Make Your Personality Work For You – Time Management Support
There is a second wave hitting the planner industry (update, I think we’re in a 4th wave) because the pace of life is continuing at high speed with no end in site. People are trying to take control of their lives in order to maintain some sort of balance. Women are calling me daily saying that they need to get back to using a planner. Some say that the new high tech gadget their husband bought for them just didn’t cut it.
We have a large number of women who are just not ready to give up good old paper that they can open up and have in full view. Personality type, learning style/behavioral tendencies, and way of life are factors women must consider when trying to stay on top of it all. And honestly, time management doesn’t come easily to everyone.
Let’s first take a look at learning style/behavioral tendencies. As more women became aware of ADD and ADHD (Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder) many of them figured that they must have one or the other. Why, because many of us have some of the “symptoms” of ADD and/or ADHD.
When I went for “my” testing I certainly thought that I had ADD. But case in point, I didn’t. I have a situation called busy-ness. It’s what has happened or is happening to most of us. The psychologist who read my test results stated that I just have more to do than one person can do alone. He said that because there is so much I think about and deal with in a day, my brain has a hard time bringing things to the front of my mind when I need it. It already has info being temporarily stored there. Put in my own words, “My short term memory takes a leave of absence because there’s too much clogging up my mind.” He also stated that there was a class I could take to help my short-term memory. I have yet to take it. I’m too busy.
Let’s look at it this way. When you’re using a computer, it has only so much RAM (Random Access Memory). While you may have a lot of space on your actual hard drive, the RAM is what processes the information of the programs that are open and in use. If you open up too many programs, your computer will tell you that there isn’t enough memory to open up that program. (At least back in 2003 it did this.) You must first close some of the things you are working on to free up RAM. It’s the same with your brain. When you have too much information on the desktop of your brain, you might have trouble bringing more information to the forefront unless you free up some space. Therefore, you must write down some of that information to release it from your thoughts, freeing up space to work on the next project or issue.
The more women I speak with the more women I hear talk about experiencing memory loss, feelings of being overwhelmed or inadequate, and exhaustion. They need help in scheduling, with time management, home and office organization, and in general making order of their chaos. So once again people are setting out to find helpful tools to help manage their busy-ness. However, we also need to address the many who have AD/HD tendencies and need a more simplified way of keeping track of everything.
I’ll slightly touch upon AD/HD to give you an idea of what I’m talking about, and then move on.
1Diagnosing AD/HD in an adult requires an examination of childhood, academic and behavioral history. The problems need to be rooted in childhood but persist into adulthood.
AD/HD symptoms often arise in early childhood.
AD/HD is diagnosed using the criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, 4th Edition (DSMIV). To meet the diagnostic criteria for AD/HD, symptoms must be evident for at least six months, with onset before age seven.
Diagnostic criteria (as it pertains to children and/or adults) are as follows:
a. often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or other activities
b. often has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities
c. often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly
d. often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (not due to oppositional behavior or failure to understand instructions)
e. often has difficulty organizing tasks and activities
f. often avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to engage in tasks that require sustained mental effort (such as schoolwork or homework)
g. often loses things necessary for tasks or activities (e.g. toys, school assignments, pencils, books or tools) h. is often easily distracted by extraneous stimuli
i. is often forgetful in daily activities
a. often fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat
b. often leaves seat in classroom or in other situations in which remaining seated is expected
c. often runs about or climbs excessively in situations in which it is inappropriate (in adolescents or adults, may be limited to subjective feelings of restlessness)
d. often has difficulty playing or engaging in leisure activities quietly
e. is often “on the go” or often acts as “driven by a motor”
f. often talks excessively
g. often blurts out answers before questions have been completed
h. often has difficulty awaiting turn
i. often interrupts or intrudes on others
Now that you’ve seen a list of symptoms, you can tell WHY many of us think we have AD/HD.
What our company has done to help determine personality type is to provide a nonscientific, “exaggerated” personality quiz that is quick and fun. It makes it easier for women to see in a more obvious fashion, why less is better if you are a “Type B Personality” as apposed to a “Type A Personality” who can handle more details. To take our FREE online personality quiz, go to Personality Based Time Management Quiz.
Type “A” women tend to jump onto our website, order, and jump off, while Type “B” women tend to write email asking questions and often email questions that are stated right on the site in plain view. I understand perfectly why they write. I personally will call or email a company 9 out of 10 times; a.) To make sure there is a real person taking care of things behind the scenes, b.) To make sure I’m not reading the information incorrectly, c.) Because it’s faster for me to call or email and ask questions rather than read, read, read to get to the end result. However as I get more familiar with sites I regularly shop at, I will first go to their Q and A to find answers before calling. The same goes for many of our Type “B” women.
Type “A” women love order. They hate it when their friends are late because they have a precise schedule and that’s how they get so much done in a day. It is very important to Type “A’s” to check things off on their to-do list. When they do things that aren’t on their list, they write them in so they can check them off. There is a psychological reason for this. The end result of looking at a list with everything checked off as completed or moved to the next day gives them a sense of accomplishment, completion if you will. Heck, it would give any woman a sense of accomplishment. How about when your significant other comes home and says, “How was your day? What did you do all day?” You can take out your list and show him. He’s a man, unless he’s a Type “A”, he won’t read all of it. He’ll only see the check marks and think you’ve put in one heck of a day. Now that would make me feel great.
More often I deal with Type “B” women who want so much to be more organized. I hear things like, “I want so much to have all of my projects completed. But instead I started all of these projects and only finished one or two.” I tell them how they are more the norm than the exception to the rule and this makes them feel a little better.
Once we get past that part, they can move onto more pressing issues such as over scheduling or the inability to follow a schedule. Type B women tend to have what might look like symptoms of AD/HD and that drives them nuts. So we give them permission to use less in the way of planner pages and to schedule less in their day, freeing up their mind. Many of them do well when they have explicit instructions to follow. Often having a good friend to help hold them accountable gets them through the initial phase of getting on track. And while it’s normal to get off track, they now have the experience they need to get themselves back on track when needed.
Figuring out a schedule that is right for you and sticking with it is an important aspect of every day life. While Type A women seem to have it easier than Type B women in the scheduling department, they still NEED to learn to say no, check their schedule throughout the day and remember not to schedule in more than they can do.
For example, many of us forget (some more often than others) about scheduling time to prepare meals. When you fill your day with too many to-dos, when do you eat? If you KNEW how many people actually do this you’d be astonished! Whether you use The Busy Woman’s Daily Planner or any other tool for scheduling, remember that it takes anywhere from 3 – 5 weeks to turn something new into a habit. Use memory tricks to remember to check your schedule at least in the morning and evening. If you find you have many of the ADD or ADHD tendencies, you’ll need to schedule much less than you think in order to maintain balance.
Set your priorities:
1. Rest (Mind rest and sleep are a must for a healthy person.)
2. Meals/Health (Can be combined with relationship building and Free Time but don’t forget shopping and preparation time. Maybe find a work out buddy so you can enjoy each other’s company while working out.)
3. Work (Your work schedule is usually set, whether it’s a 9 – 5, Mon – Fri, or 7 – 12 plus 1 – 4, or a mom schedule of 24/7 while working from home, you’ll have to be more diligent about scheduling work time.)
4. Have To-Do’s (for your home, grocery shopping, cleaning, laundry, gasoline stops… think of things you don’t normally think of; those things that HAVE TO be done)
5. Relationships/FREE Time (i.e.: God, family, friends, FUN!) Schedule FREE TIME into your planner and take it! I listen to talk radio each day on my way to pick up the kids from school. There are so many calls that deal with this exact issue. People who are givers have trouble taking time for them. Find a way. It’s imperative that you do!
6. Housework (general housework can come last such as cleaning underneath the refrigerator, bathrooms, trash – unless it’s overflowing, vacuuming, dusting, and more things like these)
7. If you have children and they want to play more than one sport, either get into a carpool or say no. I know it’s hard, but it’s a family lifesaver.
For more information about ADD and ADHD, visit http://www.chadd.org. They are a great resource.
©2003 Susie Glennan
All Rights Reserved.