I've Hired a Digital Manager

Is anyone else experiencing an acceleration of time? Maybe it's just middle-age catching up with me, but this year seems to have marched by quicker than most. 

Back in May, my last blog post actually, I decided to take a break from memoir writing. Now, here we are in July—and I've only just started again. Has it really been five months?

At least I'm working again, and I've recruited a 'manager.' I'm not talking about a human manager. Instead I've recruited the services of Apple Reminders, and Google Tasks. I should add that they're not paying me. I just like their apps.

In the past, I'd resisted the urge toward evolving from my paper diary to a slightly less visual form; where appointments and tasks get tucked away inside a phone app—never to be tapped on again! But Apple upgraded their app, and I upgraded too.

So my simple three lists for: shopping, books and movies, has grown somewhat. I now maintain seventeen task lists, some with subtasks. I still have the original three lists, but now my entire business plan has been converted into list form. Each one has alerts. So I don't have to remember to tap on anything except my calendar.

This means that, just like an in-real-life manager sending me a text reminder, my phone dings when things need to get done. Im juggling three major projects at the moment, so a little time management has made it easier for me to attend to all tasks. The reminders are set to match my daily work blocks, so that each task not only has a start time, but an end time. This prevents me getting carried away with tasks, giving too much time to one thing, and not enough to another. It's why I'm writing this blog post. At 11:30 today my phone dinged, to alert me to the task on my business plan.

My business plan consists of a list of business areas, including: Accounts, Author work (now), Majickal Bellydance, Majickal Mystery School, Newsletter, Writing, Professional Development, etc. Each business area has a date and time attached, so that I can make sure I don't forget things, and that I can manage to do a bit of everything. 

This is my first week working with the new system, and we're doing well. I've had to tweak the times a bit. But negotiating with a digital manager is a lot easier than a human one. I can procrastinate on any task I want, by just changing the date. I can even swipe left on the whole task, without using any liquid paper! Being in lockdown in 2020/21 has created a lot of uncertainty, and postponed events. My paper diary was heavy with liquid paper, and changing entire term dates on paper is so tedious. I had to evolve. 

I know that I'm not always going to feel as motivated as I do right now. My digital manager can be reprogrammed at any time, to work around fluctuations in creative energy and mood. During those times, I have a 'joy list,' which lists all of those activities that I enjoy, but put off when I'm writing—like piano. I consider selling it sometimes, because it gathers dust more often than not. The last thing I want to do after a day of typing, is an evening of piano playing. But then I'll have a week where I can't face writing, and there's my piano waiting to rescue me from the boredom and discontent that can occur when I'm not writing. 

Back at business school in 2002, we had to complete a twenty-five page business plan to pass the course. It was a huge task for me back then. Since then I've written many business plans, and the one thing they've all had in common, is that I rarely looked at them. I was too busy doing the thing, to read about the thing.

This is the first business plan that I can see myself actually using. This week I've been extra productive. I recommend converting your entire business plan into reminders and tasks. I mean who has time to read, let alone write, the twenty-five page business plans of the past? We need actionable tasks and summarised information that is easy to glance at from our devices. 

Happy planning.

Leanne Margaret © 2021

(Virgo Moon)


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