Thursday, September 11, 2008

My To-Do List is Ever-Expanding

I'm not going to bore you with it.

In my quest to become more efficient and ... sane, I've been tossing around some different ways to organize my time and tasks. Over the past couple of months, I feel like I've lost the ability to plan and execute. It's bad. I've said, "oh yeah, I forgot" more in the past two months than in my entire life leading up to this point. That's not me.

Some things I'm considering (a.k.a struggling with):
  • My main time slots: god | marriage | home | family | friends | grace | cleft palate | r.s.v.p.designs 
  • Online organizer: But what if I'm not online? Pssh. Yeah right.
  • Smart Phone: Is this REALLY going to help? Or will it make me even MORE accessible and scattered? I'm thinking that having my calendar in front of my face at all times couldn't be a bad thing. It's the "getting instant emails" part that scares me.
  • Workplace effectiveness: How do I get work done in environments that require relational and team/cooperative working? Should I block out "don't bug me" time? I already spend one day working at home. 
  • Tracking Hours: I've started tracking hours for the things I do. I want to see a 30-day snapshot of how I spend my time.
  • Family/Friends: I don't spend time with my family and friends anymore. When I'm at someone's house, I'm either on the computer or thinking about something I need to accomplish as soon as I get home. I've lost the ability to be "present."
  • Marriage/Home: I work WAY too much at home.
  • Balance: I have one job that is taking off and is quickly becoming more and more complicated (this is actually a good thing). I have one job that is completely in maintenance mode and requires hardly any energy (this is not good - but is beneficial to the other job). I have a business that I really want to nurture because it's amazing. It also fits into my master plan of having an awesome job if I want to work at home someday.
What strategies do you use? Found any new tools lately?


Anonymous said...

I know you probably know all my systems anyway but I guess I'll respond. It sounds like a smart phone could help you but at the same time your fear about becoming more accessible is definitely a valid one.

Not having a cubicle environment, I can't fully appreciate that problem, but I do find if I come in on a weekend for two hours, I work much more efficiently and get a ton done without people barging in every 5 minutes with a new request.

For me I'm really starting to depend on my trusty paper planner and multi-task organizer. I have a hard time relying on email or anything electronic - I don't stay up to date with it and I get overwhelmed too quickly. Emails get lost in the madness, there are just too many. It has a monthly schedule and then a bunch of different sections for notes and to do lists. I use it for everything and take all my notes for anything freelance, photography, my father's house, volunteer in one place that way I don't lose any of it. It fits in my purse. I now carry it around all the time.

As far as working at home - why is this a problem if your ultimate goal IS to work at home? Is it just like - you work too much in general?

The keeping track of your hours is totally valuable. I'm glad you're doing that.

Anonymous said...

I'll try to catch you in the office sometime. I tweaked my old time management system and it's working great for me.

As long as I use it!

Lindsaysoprano said...

I too am beginning to feel a bit overwhelmed and I think I am going back to the good old written list.
Maybe if I write down what I want to accomplish for each day, it will help. Sounds simple, but also holds you accountable. Who knows?