25 May 2012

Paper vs Electronic Scheduling

Scored 43 on the quiz, giving the result of “You're good at some things, but there's room for improvement elsewhere. Focus on the serious issues below, and you'll most likely find that work becomes much less stressful.” My weakest areas being goal setting and prioritization, my strongest being scheduling. I did OK in the procrastination and managing interruptions department which kind of surprised me since I always thought I was worst with procrastination.

While this was interesting to know, and the website has a wealth of information, I had wanted to read discussions related to methods of scheduling: paper versus electronic. When I say paper, I mean like a physical calendar where you have to flip the page to see the next month. When I say electronic I mean like using GoogleCalendar or your smart phone’s calendar.

I haven’t been able to find a discussion on methods and I was really hoping for some input besides my own experience. The reason being that I have a schedule for work, a schedule for play, and a workout schedule. I am trying to keep everything together without getting ridiculous as well as meeting my working/learning style. Despite my attempts to use my iPhone’s calendar and syncing it to Google and using both interfaces and the alerts but it got really irritating.

I had alerts going off at midnight, waking me up, telling me it was somebody’s birthday or I had a meeting that morning. That got irritating pretty quickly. Then I would e-mail reminders on top of everything so I’d have nothing but spam in my inbox. I started to get thrown off with all of these alerts and I felt like I was panicked, trying to get from one appointment to another. It felt awfully reactive and like I relied too much on somebody else to keep me right.

It didn’t take me long finding a paper calendar and write everything down. And not just the smaller paper scheduler, the full sized and coil bound scheduler.I felt quite relaxed when I could see the whole month at a glance, notes in the little squares, and have little tabs indicating where the next month. Everyday I look at the month and sort of evaluate what was going on. Sure I could do that electronically but the little dots really never gave me an overview of what I was up against.

Despite all the awesome apps designed to help you be super productive, I found that non-electronic method just gave me that overview I needed. It’s a bit cumbersome to drag around everyday and everywhere but I really feel more focused when I have the ability to see the big picture and then make small to do lists every day in the pages provided between the monthly calendars.

What’s helped you stay organized and focused? Do you find yourself using more electronic or more traditional method of organization? Or a combination of both?

Some helpful links I found:
 Time Management Worksheet
Mind Tools (where I took the quiz)
18 Minute Plan For Managing Your Day

1 comment:

  1. I use a combination of both to try and stay organized. Sometimes it fails.