Thursday, January 17, 2013

A New View

I don't know how or why it popped up on my screen, but I just found a new layout for the calendar on my iPad that's just what I need. Usually I have the view set to month at a glance, but today I inexplicably pulled up a list view that gives me a day-by-day listing of activities on the left and the current day on the right, with scheduled activities blocked out in violet.

And white space. I love white space.

Since I have a slight tendency (okay, more than a slight tendency) to overbook myself, this visual is just lovely. I could feel myself relax when I saw the white space. So full of hope. So full of promise and opportunity - to do not just the things I need to do, but also the things I want to do.

Maintaining a balance between white space (unscheduled time) and violet space (scheduled time) is essential. And for those of us who have difficulty managing time, anything that reminds us that time isn't as infinite as it seems (visual cues, timer, throat-clearing spouse) can be a good thing. 

For me, time management issues most often arise out of a simple inability to accurately predict how long the things on my to-do list will take. Viewing time (almost literally) in terms of white space and violet space might just make me better at that. Those violet spaces take up a specific amount of room on the screen, helping me to visualize how big a bite they're likely to take out of my day.

Of course, this only works if I schedule things with some degree of accuracy. The default setting on my calendar blocks out an hour of time per task and I think I'm going to stick with that (unless, of course, I know that something will take longer).That way, if something takes less than an hour, I will have that most desirable of all bonuses: more time.

It's amazing the difference the view makes.


  1. Lisa, Thank you for your workshop on organization at Lancaster Christian Writers group! My friends and I drove from Chambersburg to be there.

    Your talk was just the nudge I needed to get myself organized. I started with the junk drawer and then the utensil drawer. Next will be my writing desk. I took the one lady's idea to use boxes in the drawers. Works great!

    The Write Soil

  2. Yay, Dawn!! I can identify with baby steps - it's the only way I get anything done!

    Please keep me posted on your progress! And thanks for coming on Saturday, and visiting this page yesterday!