Friday, April 20, 2012

Unplanned planning

(SYLC 14)

Ah, time management and planning. Those two things and I have a love/hate relationship.

As an avid list maker I love getting stuff out of my head and down in writing, yet I am a seasoned procrastinator when it comes to doing something on that list I don't want to do.

I like being organised, yet I hate routines and get bored very easily.

I am can plan, but I don't like being locked in.

So how is that working for me? The truth - it is and it isn't. I've over time played with various systems, discarding them for new ones. I have a penchant for technology and have pretty much moved digital when it comes to planning, yet I still have an addiction to a pretty pens and post it notes.

I'm going to use this week's challenge to review what I'm doing and how it is, or isn't working.


I use Omnifocus, a task management app on my iPad and desktop at work to record to-dos.

For work I have a dumping inbox which I just throw stuff that has to get done in when I think of it, and one called 'Today' which is supposed to be the day's to dos but currently holds 35 'important' tasks. Clearly, I'm not prioritising very well nor using these lists as I intended. I have managed to transfer all the post-it notes from my desk into this which is a step forward.

For home/personal I have a number of boxes:
  • This weekend - things I want to get done each weekend
  • Daily to-dos - weekly errands
  • Personal - things I want/need to do for me
  • Home - things I want/need to do for my home
I confess I hardly ever look at these lists. I don't prioritise the items on them. The weekend one usually gets a workout, but I never finish everything I have in it.

I use Evernote on my iPad to write meeting notes which is great. But I'm not always good at transferring tasks I need to followup from meeting notes across to Things.

Verdict: My task management needs an overhaul. I like the app I'm using but I could set it up a better way. I have ideas and need to put aside some time to tweak this. I quite like the idea of daily, weekly, monthly and a brain dump list.

Dates and calendars

Important dates and appointments stored on a few electronic calendars, which all display on my iPad and iPhone, including my work calendar, personal, birthdays and public holidays. This works pretty well, but I dont always check this everyday as I rely on my work one which is in my face. This means I miss birthdays sometimes.

Verdict: I need to get into the habit of checking my iPad/Phone every morning for birthdays/reminders. I also need to put things in like when bills are due etc. Even better, I could set up more direct debits.

Shopping list

It's a pad of paper on my bench. Things are written down as I run out of something.

Verdict: Works well.


I've had big goals for so long that I finally completed at the end of last year, I'm frankly a bit over the idea of goals. As I mentioned a couple of posts ago, I'm in a well deserved floating phase of my life right now. Not that I can afford to mooch around completely. I'm focusing on gaining a new balance with less focus on work/study and more on other areas. I've made inroads definitely, but the process has been much more organic than it has planned.

Verdict: I'm quite happy with my process and progress in this area. I just need to keep it up.

1 comment:

  1. Great post - i think you have examined things well and can make some tweaks and see how things improve for you - the key is to keep tweaking and checking if things are not changing.Like your shopping list, you know when it IS working for you and that is great - no need to get more complicated when something works for you

    deb @ home life simplified


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