Get There on Time

Chronically late humans, listen up: you are not alone. Millions of busy people all over the world struggle with busy schedules and time management. Oodles of books and articles have been written on the topic. So many have been written on it in fact, that it may feel a little overwhelming to try and figure out how to manage your life.

If you struggle with figuring out how to manage your time and make sure that you remember important events and appointments, here are two quick strategies to help get you going. They may seem mutually exclusive at first, but used in conjunction, can be quite powerful in aiding you in getting places on time.

First, one of the most simple strategies would be to write down your appointment, the old fashioned way. Recent studies suggest that writing things down, by hand with a pen and paper, will help you to better recall details and concepts more clearly than using a computer or phone to take notes, or set up appointments. The same study concluded that those who type are doing so “mindlessly”, without actually really processing what they were putting into their notes.

This study showed that those who used a computer versus those who used pen-and-paper on a test thirty minutes after a lecture, were less able to recall concepts or ideas, thus demonstrating that using a screen may lower thinking and processing capacities. So, bust out that old day planner you bought on a whim at a discount at the end of last year, and start jotting down your appointments.

Secondly, having just discussed the pros and cons of using an electronic device versus handwriting, there is something to be said for your phone going off to remind you that you need to get things done. Just go into your calendar and add those events.

There are a myriad of settings to be used for reminders: from alerting you ten minutes before an appointment to ten days before, these electronic reminders can be life savers. Most phones come preloaded with a calendar app. But, if for whatever reason you don’t like that calendar, there are many, many more options for your scheduling sanity.

Perhaps a combination of these two quick tips would be ideal. Back in college, I often would jot down my assignments in my notebook for a particular class and then, especially if it was an important project, I would add an alert in my phone. Then every time I glanced at my calendar, there would be a little dot there to remind me that something big was on the near horizon.

All through college, I had an ancient pseudo-blackberry because I was too cheap, and too poor to afford anything else. Even that old school brick phone had a little calendar app that proved invaluable in helping me to keep track of my my life. Head on out, get a day planner and add an alert to your phone and starting scheduling your life.