Do you schedule questions?

scheduling questionsI was just scheduling a couple of questions on my calendar when I wondered:

Do other people do this?

 

Do you have questions?

Who doesn’t?

 

What do you do with them?

Ask someone?

Research the answer for yourself?

Write the questions down on a to-do list?

Let them float around in your head and risk forgetting about them?

 

But what if it’s the sort of question that can’t be answered right away and you have to wait?

Won’t you probably learn the answer if you just wait long enough?

Maybe, but what if there’s a penalty involved if you wait too long?

Do you risk missing a deadline (or an opportunity) or incurring a late fee?

 

Here are the types of questions that I schedule on my calendar:

(They could be questions for others, or for myself.)

Did my payment take effect?

This is usually when setting up auto-pay or making an important one-time payment.

Has so-and-so gotten back to me yet about such-and-such?

Decide how much time to give them, or ask them how much time they need, and then don’t forget to follow up!

This one question applies to a plethora of medical situations.

Do I want to renew or cancel my free trial (or paid subscription) which expires on fill-in-the-date?

I schedule this question a week in advance of the actual expiration date to give me a chance to do something about it.

I don’t like accidental, unwanted, automatic charges, but even if I get one, it’s always worth calling and asking for a refund (even if it’s prorated).

Has my package arrived yet?

If so, great! If not, I might need to track the shipment.

(There’s often no need to track shipments.)

Is it time to register for fill-in-the-blank? (class, conference, etc.)

Maybe I reserved the date on my calendar when I learned about it, but it was too soon to actually register.

Am I ready for fill-in-the-blank? (upcoming presentation, meeting, trip, etc.)

I often schedule this question on a Sunday when I usually have time to prepare for the upcoming week, if I haven’t already.

 

Why do I schedule questions?

So I don’t worry about the answers until it’s time.

In effect, I’m scheduling when to worry, so I’m not worried all the time.

Questions are not a lot different from reminders.

But even reminders need a little lead time.

There’s no point in scheduling “Payment Due” on the actual due date if you don’t also schedule when you will make the payment so that it reaches its destination on time.

 

Related blog posts:

What are you worried about? Don’t worry — Take action!

The Worry Matrix: How to decide what’s worth worrying about

How to Live and Work by Design, not by Default!

5 Secrets of Truly Free 30 Day Trials

Money Mondays: Are You Paying Your Money Enough Attention?

 

P.S. I don’t write out questions in full, grammatical sentences!

I write things like: “RENEW HBO?” Or, “SUSAN REPLIED?”

 

What kinds of questions do YOU schedule?

If you don’t schedule questions on your calendar, how do you remember them?

Please share with us in the comments below!

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Copyright 2022 by Hazel Thornton, Organized for Life and Beyond
Author of What’s a Photo Without the Story? How to Create Your Family Legacy
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Comments

  1. I do this, not so much in my calendar, but in my task management app. I put the notation F/U with XYZ or confirm credit was applied. I do put a due date on it so I don’t have to wonder when or if it happened. Great post Hazel. 🙂

    • Thanks, Megan! Yes, any dated system that you actually look at regularly would work. I had to think for a sec to figure out that F/U probably meant Follow Up. 😉 Also, that’s a good one I hadn’t listed: Was the credit applied?

  2. I love that you schedule questions, even in their short form. I have reminders on my to-do list, instead of questions. They are similar to the questions, but point me towards the item I need to follow-up with.

    Or, if I have a question for a specific person, as in info to get or something to discuss about an activity or schedule, I also add that to my to-do list. I use the 2Do app for tasks, reminders, and more. The ‘ask’ or ‘follow-up’ appears on a specific date of my choosing. And it can also easily be moved to another date if needed.

  3. I very rarely schedule questions. I never thought of doing it. I schedule reminders which are sometimes questions to ask people to get the information I need. Thanks for this thought provoking blog.

  4. Brilliant – I’ve never scheduled questions before. I have a fairly decent memory (so far!), and so my reminders tend to be of the imperative sentence variety (Cancel that free trial! Add names to email list!).

    But I especially like the idea of questions about whether or not it’s time to register for something – it’s a little more gentle. I’ll often lose track of classes or webinars that I see and before I know it the opportunity is gone. Thanks for the great ideas here!

    • Hi Sara, I’m curious what you think of my tip for scheduling free classes (paid classes require more of a commitment and more thoughtful scheduling): Whenever I see a free class that interests me (on Zoom, Facebook, or other webinar platform) I register for it without looking at my calendar. Or, if there’s no registration required but there’s an “add to your calendar” button, I click that. It doesn’t matter what may, or may not, already be on my calendar. If it turns out to conflict with another appointment, and I’m still interested when the time comes, I look for a replay. (They come directly to your email inbox IF you registered, and IF it was recorded. Sometimes you have to go look for a follow-up Facebook post about it.) If there was a conflict, but the other appointment got rescheduled, the class is still there and I don’t have to remember I wanted to take it.

  5. I hadn’t thought about it this way, but I definitely schedule some questions.

    When I sign up for a free trial, or anything that’s on auto-renew that I’m not sure about, I enter a task for a few weeks before the expiry date to cancel it, or decide to keep it or whatever. There’s no way I can keep all that in my head!

    Other times it might be “look into xxx” – which may not even have a date assigned if it’s a low priority, but it’s there so I don’t have to think about it until I want or need to.

    I love this post!

  6. I don’t think I’ve ever considered it like this. I think, when a question comes up that I can’t Google my way out of, I either reach out to someone right away, or I forget about it until the next time the question pops up. That said, I guess I do have a few instances:

    * I write down a list of questions for my doctor in advance of any important appointment.

    * I have a list of very-specific-to-my-site tech questions to ask Janet Barclay that I never, ever get around to asking her.

    I’ve never considered “verification” issues (did my payment clear) as a question, but I guess I do put them on my to-do list as action items (“Call about missing refund”) or link emails to calendar task items to prompt checking whether an interview I gave has shown up in the media. Your way of looking at these as *questions* is intriguing.

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