Perhaps you’ve met Sofie. If you aren’t as lucky as me to have her in your study group, maybe you remember a run-in with her over breakfast tacos or a random chat with her at a football tailgate. But if you think either of these describe your interactions with Sofie Leon, I have potentially disappointing news: she may seem spontaneous, but her day is planned out like an army ranger’s and her marching orders come from a sergeant more horrifying than any you’ve seen in Band of Brothers. This demanding monster I speak of is her Outlook Calendar. Take a look (click the photo to see this masterpiece in its full size):
Sofie believes strongly in the familiar “if it ain’t on my calendar, it ain’t happening” mantra. Between classes, lessons in Portuguese, and lots of meetings that include the intimidating “Fellows” label, Sofie runs an all-star schedule that could make you feel like your lack of sleep is just you being whiny. But while her schedule is unique, her situation is one we can all relate to. We were warned that days as a McCombs MBA candidate are busy and long, but the warning is becoming a reality as organizational commitments ramp up and exams seem to ALWAYS be looming. Yes, we still make time for fun… and no, we don’t all have to schedule it into our calendars. Although with so much to do around here, scheduling it in sounds like a pretty good idea.
So how do you work with all of us “Sofies” on group projects or, if you are a “Sofie” yourself, how do you manage your own busy schedule? First, dominate your calendar. Outlook… Google… iCal… whatever. Color-coding… recurring reminders… task lists… whatever. Just get it under control! Second, remember the MBA contact hierarchy, “T.E.P. – Text. E-mail. Phone call.” IN THAT ORDER and heavy on the “T” and “E.” Phone calls are inconvenient and awful. You know what, let’s just dump the “P.” If you can’t type and need something quickly, use HeyTell. It’s amazing. If you need some quality conversation with the family or long-distance BF/GF/BFF/Wife/Husband, use Skype or Google Video. A 30-minute video chat is much more rewarding (and efficient) than a phone call that might last twice as long. Just remember to look into the camera (not at the screen) when you are speaking. And on that note, don’t use our new rules as an excuse to keep your eyes on your iPhone all day. It’s good to look up as you walk through the GSB from time-to-time because (believe it or not) good ol’ fashioned face-to-face conversations are still pretty awesome.
So there you have it: “T.E.H.V. – Text. E-mail. HeyTell. Video.” It might be time for a trademark. Is anyone from the law school reading this? Maybe Sofie knows somebody over there. If only I could get some time on her calendar…