Time. It’s tough to manage and we all want more of it. Today’s guest blogger shares how he uses tech and paper to grab hold of every hour, minute, and second.
Hello, my name is Doug Ramsay. I’d like to share with you a few of the methods I use to keep myself organized while trying to obtain (if you will) as much as I can of this thing elusive thing we know of as “time.”
I’m a pretty busy guy. Being a husband, father of two kids, a musician in and outside church, studio owner, recording engineer, artist, and working a full-time job as a software systems engineer doesn’t seem to ever leave much of the 24 hours we ALL are allotted each day. Currently, I am working on four different CD projects, a remix project, and two other recording projects that are just getting started. That said, the only way I can successful function is to schedule my day…EVERY day.
What I find best helps me is to utilize a simple daily to-do list, which I maintain by using a combination of software and paper. I’m the tactile type, meaning I prefer to write my to-do list on paper first. I carry around a mid-size, leather, seven-hole planner that I basically keep lined note paper in, and I jot down all that I strive to accomplish daily. I usually categorize my list by financial activities, music projects, general errands, appointments, and phone calls.
As far as software goes, what works great for me is the combination of my Blackberry, the Blackberry app Google Sync, and my Google Calendar online. I can enter tasks and appointments directly onto my calendar via my computer or onto my Blackberry’s calendar if I’m on the go. By using Google Sync on my Blackberry, I can keep both calendars in sync, making it easy to keep track of all the appointments and task deadlines I seem to constantly have.
The Google Calendar/Blackberry Google Sync combination is great because an alarmed reminder can be set to alert my Blackberry (which is essentially another appendage of mine ). I can also sync my iCal calendar on my Mac with Google calendar and have access to my appointments and tasks on my Mac. Since I keep a number of different calendars for various music projects, this works very well.
After my daily list is done, I determine how long each would generally take, then decide which part of the day would be best to execute them.
In summary, I’d say my top 3 tips for staying organized are:
1) Daily to-do list
2) Smartphone calendar/online calendar syncing utilizing alert reminders
3) Always allotting time to execute the tasks
Pareto’s Principle basically says focus on the 20 percent that matters. Of the things you do during your day, only 20 percent really matter. Those 20 percent produce 80 percent of your results. Identify and focus on those things. If something in the schedule has to slip, if something isn’t going to get done, make sure it’s not part of that 20 percent. If I can accomplish this, I’m a happy camper! Thanks for YOUR time!
About the Author
Doug Ramsay – Husband and father of two kids with a full-time job as software systems engineer, musician, studio owner, producer, recording engineer, and artist. Doug hosts a weekly podcast entitled “The Sunday Soundtrack.” The podcast is geared towards giving an alternative listening experience to the standard Sunday afternoon commercial smooth jazz formatted programs.
Manage your tasks with Google (googleblog.blogspot.com)
DayChaser Is a Refreshingly No-Frills Calendar [Downloads] (lifehacker.com)