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Wet Noodle Posse | Blog

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Time Management For Left And Right Brained People

It's hard to believe that we're to the end of January.  This will mark my last day as hostess of the blog, my month is up and tomorrow Diane Gaston takes over, and I know she'll be great!

I kicked off this month with a quiz on whether you are left brained or right brained thinker.  To view that post (and take the quiz) go here.  So, since I started this month off with a quiz, I thought I'd end it with one, too.  How Stressed Are You - Check it out:

Your Stress Level is: 47%

You are somewhat prone to stress, especially when life gets hard.
When things are good, you resist stressing over little problems.
But when things are difficult, you tend to freak out and find it hard to calm down.
How Stressed Are You?

For me, the number one reason why I'm stressed is because I'm not managing my time well.  I procrastinate.  

Battling Procrastination For Left Brained People: 
  • This all goes back to the goal setting you did at the beginning of this month.  Prioritize your "To Do" List.
  • Make an analysis of how much time you're wasting.  Sometimes seeing this in black and white can really get  you jump started.
  • Determine why you're procrastinating.  This may be more difficult for you, but there is an underlying reason why you're putting something off.  Maybe it's unpleasant, or maybe you don't think you have the skills to do it - once you know the reason, you're half way to wrestling that problem to the ground.

Battling Procrastination For Right Brained People:
  • You have to determine why you're putting something off.  This might be easier for you than for your left-brained friend, but if the answer isn't coming right to you, use a journal. Write first thing in the morning, or right before you go to bed - often the answer lies right there.
  •  You are easily distracted, I know, I suffer from it, too.  So, just remind yourself, you don't have to play that second round of farm hustle or solitaire on your computer before you open your WIP.  You can write 3 paragraphs before you get a cup of coffee.  Your e-mail can wait.
For both - ask a friend to check up on you - that's what critique partners are for.  Invest in a timer, and don't stop writing until it sounds.  And don't be afraid to set it for only five minutes.  Five minutes of true writing might be a lot more than you're giving yourself now.

Make A Schedule

LB - Get a planner, dayrunner, etc. and plan out your day, week and even your month.

RB - Okay, shhh - we don't want the left brainers to hear this.  You and I both know there is no way to manage time.  Time is just...time.  Breaking up time into seconds, days, weeks, months...pretty left brained if you ask me.  Instead of thinking in blocks of time, when you sit down, think in what you want to have accomplished at the end.

Now because we live in a somewhat structured world, you have to get a planner, too.  BUT write with gel pens and decorate the cover.  Also, keep your schedule flexible - it won't seem as much like a schedule to you then.  

Both - Use the calendar feature on your computer.  I have a mac, and my left brained husband has been telling me for years to use the feature.  Now he's set it up so that it gives me reminders almost every day.  My Thursday reminder is to backup the hard drive.  I don't know what it is, but getting a little pop up screen or an e-mail notice (like what yahoo does) isn't nearly as difficult for me as keeping that scheduler going.

Ask Yourself The Tough Questions

LB - Ask yourself, is what I'm doing now going to help me complete my goal?  Are the things that I'm doing to fill my time really important.  If not - cut them out!

RB - Remember the "Not-To-Do" list from the goal setting post?  You can do less.  Really, you can.  

Slow Down

This is something that both the left brain and right brain people need to keep in mind.  Our society has gotten so fast, BUT we don't always have to hurry all the time.  (Although a lot of my hurrying is caused by my poor time management skills).  One of my good friends Rhonda said this song and video reminded her of me.  See if it reminds you of you  

LB - Schedule downtime. 
RB - Plan your time around your body.  When does your body say it's time to eat?  If it's 11:15 - then eat lunch then.  Not noon if your job allows.

Do It Now
I read this once in a time management magazine article, but it suggested that for one day you use those little adhesive dots and put them on any piece of paper that you handle.  You do this every time.  At the end of the day, see how many times you handle a piece of paper, mail whatever.  I had one piece of paper that could literally have 7 dots on it.  That's ridiculous.

When something comes to mind, comes into your hand - do whatever it takes to take care of it RIGHT then. 

Good luck with your goals, your time-management and your writing!  

What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important. ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower

**Most of these time mgt/stress/goal setting skills came when I was teaching freshmen and read the book Becoming A Master Student (1997) by Dave Ellis.


At 8:50 AM, Anonymous Kerry Allen said...

I'm a 50/50 split between left- and right-brained, and I discovered long ago I can literally spend so much time trying to figure out which time-management strategy is applicable at any given point in time, I run out of time to manage.

Sadly, my baseline level of inefficiency has proven more productive than all attempts to make me more so. Deadlines set by others are the only tried-and-true method to guarantee I'll accomplish a goal in x amount of time.

At 9:14 AM, Blogger Jill Monroe said...

Well Kerry Allen - you found what works for you : ) Sometimes knowing I would have to tell my critique partners that I didn't write because I played farm hustle all day is a good thing : )

At 10:19 AM, Blogger Mo H said...

Great suggestions that will work for me--love the gel pens. I'm afraid to try to dot thing on papers I touch, but I did think about my daughter's orthodontist check-up thanks to the calendar feature on my computer and rather than put off getting her retainer, I found it and put it in my purse. Yes, I'm busy bee, too!

At 11:12 AM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

I was also 50/50 between LB and RB. And I was 25% for stress level.

Thanks for all the great tips, Jill. I need to get organized and get a day planner but I have a feeling I won't look at it since I don't look at my calendar enough as it is. I think I need a giant white board that I can't miss!

I'm glad I don't know what Farm Hustle is because if I did, I would probably try it and become addicted. I don't play any computer games for that reason. It's checking the email and googling that kills too much time for me.

Thanks for the great month of blogs, Jill! Good job.

At 7:46 PM, Blogger Gillian Layne said...

Great post, Jill, and thanks for all your time this month!

My stress test had a rather disturbing result, so I'll try some decaf tea after I get the kiddos to bed :)

At 9:53 PM, Blogger doglady said...

My stress test was a real eye opener for me too! 71% ! Ouch!

I am almost 50/50 left brained / right brained so I understand what you are going through, kerry!

Jill, you did a fabulous job this month and all of these tips are worth their weight in gold.

I know I need to figure out WHY I sometimes don't put my butt in the chair every day.

At 7:19 AM, Blogger Jill Monroe said...

Glad it could be helpful!

And thanks for all your kind words.

At 8:48 AM, Blogger Trish Milburn said...

LOL on the video. That's how I've felt the past couple of weeks. Great topic to end the Getting Started month.


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