The Crazy Suburban Mom: Bill Gates times two...

Friday, March 29, 2013

Bill Gates times two...

The problem with planning systems set up by already organized people is they don't work.  Well,  for me anyway.  I've read too many books on the subject (just ordered two more because I'm a slow learner) and they  make exquisite sense, yes.... But only in theory. One thing most have in common is setting a high value on cutting out the steps involved in getting from to do to, to done.  The steps are seen as a useless waste of time (Busy work, I called it in school) but  I need  obnoxious repetition  to move things from short to long-term memory.


For me, the doing things over and over are the stairs I have to climb to hammer stuff into long-term memory.   And while constantly climbing the same stairs is exhausting, sometimes it's only way to get to the second floor.


My forth grade teacher taught us the multiplication tables in a way I still shudder over. Every day the entire class took a test of every possible multiplication combination between 0 and 10, and we took  it until everyone got 100% on the test, on the same day.  I've got no idea how many times I took that test but every day I feared I'd be the one to make us take it all over again the next day.


Finally after forever times two we all got a 100% on the test, how long it took is blocked  out like any childhood trauma but it was a valuable lesson in how I learn.  To this day I remember what 7 x 6 is  - As opposed to the addition and subtraction tables; that teacher had us cut out little squares of paper as counters.  When I try and do simple addition it remains a counting process but when I multiply it's a memory.

filofax pen storage

So as awful as the memory of taking that test was, it remains how I learn, how I plan, and how I use my Filofax.  I know a lot of people write reoccurring things on something re-positionalable (sticky notes, Martha Stewart dew drops, post it flags...)  and move  it from week to week or day to day.  And many professional organizers suggest putting these tasks in an electronic device as an alarm to save time and mental energy but does it really increase efficiency?


Yes and no.  As Bill Gates said, The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.


I guess it boils down to anything that works, works and anything that doesn't, doesn't...


 ... Times two.


Josh LaPorte 3/29/13, 8:44 PM  

What a fabulous post! I totally agree. Repetition is important.

sweetside 3/29/13, 8:45 PM  

I love your grocery shopping tabs and the stamped image of food. Where did you buy them?

Anna-Marie Hawthorne 3/30/13, 9:00 AM  

GREAT post. Thanks for the food for thought.I love your YouTube videos too. You've given me so much great info.

paperscribe 3/30/13, 10:31 AM  

I agree, and require my details to be documented, as well. Some are in my planner, some elsewhere. Having that available for repetitive reference helps me keep things together when life heats up unexpectedly.

Tracy Reinhardt 3/30/13, 10:51 AM  

Josh, I hate when professional organizers forget they are dealing with people different from themselves!

Sweetside - an online store called yozocraft. Just google it!

Anna-Marie - Thank you!!

Paperscribe- So agree with you!

Angel Jem 3/31/13, 10:43 AM  

Sometimes we need physical repetition like writing out over and over because that's how some people learn. It's called kinesthetic learning I think: building a muscle memory to build a memory.

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