Organizing your schedules

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By Shirley Maghari

Gaining Momentum

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


FOR most of us, the daily grind of modern life seems to be overwhelming that our brains could not accommodate all the things we need to do. We, mothers especially, play multiple roles that we literally go crazy without our beloved checklists! We cannot carry it all in our heads.

Therefore, we reach out for our planners, post-it notes, and digital organizers. We install apps (applications) that promise to help us plan out our schedules better. But which one is really most effective?

Having your schedules in your laptops, smart phones, or tablets may be good as these gadgets have alert systems that can immediately notify you of upcoming events. They can schedule multiple or repetitive activities and categorize them according to levels of priority, complete with color coding and pictures attached.

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A number of very helpful apps are also available for download, providing us with ready-made checklists we can carry even as we do our groceries.

However, the number one horror story here is when our gadget bugs down, deleting all our data and leaving us feeling lost and forlorn in its wake. We must also shell out an extra cost to purchase a power bank as most of these gadgets’ batteries won’t last a day of usage.

Another fact is that a lot of distractions are present when you put your schedules and to-do lists on your gadgets. Most of the time, before you tap on the scheduler, your finger has the tendency to wander off first in the land of Facebook icon, Games icon, YouTube icon… you get what I mean.

Now, if you want to get back to the basics, nothing beats the old pen-and-paper technique. You won’t have to contend with batteries running low in the middle of your conference. Your list is exclusively devoted to what needs to be done, saving your time and energy by directing you only to what you want to see. Plus, scientists are now discovering that writing by hand stimulates the brain’s optimal efficiency, making a person more receptive to learning.

Whatever way works for you, these four basic lists are considered essential as recommended by Dan Kennedy, author of the Ultimate Guide to Time Management:

1. My Schedule – daily schedule for the entire yearly, semi-annually, annually, etc.
2. Things-to-do list - organized by the day, week, and month; categorized into priority levels
3. People to Call List – prioritized alphabetically
4. Conference Planner – a page for each person interacted with, what to talk about, what occurs in the meetings or conversations

Whether we ride the waves of modern gadgetry or choose the classic elegance of pen-and-paper, the important thing is that our lists must have a regimented, regular system that can turn our well-thought plans into a reality.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on July 23, 2014.

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