Saturday, January 26, 2013

Time Management for the Jumbled Mind

So I've spent the last several weeks experimenting with various different time management apps for my new HTC Inspire phone. Ironically, I wanted to do this so I could keep better track of the project I've been working on, which is Hannah Keeley's 30-Day Power Purge. It's ironic because I've spent so much time setting up various systems and experimenting with their various features & etc, that I didn't do the power purge challenge for a couple of days now. OUCH! Is that crazy or what?
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For the past couple of days I've gotten so hyper-focused getting my day organized, that it was suddenly noon before I had gotten much done! Don't get me wrong, I did accomplish things, but I let my intense focus on getting my time organized distract me from my main project right now, which is getting my home organized! So crazy. Do you ever find yourself doing something like that? I have a very strong feeling that I am NOT alone! Haha.

It's been a really interesting ride, not just this past few weeks, but over the years. You see, when I choose a new time management app, program, or system, I am really picky about wanting to understand it completely, apply it to my own scheduling needs, learn how everything works in theory as well as in practice, and of course I have to make sure it does everything that I need it to do for me. So not only do I have to completely immerse myself in learning how to use the tool, I have to also "live with it" for at least a  day or two before I know if it will work for me. Seriously, I have reviewed so many different time management systems over the years that I am probably an expert on what works and what doesn't and why! My husband has gotten smart and he never starts implementing something new I'm trying until I've done it for at least a few weeks. Otherwise, he will find himself just getting used to it when I abandon it. haha!

I was thinking yesterday as I setup yet another android app to find what will work best on my new phone, that I really should blog about all the different programs I've tried, what they offer, what they lack, how easy they are to use, how portable they are, basically list all the pros and cons, etc. Ah ha! Another great thread to help out all my jumbled friends! Then you can all get an in-depth look at various systems and apps without having to dive in and get too hyper focused, at least until you've narrowed the field a bit. (Not that ANY of you would EVER do that, right??) 

Maybe I can save someone else at least a little bit of the work by giving all the details about each program. At first I was just thinking about reviewing apps for phones & tablets, but when I started thinking about this, wow, I have used computer programs, books, workbooks, internet based systems, email systems, oh just about everything, including good 'ol pen and paper! Oh, not to mention whiteboards and/or spreadsheet charts put into clear plastic pages that you use a dry erase marker to write on every day. Yeah, my poor older kids got a new one of those every couple of months for most of their growing up years. Hahaha!

Anyway, you are probably thinking that it all sounds like a waste of time, and wondering "how could this woman ever possibly have benefited from all of that?" After all, since I keep changing systems several times per year (or more), that means they didn't work, right? WRONG! I used to think perhaps there was something wrong with the particular system, so I'd customize it for myself, and perfect it and tweak it until it was so unlike the original program that I could write my OWN book!  Of course, by then I'd usually be kind of sick of it or see the flaws of how it wasn't going to work for me, so I'd start looking for something else.

BUT - and here's the important point to all of this - in the meantime, as I worked with each system and tried all the different ways to organize my time and my home, I found that there was something consistent in all the different programs. It was the TRUE PRINCIPLES. All the same basic things applied in every single system (i.e. - daily routines, calendaring, keeping track of to-do's, establishing good habits, rewarding yourself, making goals, etc.) So really what I got out of each new system was to keep practicing, day after day, all those really great habits and principles that are time tested to help people manage their lives and homes better.

So no matter what tools you use, the principles stay the same. There are occasionally totally new ideas, such as when Steven Covey came up with the term "proactive". These types of new ideas occasionally  rock the foundations of the time management world. But when you really start to think deeply about it, you can probably find somewhere else that the principle existed long before. For instance, in the case of Covey's "proactive", have you ever heard of "taking the bull by the horns"? Even religious texts teach us these types of things. In fact, The Book of Mormon calls this principle "act or be acted upon". You get the idea, right? The POINT is that when you try something new and it works for you for awhile, but not forever, that is OKAY. The real question to ask yourself is this: "What did I learn from this system/tool/program that helped me grow as a person and develop my talents & skills, and establish some new good habits?

Ahhhhh. . . Now that is the crux of it all, isn't it? After all, the system itself isn't nearly as important as the results of the system. I'm not talking about perfect results here, I'm talking about the results that the program had upon you personally. For isn't that what life is truly all about? Learning and growing and finding joy in our existence? In my book that's the whole purpose of life.

Wow, how did I get off on that tangent anyway? One thought at a time I guess! Bottom line is this: I definitely need to put all my planning and experimenting to good use and blog about all the different programs and systems I've used. SO - there's an exciting future plan for a new topic on the Jumbled Sunshine Blog. But. . . NOT until I finish up the 30-Days challenge!

I decided last week that no matter how many days I have to miss, I will NOT give up on this! I will just keep swimming, just keep swimming, until I have done all 30 challenges. I committed to 30 Days of spending 1-2 hours decluttering and organizing, and I am going to KEEP my commitment!  So - never fear, dear blog readers, I promise I will not let you down! Even if it takes 30 weeks instead of 30 days!! :)

At any rate, I have been having a lot of fun getting my daily routine organized - this should help with my decluttering efforts this coming week. At least I will take solace in that thought, and go back and look at all the pictures I've posted so far to give myself some more motivation to get back at it! That's one great thing about this world we live in - we can always be assured that, as Annie put it: the sun'll come out. . .  TOMORROW! 

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