommy comes home
5:45pm dinner
6:15pm clear dinner; Bunny & JD to bath
7:00pm pajama time; help Bunny get dressed herself
7:15pm story time
7:35pm kids to bed, take out contacts, wash face, brush teeth
7:45pm put laundry away while watching TV
7:55pm watch TV with Wife
9:00pm write blog entry
10:00pm play guitar
11:00pm go to bed

And there's so much more that could go in there.

Some people would look at that and see the lack of time for incidentals / what-ifs. I am the kind of person who isn't afraid to change the schedule. It's making the schedule and prioritizing things that's the important part. If I actually look at this tomorrow, it's more like a grocery list that's written with intricate knowledge of the store. There's always a chance that an unexpected sale will pull me away, but I'll still get everything on the list. And if the kids don't get as much TV time or we have to make park time the exercise time, that's okay.

Will follow up with my progress.

1 comment:

  1. You might like list apps, too. Wunderlist and Astrid are good options which sync across their respective iOS, Android, and web apps. You can set due dates, mark items as important, and assign/share tasks. I find both could use a bit of improvement with better sorting options and more consistent options across their apps, but they both serve perfectly well for basic task management. I know Google also has Tasks, but it seems like an afterthought that needs more work.

    If you use a Windows PC, I can't recommend OneNote highly enough. I live in OneNote, and I've been using it for years, and I couldn't keep my projects organized without it. It's a digital notebook of sorts, and like its paper analogue, OneNote can be used and organized however you see fit. OneNote also has a web app, cloud storage, iOS apps, and sharing/multi-user editing. Sadly, it does not have a Mac or Android app, yet. As an alternative, there's Evernote, which has apps for just about every system. It's been a while since I've used it, but at the time I found I preferred OneNote's organization and editing options.

    Of course, maybe a bit more on topic, you'll have to find the time to actually try out these apps and see if they fit your needs. Looking at your schedule, I recommend 10:45pm. Your guitar won't mind a slightly shorter session. :)