the tyranny of doodle15 Dec 2018
doodle, when2meet, whenisgood. this week i have filled out at least five digital scheduling tools. i also made three and felt guilty about it. obviously the intention is to help people meet so they can move forward whatever it is they’re trying to move.
but i think i’m actually approaching doodle exhaustion.
i noticed it the other day when someone else volunteered to make the doodle to schedule our group’s next meeting. i felt visceral relief and then stress that i was going to have to do be on the other side, filling it out at some point.
i have a couple of thoughts about what i think is happening here:
- i think i’m getting tired of looking at my schedule for potential times i could meet and then not knowing if that time is booked or not.
- all doodles seem to have the same priority in my mind: urgent and important. that can’t possibly be true because every meeting isn’t equally urgent and important. but the task of filling out the doodle feels urgent, regardless of the importance of the work the doodle is to set up a meeting for, because not filling out the doodle blocks the meeting getting scheduled. there is a linkage to wanting to let all people involved with the meeting to actually know when the meeting is actually going to be
- when i have potential times for potential meetings, i put literal blocks on my calendar holding the time. i realize everyone doesn’t do this. but it’s happened way too much times that i forgot i had doodled that i was free at certain time and then booked a meeting during that time and then everyone filled out the doodle and i became double-booked.
- doodles also create a strange warping effect on my sense of how much time i actually have. sometimes i think i have more time than i actually do and other times i think i have less.
- i used to be much more scheduled out than pretty much everyone around me. but i am realizing that, because of doodling time farther into the future than i used to, i end up overbooked/overwhelmed in ways i used to not be before. now, if i don’t have the exact amount of time i need to do my work blocked into my calendar, i’m likely to doodle it away and then not have enough time to do everything i am already committed to.
- at a more collective scale, we are all supporting each other to break up our time during the days/weeks to meet and do important work. i get that and it’s valuable for sure. but the time i fill out on a doodle doesn’t reflect the reality that all time isn’t the same. just because i’m not booked, doesn’t mean i actually should then get booked.
- sub-point: meetings take energy. when i doodle myself into a bunch of meetings, i use the brain energy that i could be using to do other stuff.
all that’s a long way of saying i’m pretty fucking annoyed with filling out doodles. i am beginning to develop a negative reaction to even the idea of them. and once that happens, the tool will have lost it’s power because i’ll just stop doing them.
what to do, though? who knows.
ps - this is also deeply connected to being in too many meetings, but that’s a post for another day…
words / writing / post-processing
450w / 12min / 3min