Frank (ljtourist) wrote,

  • Mood:

Fighting entropy

Mostly as a side-effect of my recent insomnia-induced surge of productivity, I've decided to have another go at getting seriously organized in my personal life. I had been doing pretty well for about 6 months, but when I started going to the gym, my free time evaporated, and so did my planning motivation.

One part of this is that last weekend I scoured the area for a decent paper planner. This was a much harder task than I envisioned. I typically plan by week, and I knew that there are lot of "weekly planner" type things out there, so it should be a snap, right? But no.

See, as a programmer, a majority of my work day typically consists of a few intensive or long-lasting tasks. My schedule tomorrow consists of:
  • 8:30am - drop off car @ mechanic
  • 9am - gym
  • 10:15am - talk to L about new disk problem
  • 11:15am - prepare for vendor X meeting
  • 12noon - have vendor X meeting
  • 3pm - work on issue for customer Y
  • 7pm - fight with tivo and javaHMO some more

That's 4 work tasks, and 3 personal tasks, which is well above average for me. A weekend day, however, often looks like:
  • Clean desk
  • Do dishes
  • Clean counter
  • Wash pots/pans
  • Do washes
  • Vacuum
  • Clean bathroom
  • File paperwork
  • Pick up mail @ Post Office
  • Go to doctor
  • Try to have a social life
  • Try to enjoy Seattle
  • Try to keep in touch with my friends across the country
  • Keep in touch with my family
  • Go food shopping
  • Do computer maintenance
  • et cetera, et cetera

And yet, 90% of the planners I looked at short-changed the weekends! I don't need to have 20 lines of tasks M-F, and then 8 on Sat/Sun; quite the reverse, in fact. Even Franklin-Covey has 75% of their weekly styles with short weekends! (for the record: Clutch, Micro, and Simplicity give equal time for Sat/Sun)

In the end, I purchased this model for the rest of this year (though if I'd known this form factor existed, I'd have bought it instead), and this model for next year. That last is designed to fold over so that "this week" is always on top: a super-neat feature. It also has a pocket in into which I've put a small notepad which is bound at the top; it will hold my master to-do list, which I can easily excerpt on a weekly basis. Neat!

Anyway, we'll see how I do this time around...
Tags: life, rant

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