Righties?

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Karen’s post yesterday about planners for lefties reminded me of some tips I read about time-management skills for “righties” right-brainers, that is (though the right brain controls the left hand). “Typical right-brainers all share the following characteristics: ‘Out of sight, out of mind’ is their middle name; they don’t have a very good sense of time; they tend to be very creative and be great with the big picture, but details tend to evade them,” explains time-management expert Karin VR Stewart.

Most time-management tools, says Karin, are made with the more logical, sequential left-brainers in mind: blackberries, alphabetized filing cabinets, and the like. She offers the following advice to her rightie clients:

* Use a paper calendar instead of an electronic calendar, so that you can visually see how your time will be occupied. For a right-brainer, the classic view on an electronic calendar listing all appointments in a row for the day is very confusing. The visual is the same whether two appointments are at 9 am and 10 am, or 9 am and 4 pm, so it looks like they are the same.

* Your active papers (i.e. the things you’re working on right now, or will handle soon) need to be stored visually. Use containers such as trays or magazine holders to store your active papers on your desk, rather than tucking them away in a drawer. Because of your “out of sight, out of mind” tendency, things in drawers disappear. That’s why the papers accumulate on your desk: you want to make sure that they don’t disappear. Keep only your reference file in file drawers.

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