‘Meet… Carly… 4pm… Thursday…’
My mate was scribbling this information on his hand with a pen. I took a deep, slow breath and tried not to say all the thoughts running through my head. Thoughts like ‘Don’t you have a diary?’ ‘Is this REALLY the best place to write down important information?’ ‘Thursday is four days away. Are you planning on washing your hands in that time?’.
He shook the pen and scribbled hard on his hand. ‘Ah damn it the ink ran out! Oh well… I’ll remember!’
What he had written was ‘meet Carly indecipherable scribble’. I was 90% sure I’d be having coffee alone on Thursday. Or I’d call him at 4.20 on Thursday when he was inevitably going to be late and he’d say ‘I knew I had somewhere to be on Thursday! Be there in 20!’
And then I’d sit there for another 20 minutes fuming at having almost a full hour of my afternoon wasted because Mr Diary Hands can’t keep track of where he’s supposed to be and when.
I know we all pretend like we’re not judgemental but we just are. I don’t give a shit what anyone does in their own lives but if anyone repeatedly wastes my time or keeps me waiting they’re so not invited to my pool party. And before you all get your knickers in a twist, no I don’t lose my shit every time someone is late. Obviously, if there’s traffic, a toddler tantrum or some other unforeseeable circumstance, that’s totally cool. It’s when people do it five times in a row that it really starts to piss me off.
No one is born organised and time management is a learnable skill. It’s actually a very simple mathematical equation.
What Time You Need To Be At Your Location – The Amount of Time It Takes To Get There = The Time You Need To Leave
This seems super obvious I know, but I’ve been kept waiting enough times to assume that a lot of people don’t know about this formula. I also like include a Luck Buffer. Mr Smaggle has excellent traffic, parking and public transport luck. So if his travel estimate is 20 minutes, he’s likely to get there in 15 minutes. I’m the opposite, I get traffic fucked ALL THE TIME and I can almost never find a park no matter where I go. So I add an extra ten minutes to my travel time for that exact purpose. You’ll learn as you whether or not to add or subtract a luck buffer.
Even though I’m very organised, I still rely on apps to help me out.
Here are a few apps that will make life easier… and get you to where you’re going on time.
I’ve mentioned both of these apps countless times and full disclosure, they’re made by Mr Smaggle and his team but I couldn’t function in the day without these apps. I use Timepage for my diary and Actions as my To Do list. I schedule my daily To Dos, add timings to them and put them in order then they’re automatically inserted into Timepage and I just tick things off as I go. I can also schedule To Dos on different days which is a dream come true. I use both every single day and would be lost without them.
This subscription app gives you access to summarised versions of popular non-fiction books so you can read up on the important stuff in half the time. I subscribed a few months ago and it’s excellent. I love reading but I prefer reading fiction for pleasure and I’m not the type to snuggle down with a self-help book to read before bed. I pretty much only read before bed so when would I find the time to read all the great business and personal development books out there? I can read a whole book in about 12 minutes with Blinkist summaries.
I’ve long been a lover of the Pomodoro technique, where you set timers to get tasks done and FocusList has taken this to the next level with their app. It’s a To Do list/Pomodoro technique hybrid that forces you to focus on the one task until you finish. It’s such a great app for anyone who gets easily distracted. Like me.
This one is a bit scary but it’s great if you want to hold yourself accountable for the time you spend on your computer. At the end of each week, it sends you a little pie chart showing what you spent your time doing. It’s quite confronting to see how much time you ACTUALLY spend on Facebook vs how much time you THINK you spend on Facebook.
As a podcaster, I’m probably going to go straight to podcasting hell for saying this but the Apple Podcast App sucks. Hard. It will just unsubscribe me to my favourite podcasts for no reason and trying to listen to a series of podcasts is a nightmare because it will try to make you listen to the last 30 seconds of a podcast you’ve clearly already finished listening to. Podbean updates seamlessly and just play series of podcasts in order which is obviously the best way to listen to them.
Oh and this week on Straight and Curly, Kelly and I are talking about things we wish they’d taught us at school.