Sunday, September 08, 2013

 

Handling the To-Do List Part 1: Calendars

Just one of my multiple calendars
Last week, I shared my dilemma with my summer to-do list and the fact that barely anything got X'd off the list.

I was discussing my concerns with a fellow teacher. She asked if I suffered from chronic disorganization. Naturally, I was taken aback. I prefer to call it organized chaos.

All kidding aside, I began researching the term and discovered it involves clutter and time management issues. Now, clutter can be a problem because we live in a small house, but time management should not be an issue because I schedule my day and know what needs to be accomplished. The part that worries me when I read this explanation is that chronic disorganization can result from ADD/ADHD, dementia, or another health condition. My maternal grandfather started suffering from dementia shortly before he passed away, so that's a MAJOR concern for me. As I've aged, I've wondered if I have adult onset ADD. We'll save that conversation for another day!

Back to the "I schedule my day" line. That's when I started thinking about calendars. Using multiple (or no) calendars signals possible chronic disorganization.

Yikes!

I have a week-at-a-glance calendar that is broken down by days and then by hours. Next to the hours, I list school, interviews, and grandson duty. On the other side, I make a list of what writing responsibilities I have to get done that day. At the bottom of each day, I track the articles I submit.

Hanging next to my desk, a calendar from the Nebraska High School Rodeo Association is posted. Nope! You won't catch this girl barrel racing or goat ropin'. :) I use this calendar for billing purposes to track which papers run my weekly newspaper column.

When I swipe my smart phone to life, my synced Google calendar is displayed. It includes events from several area Chambers of Commerce, school events, University of Nebraska activities, and all my WOW! responsibilities. I can also access the calendar when I'm on my computer or tablet.

And finally, a monthly grid-style calendar hangs on our refrigerator so my husband can figure out what writing assignment I am working on which explains why I'm bringing home a pie from the local pizzeria for the third night in a week. Plus, he has a not-so-smart phone, so I can't share my Google calendar with him.

That's four calendars. Do I really need that many?

No.

So, my first step in getting organized and handling my to-do list is reducing the number of calendars I use. Since my smart phone is always with me, I'm adding everything writing related to my online calendar and tracking my newspaper column printings, too.

It may seem like a baby step, but so far, so good.

How many calendars do you use?

LuAnn Schindler is an award-winning Nebraska-based freelance writer. She's a member of the Nebraska Writer's Guild. 



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5 Comments:

Blogger Sioux said...

LuAnn--Two, I guess. A work calendar and a planner that I use to track my submissions.

Add that to the clutter I deal with, and I wonder...should I be worried? ;)

4:56 AM  
Blogger Margo Dill said...

I'm worried! :) We live in a small house, too, that is being overrun with toys. :) We have two calendars--I have one for work and then we have the family one. I have heard of married couples with smartphones using Google calendar and syncing to each other's so you can add things if you want. I like the way you organized your desk calendar, LuAnn. My desk/work calendar is crazy.

12:47 PM  
Blogger Julie Luek said...

I find when I either 1) get too many balls in the air or 2) am dealing with some emotional stress, I start to let too many things drop. I've been right in that zone lately and have got to... GOT TO... get my focus back on my calendar. I just keep one; that's enough for me to track! ;)

4:41 PM  
Blogger Cathy C. Hall said...

Well, when I first read this, LuAnn, I was all smug, thinking I only have the one calendar (that's actually a daily journal in which I list everything writing-related I've done each day). But then I looked up at my work calendar that's posted over my desk in which I post all my writing assignments. Okay, that's only two, I thought.

Except then I remembered the calendar downstairs in the kitchen--that's the family/personal calendar. And I suppose, technically, I have my Page-A-Day calendar that I read every night and write my next day's To Do List on the back side.

So, yeah. Now I'm a little worried, too. :-)

8:06 PM  
Blogger LuAnn Schindler said...

It's tough to consolidate everything into one, especially since Scott doesn't have a smart phone. :(

But, so far, so good. And I'm less stressed since I'm not constantly worrying about which calendar needs updating!!

Now, to tackle whether I have adult-onset ADD...... ;)

10:03 PM  

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