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WHEN to set reminders?

WHEN to set reminders?2012-02-10T03:46:08+00:00

The Forums Forums Tools, Techniques & Treatments Time Management WHEN to set reminders?

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    Post count: 285

    I’ve been playing around with timers, alerts, reminders, alarms, etc. I’ve figured out how to get any type of alarm I need, but what I need is a better strategy… Sometimes I have so many alarms going off, they start to lose meaning. Sometimes the alarm is set so early, I forget what I need to do before it’s time to do it. Other times the alarm is too late – by the time it goes off, I’m already not going to meet the deadline.

    Can anyone share their experiences with successful alarm setting?

    How long before the task needs to start do you set it? (I also set alarms letting me know to stop doing something and get ready for the next thing). I know it’s probably different for each person, but I’m curious about other people’s experiences with this…




    Post count: 14413

    Hi munchkin

    I use my blackberry alarm system and calendar. For me I set an alarm at the start of the day to highlight my key activities.

    Then throughout the day I set alarms when I need to finish an activity and transition to another. I also vary the sound of the alarm so I don’t start ignoring.

    Also i don’t set too many alarms through he day because it becomes annoying and counter-productive.


    Post count: 596

    Munchkin maybe it’s not so much the alarm as the strategy – I have tried every system under the sun over the years and for ages swore by my electronic version and phone alarm as you mention. Odd that I swore by it because it didn’t work! I was still not doing what I was supposed to do in the end. So as cool as this system was it was in effect useless.

    My ADD coach finally convinced me to go back to a paper based system which allows me to visualize my time frame and unlike my electronic system is not out of mind once it’s put into the bowels of the computer system. Basically, for me out of sight is out of mind. I still set an alarm but have to rely less on it since I now check my paper based system regularly and am more aware of what I should be doing in the first place.

    Actually I rely more on timers than alarms.

    For example, if I’ve established that a certain task shouldn’t take more than say 20 minutes, I’ll set the timer for 5 or 10 minute increments to keep me on track.

    The key to the whole thing though is planning ahead and deciding how long things should take and when to do them. THis goes for both tasks and appointments. I do this for a week at a time on Sundays although granted I do still fall off the wagon at times. This has however been the most successful for me since last Spring. I checked my last calendar year agenda when I started my new 2012 one and to my own surprise every single week actually had entries!

    I “draw” the time frames into my agenda. I use one that has 15 minute increments with a two page per week layout and plenty of room for notes. I mark the times off in squares.

    Here’s a link to the Agenda style:


    Sorry to ramble but I’m like a smoker who quits then tries to convert everyone else as well :-)


    Post count: 285

    Thanks for the great ideas! I’m using some of these, others I wil try.

    I’m still wondering about the gap of time from the alarm or timer going off and the action that needs to be taken. I’m on medication, so I have improved my ability to hold a goal in mind while I’m transitioning from one task to the next, but only to a point.

    I keep thinking there must be a certain number of minutes that’s ideal where the timer or alarm goes off and then the action I’m supposed to perform actually gets done.

    It can’t be instant, because I have to stop what I’m currently doing which usually involves ending a phone call and/or making a note of where I’ve left off the first thing so I’ll remember where to pick it up when I return to it.

    5 minutes seems to work for changing tasks, but if I have to actually leave and get in my car to go somewhere, the transition time is increased. Even 15 minutes doesn’t seem long enough, even though I’m at work, and all I should really have to do is put my jacket on and go.

    30 minutes is always too long – I end up getting distracted or thinking I can get another task done real quick before I actually start getting ready to go. (Also, I haven’t gotten over my distaste of being early – I’m trying to figure out the psychology of that problem)

    Thanks again Robert & Nellie

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