Low Volume Scheduler

Before discussing what it means to be a “Low Volume Scheduler”, let’s make sure we have some accurate information. For example, the quiz you completed didn’t check to see whether or not your percentages added up to 100%, so let’s repeat the exercise with a bit more of an explanation.

As you know a flexible task is one that is not limited by outside expectations. In other words, you have a lot of latitude in choosing when to perform the task, even though you may have definite preferences. In the quiz, I gave the example of playing with Facebook. That’s a task you can do almost anytime, anywhere, unlike a weekly meeting in the conference room at your office which has a fixed time and place.

(Time Blocking is all about working with flexible tasks, so this step is an important one.)

Also, for the purposes of this exercise, let’s set aside habits and just focus on tasks which you must consciously perform with full attention. The one thing they all have in common is that you can’t do them now. They have all been delayed until later for some reason.

Now, imagine if you were to take a snapshot of all these tasks. Where do they currently reside? If they sit in more than one place (i.e. there are duplicates), assume the one with the higher number.

Go ahead and complete this form.

Are you finished? Do the percentages add up to 100? I recommend that you be conservative in your estimates: you probably know that using more memory is “bad” and you may be tempted to inflate your numbers a bit. Resist that – the truth will set you free!

Now, take a step back and look at your snapshot. What does it tell you? (A big part of the skills we develop here at ScheduleU are for the purpose of self-assessment and this one is important.)

By the way, this is one of the first steps I take with my coaching clients as it tells us important information about the individuals’s task volume, habits and apps. (In this context, the brain is an “app” and so is a paper list.)

Unfortunately, I’m not there with you to take a look at your results but

Before discussing your preliminary results, there are a few concepts we need to include based on research performed at 2Time Labs.

The first notion is that your current setup of habits, practices, apps and devices only needs to be changed when you start to experience unwanted symptoms. Until then, there’s absolutely no need to make a change, unless you anticipate an increase in task volume e.g. the impending arrival of twin babies on top of a recent promotion at work.

Ultimately, you are the one who must decide whether or not to make change based on your current or projected experience.

The second notion is that these symptoms arise when there is a mismatch between your current system and the number of tasks you are trying to manage. Think of your ability to curl a dumbbell. The muscles in your arm will allow you to comfortably lift a certain weight or anyone lighter.

In much the same way, your system for managing tasks can handle a certain volume and no more. When you try to go past the limits, unwanted symptoms pop up.

Therefore, the fact that the quiz indicates that you are a “Low Volume Scheduler” is not, by itself a problem. Many adolescents and retirees fall comfortably into this category.

However, if unwanted symptoms keep showing up, they may have an impact on your peace of mind. If that’s the case, here are some options to evaluate your current system with the goal of making practical improvements.