KBB Collective | The Designers' Corner

Oct 22 2010

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The quest for productivity

It seems the quest for productivity never ends…at least for me. In the course of my working through a myriad of project management systems and settling on www.wrike.com, there seems to be another piece of the puzzle that has been lacking. Within a certain, manageable, workload, this other piece may not be as critical, but it is coming into play for my business now, maybe for you too, and I’d like to share it with you.

It’s…drumroll…a calendar. Stick with me and I promise a solid idea to enhance productivity. In my business, I am finding that I am increasingly involved in a variety of responsibilities, all related to my business and the kitchen and bath industry in some way. And that number of responsibilities is rapidly increasing. Regardless of the project management system I have implemented (which does add organization to tasks and projects), perhaps being an entrepreneur, I am finding that I may not be picking and choosing what tasks I do and when I do them with the best of judgment…plus, I’m a creative person, so by default, I’m a bit of a free spirit, and too often, my mood guides my choices. Sound familiar?

Enter the calendar. I now realize that I need to schedule some of my tasks and to put them on the calendar, putting into play a good cop/bad cop scenario…with myself playing both roles. Some tasks are on a daily repeat schedule within the calendar; all the others are scheduled as needed. Oddly, I found myself resistant to attaching a scheduled time to something that was not a “real” appointment with another person. I have no idea why. But my juggling skills had me dropping balls here and there. I knew I had to implement an additional layer of structure…real structure. I had to procure my “good cop” (and I knew she was there somewhere) to get me into line.

In addition to scheduling some (not all) tasks into the calendar, I am devoting one monitor (I have three set up in a row in front of my keyboard) to displaying the calendar, visible all day as a gentle reminder to GET THINGS DONE. I’m using Google calendar as my calendar of choice, as I love the many features of the calendar, such as color coding; multiple calendars (relating to particular categories of common tasks with a separate name for each calendar) within the central calendar; multiple reminders for any given appointment; and one feature which makes me very happy…the ability to include the image of my choice (in my case, a rose from my garden) as a background, which makes me want to LOOK at the calendar. 

google calendar 2

Putting some special tasks on the calendar will be sort of a timely back up, a structured piece that is connected to my general project management system. If you feel, too, that you need a good cop to keep you on the right track, let that good cop (the office manager side of your brain) schedule your important tasks. The calendar is not only for appointments with other people…it’s also for appointments with ourselves to help get tasks done. 

Susan Serra

This entry was posted on Friday, October 22nd, 2010 at 6:00 AM and is filed under Business. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


  1.  RobertaK |

    Susan, You are so right! Years ago my business coach told me to do the same – but what did this (expensive) business coach know about the “creative mind”??? Friday, after spending an entire week spinning my wheels trying to get caught up on a couple of kitchen projects AND trying to organize and make progress on a new and important venture – I re-started my calender ……………

    My new and much appreciated mentor just asked me how I was doing on the new venture………I’m going to tell her about the calender. Next week I will tell her about PROGRESS!

  2.  Susan Serra, CKD |

    It’s one step at a time, but it’s certainly about discipline too and yes, understanding the creative mind, which doesn’t like being in a box but should be…to a point. Thanks for the comment!