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Did any of you have "time management" systems as a child

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  • Did any of you have "time management" systems as a child

    When I was as young as maybe 9 I would make lists for days that I didn't have to go to school (always saw school as a waste of time ). A list would look something like:

    Get up
    Breakfast
    Read
    Clean out gerbil cage
    Experiments
    Go to Barras with dad (a famous Glasgow market)
    Play with Steven
    Tea

    Then I would estimate the time it would take for each activity, add it all up and add the total to the time which I got up. If I couldn't fit it into one day then something would have to get dropped. The poor gerbils had to endure a dirty cage for another day (actually I took good care of my gerbils). I liked to get up early because it meant I could get more done. Even better is when the clocks went back and I would get an extra hour- I would get up extra early then to make the most of it! I have no idea where this interest/obssession came from.

    Anyway, I'm not proposing this as an innovative process improvement to GTD, I just wondered if anyone here had such an interest in productivity/ time use at such an early age. The regulars on this forum seem to share an interest in not only getting things done but the mechanics of getting things done, which is I guess why we're here rather than reading the book and just getting on with it. Many of our deepest interests start in childhood and perhaps make the biggest impact at that time.

  • #2
    No, I did not do that as a child. I did not start doing that until in my early twenties.

    But what I did do at an early stage was start to organize my reference material (and toys and books and everything) such that "the system" was easy to maintain and made it easy for me to find whatever I needed when I needed it.

    I guess maybe this early tendency is a root cause for my reluctance - or lack of understanding - towards "integration features" between task apps and email, Evernote etc. I simply have no need and simply do not see the difficulty that some people see. And in addition, I would not want to use my task app's classification principles to apply to my reference stuff even if I could:

    Tasks and projects and goals are temporary, whereas reference stays "forever" and needs to be organized more "topically", not primarily by what I had to do at some stage to make something happen. For example, I need the latest version of all valid agreements to be very easy to find, previous versions less easily, and the entire correspondence that led up to those agreements even less easily - but the individual tasks and projects that I needed to do to bring those agreements (or that correspondence) into existence is something that I do not really need to keep a log of at all, and I certainly have no future use whatsoever of any "organizational bloat" in my reference material in the form of context tags, project names etc that I may have used at the time when I made it happen.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Folke View Post
      But what I did do at an early stage was start to organize my reference material (and toys and books and everything) such that "the system" was easy to maintain and made it easy for me to find whatever I needed when I needed it.
      I started organising my books as a teen. I developed my own kind of library classification system where I numbered my interests and grouped the books on my bookshelf in that order. It still works because the numbering system is firmly implanted in my brain. Also I would number sheets where I would write about a subject using this system. I had a great time making up systems for all kinds of things, none of which worked except that I could find a book really quickly.

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      • #4
        Oh yes

        Originally posted by treelike View Post
        When I was as young as maybe 9 I would make lists for days that I didn't have to go to school (always saw school as a waste of time ). A list would look something like:

        Get up
        Breakfast
        Read
        Clean out gerbil cage
        Experiments
        Go to Barras with dad (a famous Glasgow market)
        Play with Steven
        Tea

        Then I would estimate the time it would take for each activity, add it all up and add the total to the time which I got up. If I couldn't fit it into one day then something would have to get dropped. The poor gerbils had to endure a dirty cage for another day (actually I took good care of my gerbils). I liked to get up early because it meant I could get more done. Even better is when the clocks went back and I would get an extra hour- I would get up extra early then to make the most of it! I have no idea where this interest/obssession came from.

        Anyway, I'm not proposing this as an innovative process improvement to GTD, I just wondered if anyone here had such an interest in productivity/ time use at such an early age. The regulars on this forum seem to share an interest in not only getting things done but the mechanics of getting things done, which is I guess why we're here rather than reading the book and just getting on with it. Many of our deepest interests start in childhood and perhaps make the biggest impact at that time.
        I sure did. Not only did I try organizing myself, I tried organizing everyone else in the house too. And books...I actually started a version of a "lending library" when I was six. I charged money, though. I was always interested in making money.

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        • #5
          Not an organisation system, per se, but I loved office supplies!!! I used to pretend I worked in an office - it still boggles my mind, especially since I swore I'd never be a "secretary" like my sister! (I lived to eat those words)... I remember I had a ladybug stapler and tape dispenser - I can see it now!

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          • #6
            Me, too

            Originally posted by CJSullivan View Post
            Not an organisation system, per se, but I loved office supplies!!! I used to pretend I worked in an office - it still boggles my mind, especially since I swore I'd never be a "secretary" like my sister! (I lived to eat those words)... I remember I had a ladybug stapler and tape dispenser - I can see it now!

            I still have my ladybug stapler....

            And I just realized it must be 45 years old by now.

            Wow.

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            • #7
              I started using a pocket calendar in junior high to keep daily to-do lists. I also used to keep checklists for my daily and weekly chores.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Margaret Warton View Post
                I still have my ladybug stapler....

                And I just realized it must be 45 years old by now.

                Wow.
                Yup! That's definitely the right time frame! And I'll say what I always tell my husband: "Don't do the math!!!"

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                • #9
                  Not time-management per se, but I remember I always had at least one journal starting at around the age of 9... I always called it "my book" and carried it everywhere. Later I started to have several journals for different projects or areas of focus, like one for each game I was making, one for poems, one for LEGO projects or cartoons I was drawing. Sometimes I used the last page of the journal for "next actions" or ideas about the project.

                  Over the years I lost the habit of keeping a journal and I just recently re-recovered this old childhood habit, and it has changed my GTD system. It was like the missing system component to finally feeling "at home" with GTD.

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                  • #10
                    Oh yes! I was constantly making lists from a small child. My Dad always made lists, so I guess I copied. Only difference was he just made lists of lists of lists, whereas I crossed things off mine.

                    I was well into project planning too. I remember wandering round a garden center with a notepad - maybe 8 years old? - and planning the design of a small summerhouse I wanted to build... the vinyl that would go on the floor, the paving slabs for outside... the chairs and kettle... Only took 25 years to mark that one as done!

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