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  1. #1
    filling some space UnitOfPopulation's Avatar
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    Default Scheduling preferences

    What kind of tasks do you schedule for yourself - do you focus on the time you want to use for some topic, or the results you want?

    I.e.
    a) Monday: use 2 hours cleaning the house
    b) Clean the house well enough so you'll be proud to invite your friends for dinner

    a) Tuesday: read for exam 6 hours
    b) Tuesday: prepare for exam well enough so you can answer anything about the book's topics well enough

    a) Wednesday: 1 hour for weekly shopping
    b) Wednesday: get in, buy what you need, get out

    ..or some other flavor, (c), (d), (x)?

  2. #2
    Honor Thy Inferior Such Irony's Avatar
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    Definitely B. I often find that tasks take longer or shorter than I initially thought.
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  3. #3
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    I do a combination, mixing long-term and short-term scheduling. If I know I have an exam in a week, the overall schedule is to be prepared in time for the exam. I then identify what blocks of time I have each day to study, based on other activities and commitments. I then divide up the studying among those blocks, leaving some time at the end in case it takes longer than expected. This might look like: review chapters 1-5 on Monday (2 hours), chapters 6-9 on Tues (3 hours), homework problems on Thurs (3 hours), meet with study group Saturday (2-3 hours). Extra study time Sunday afternoon if needed. If I run over on any segment, I need either to make it up in the next time slot, or take time away from another activity. If I get ahead, I either keep going into the next time slot's allotment, or use the time for something else.
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  4. #4
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    Case by case:

    I prefer A - it keeps life simple and managable. Requires compromises with quality.

    B is for long-term goals, that have to happen. I define it not as "well enough" but as "I'm getting exactly this or similar result regardless of time or efforts. No compromises with quality".

    Also B is for important things I do for the first time when I expect to be doing them again frequently.

    A is a sprint (within a day).
    B is a marathon (weeks/months/years).

  5. #5
    Senior Member Jaguar's Avatar
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    Default

    B.

  6. #6
    Senior Member ceecee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    I do a combination, mixing long-term and short-term scheduling. If I know I have an exam in a week, the overall schedule is to be prepared in time for the exam. I then identify what blocks of time I have each day to study, based on other activities and commitments. I then divide up the studying among those blocks, leaving some time at the end in case it takes longer than expected. This might look like: review chapters 1-5 on Monday (2 hours), chapters 6-9 on Tues (3 hours), homework problems on Thurs (3 hours), meet with study group Saturday (2-3 hours). Extra study time Sunday afternoon if needed. If I run over on any segment, I need either to make it up in the next time slot, or take time away from another activity. If I get ahead, I either keep going into the next time slot's allotment, or use the time for something else.
    This. Generally speaking, I do whatever I can to kind of snowball items that take less time/are less important but need to be accomplished all the same. Then I can focus on the larger chore(s) for the week. My work is done from home with every other week meetings at my office. These are low on the importance list, they only take a couple hours so a total of about 4 hrs a month. My day to day work is more important but, unless there is a rush, I am done by noon (I start around 5:30am). This leaves about 3 hrs a day to do the required daily household chores then the evening free for kids activity/homework/etc and mom and dad time.
    I like to rock n' roll all night and *part* of every day. I usually have errands... I can only rock from like 1-3.

  7. #7
    Carerra Lu IZthe411's Avatar
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    Combo.....

    I like defining by things by blocks of time, and then go HAM for that duration. I'll put that down then look at something else. Keeps it fresh.

  8. #8
    Senior Member captain curmudgeon's Avatar
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    Definitely B.
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  9. #9
    filling some space UnitOfPopulation's Avatar
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    I've tried to find out the relative merits of each method but I haven't yet been able to fix a good combo system that uses the both. I just schedule other tasks with a) and leave the (b) unscheduled, doing them whenever situation allows (i.e. there's lack of a-type tasks).

    I'll call method a timeslotting and method b priority listing.

    Timeslotting (a) benefits:
    -you can easily see when your time is full or reserved for some other activity
    -time estimates are built into the system
    -forces you to recognize the problems of running late or using too much time on something, as you might need to reshedule some things
    problems:
    -if there's lot of variable time tasks or tasks with inaccurate time estimates, there's lot of rescheduling and inconvenience
    -encourages the "work expands to fill the available time" syndrome.

    Priority listing (b) benefits:
    -eliminates the "work expands to fill the available time" syndrome as it's focused on results
    -forces you to think about the requirements for each task
    -priorities change less than the exact time you've reserved for them, so there's less re-prioritizing than there would be rescheduling
    problems:
    -may lead to gross underestimates of time needed, as the tasks don't have a time component
    -doesn't directly help to estimate how many / which tasks can be performed in a given time period

    Just a few ideas. I sometimes find it hard to motivate myself for a-type tasks, thought they give a convenient estimate of how much I can do in a day.

  10. #10
    filling some space UnitOfPopulation's Avatar
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    Default

    I've tried to find out the relative merits of each method but I haven't yet been able to fix a good combo system that uses the both. I just schedule other tasks with a) and leave the (b) unscheduled, doing them whenever situation allows (i.e. there's lack of a-type tasks).

    I'll call method a timeslotting and method b priority listing.

    Timeslotting (a) benefits:
    -you can easily see when your time is full or reserved for some other activity
    -time estimates are built into the system
    -forces you to recognize the problems of running late or using too much time on something, as you might need to reshedule some things
    problems:
    -if there's lot of variable time tasks or tasks with inaccurate time estimates, there's lot of rescheduling and inconvenience
    -encourages the "work expands to fill the available time" syndrome.

    Priority listing (b) benefits:
    -eliminates the "work expands to fill the available time" syndrome as it's focused on results
    -forces you to think about the requirements for each task
    -priorities change less than the exact time you've reserved for them, so there's less re-prioritizing than there would be rescheduling
    problems:
    -may lead to gross underestimates of time needed, as the tasks don't have a time component
    -doesn't directly help to estimate how many / which tasks can be performed in a given time period

    Just a few ideas. I sometimes find it hard to motivate myself for a-type tasks, thought they give a convenient estimate of how much I can do in a day.

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