I am having a hard time getting started today. So I decided to get warmed up by writing about how I like to stay organized. More specifically, how I organize my time.
The LEGO Calendar
|Lego Calendar Awesomeness!|
Why It’s AWESOME
It is (in my own biased opinion) the best way to think about time. It is both visual and tangible. Each little block represents 30 minutes of time. As I plan my week, I can see and feel how much time I have and how much time I dedicate to each of my priorities. Nothing has made me realize the importance of prioritizing as holding a handful of legos in my hand. As I place a block on each day, I can literally feel the hours flying away.
How I Built It
- Lego Grey Baseplate
- Lego Basic Bricks Deluxe Box
- Specialty Pieces:
- Flat Tile 2×4, Item: 87079, Qty. 1
- Flat Tile 2×4, Item: 87079, Qty. 27
- Flat Tile 1×2, Item: 3069, Qty. 6
- Plate 1×2, Item: 3023, Qty. 6
- Plate 2×4, Item: 3020, Qty. 1
- Plate 2×4, Item: 3020, Qty. 27
- Understand the layout
I wanted to have seven columns. One for Labels, five for the days of the week, and one extra. I also wanted to have 10 hours of scheduling time per day. This meant that the first column had to be placed one stud from the edge. Here is an image with a clear map of the layout. Each label piece uses a plate and a flat piece. This makes the labels stand out more.
You can choose to not purchase the plates and use the flat pieces only!
- Choose your colors and activities
The Deluxe Box comes with nine colors. So make sure you choose your activities based on the number of pieces. For instance, there are more blue than brown pieces. Thus, I chose blue for my main activity (studying for comps as of this writing), and brown for my Yoga class. The red pieces go in the row labeled red, to indicate deadlines.
- Make the Labels
I have a label maker, so I made a few labels with the days of the week, times, and names of my activities.
Each day has two columns. The first one belongs to me and the second one to my officemate. The “other” column has the key to the meaning of the colors. Since we are both at different stages on the program, her days revolve around classes. We also included Lego figures of each of us, for funsies!
Naturally, most of my time is dedicated to comps. I have some admin time scheduled for research assistant tasks, and just an hour a day for my own research. I also have one long meeting scheduled each week. That is the time I dedicate to discussion of theories with my classmates.
I came about this distribution of tasks by thinking how much time of my day at the office I wanted (or needed) to spend on each activity. For example, if I am at the office 45 hours each week, I do not want more than five and a half hours per week spent on breaks. So I gathered enough black blocks and decided how that time would be distributed. Once those blocks were gone, there is no more time I can spend on that activity.
This calendar can also work for one person. The first column can represent the “ideal” day, and the second column can represent the “actual” day.
- Legos allow you to see and feel how you spend your time – awesome!
- Each block represents half an hour.
- Think about your priorities and how much time you can/need to spend on them.
- Assign the right number and color of blocks to each activity.
- Build your calendar!
Have you built something similar? Please share!