Tuesday, October 04, 2005


My new self management system

Why have I missed putting up blog posts on a handful of days in the past three weeks? These sorts of explanations depend on one's frame of mind, of course. In my case, sometimes I'm a "glass half empty" person, and other times I'm more of a "glass half full of vile liquid" person. So the answer could be
I'm just really busy and stressed right now
I have a time management problem
Well, if it's a time management problem, then help is on the way! No, I haven't gotten a Palm Pilot or similar piece of digital technology. I'll never get a Palm Pilot. That's right, never.

Yes, I don't like the idea of having to be so technologically engaged just to look up what time my damn meeting starts; and I don't like the way people record all sorts of useless data simply because there's room for it on the Palm; and I hate the idea that I'd be unable to look up an appointment or a phone number due to a dead battery or a boot-up malfunction.

But most of all, I don't want to get a Palm Pilot because them name "Palm Pilot" always sounds to me like the title of a self-help book:
Palm Pilot:
Your Guide to Complete Realization
of Your Autoerotic Satisfaction
I've always used Week-at-a-Glance calendars to keep track of appointments, etc. A sleek, handy black book retailing for $8.95, the calendar comes in regular and academic year varieties.


This fall, however, I was shocked to find that the calendar price had jumped to $17.95! My first thought: for the price of ten of these, I could get a Palm Pilot!

But on closer inspection, I saw that my calendar is no longer just a calendar, but an entire "self management system"!

The At-a-Glance Self Management System. Iced coffee
(essential for my complete self-management system) sold separately.

What makes this simple calendar into a high powered "self management system," you ask? Certainly, the week and month calendar views, the pages for "quick notes," and the metric conversion table don't really justify more than doubling the price. Even the valuable list of "commonly misspelled words" (listing, for example, "stationary" and "stationery" without explaining when to use which spelling) fails to account for the price hike.

No, it's this: the two page display on Time Management Tips.


I know, you might think: "these are just 'time management cliches'. Everyone knows that stuff."

But on closer examination, the time management tips contain many kernals of wisdom. Some of it is pure food for thought: Did you know, for instance, that "the average employee is interrupted every 9 minutes. This equals 48 interruptions per day."

Some of it is more Confucian: pondering the words may reward you with deep insight. For instance, "The telephone is both a terrific time saver and an insidious thief." (Did you know that "40% of managers spend more than two hours per day on the phone"?)

Some of it is practical advice based on a keen understanding of human nature: "return phone calls before lunch or at the end of the day -- people get to the point faster when lunch or quitting time draws near."

And finally, some of it is breathtaking in its revolutionary sweep: "Meetings can be a big time waster.... attend meetings only if necessary."

This is a staggering realization. Meetings are a huge time waster. Can I really blow off the ones I think are unnecessary?

I could see as I browsed these pages in the store that there was no way I could absorb this new time management philosophy during a short shopping trip -- I had to buy the book. And I know that your Palm Pilot has never given you permission to skip a meeting!

Big changes coming!


You're really not from the Midwest, or even really trying, are ya?
Please wait until after the 14th to implement your new skipping meetings time management strategy because, as you know, we set up a meeting on that date with the other fourteen 1st-year small section profs.

Do not leave me hanging!

I'll just check "kernal" in my handly "Commonly Misspelled Words" list... hmmmm, not there!

Tonya: I have no idea what you're talking about.
You are one funny man!
Maybe you can use some of your new free time (due to skipping meetings you scheduled with me) to post a freakin' comment on my blog.
I had a Palm. Then I got an iPAQ. This week, I'm officially switching back to paper. Two years of not being able to really see a week at a glance! I quit.
Our you still trying to figure out how to work you're new self management system? Or just taking a brake from blogging?
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