Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Objective Based Scheduling

There's no such thing as the "daily routine." Sure, there are certain things that will always happen. I'll always get up, get a shower, brew coffee. I know I'll need to work. I know I need to go home. Between those gross points, however, I get completely and utterly lost.

When I'm coding something or focusing on a specific task I kinda lose the ability to... er... speak the English language. Or determine what time it is. Or understand that if I want to eat lunch I'll need to do so at 1:00 so I can get in three hours of heads-down work but eat before meetings ramp up and I don't have time to head to the microwave.

It would be great if I could have a personal scheduling system to orchestrate all these little events in my life. Not a calendar - I've already got elebenty gabillion of those; I don't want to schedule an appointment and then have to re-mix them all when something changes. I would much rather give a scheduling system a list of "objectives" and have it calendar everything for me.

For example, let's say I want to get four hours of heads-down coding done today. I'll get into the office at 8:30 but have to leave at 4:00 to meet a friend downtown for an early dinner. There are meetings at 9:30, 1:30 and 2:30 all slated for 30 minutes. And I need to eat somewhere around noon-ish. It would be great to put all of these objectives in, both the concrete ones and the ones that can be scheduled willy-nilly, and have the app decide what order they should occur in. For example, the system could tell me to eat a late breakfast before the 9:30 meeting, work until 1:30, go to the meeting, eat lunch at 2:00, go to the 2:30 and leave before 4. If the 9:30 meeting goes long, maybe it would recommend I cancel my 2:30, eat lunch early and still head out at 4.

There are plenty of webapps out there that will let you create collaborative calendars, stream them, share them, etc. I have yet to see one that allows me to set objectives while it plans my day for me. That would be awesome... it would be an app that could save me from myself.

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