Whatever Works

Things are zipping along here in Ciotta-land. In the past three days I completed an extensive interview, finished reading and judging books for a contest, completed an art fact sheet for a future book, updated my website, started calculating taxes, and grocery shopped. This enabled me to cross off about 1/3 of the must-be-done-ASAP To-Do list. At least another third must be done by the end of this week and the other third by the end of this month.

I've found that the best way to tackle multitudes of simultaneous tasks, projects, assignments and what have you is to make a list and prioritize by deadline. Then just do it. Attack the list one-by-one. Cross off each task as completed. In this day and age, I'm sure there are all sorts of nifty computer programs designed to help you organize outstanding projects. But you know me and computers. I prefer the old-fashioned pen to paper approach. I like having that notepad on my desk in plain view at all times. As soon as I complete a task, I physically cross it off. Seeing projects crossed off gives me a sense of accomplishment. As the days whisk by they serve as a reminder that, though I may feel overwhelmed, I am making progress.

We live in an age where companies are consistantly downsizing and giving those left behind heftier workloads. Then there are the situations where a person must work two jobs just to make ends meet. This includes working 'mothers'. It's so easy to feel overwhelmed. The trick is to find a way to tackle as many responsibilities as possible without dropping the ball and/or breaking down. The handwritten To-Do list works for me. If you don't have a 'system' experiment and adopt one whether it be high tech, low tech or simply in your head. Whatever gets you through. Whatever works.

Comments

Constance said…
Hey, crisis management is a system. Not a very good one, but...
I have procrastination down to an art form. No lists, but I still manage to pull everything off, sometimes at the last minute, but hey, it's good cardio vascular exercise, right?

Lists, in theory sound good, unless you are a person who loses lists. :) I find the act of writing things down - shopping list, to do list- encodes it in my brain, so I don't actually need the piece of paper it was on anymore. But thank doG for online bill pay...

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
Alison said…
I love handwritten lists. I use them all the time. Love scratching off items!
Beth Ciotta said…
Heh. Whatever works, right, Constance? Although writing the list helps to firm in my brain as well. Still, I love crossing things off. :)

Viva la scratch off, Alison!
ElsieHogarth said…
Lists!?! My whole life is a list...things to do( I carry a small notebook for that), list of hard to find books, lists of all items in storage etc. Those are printed out and I carry copies, with me, at all times with a back up copy printed out in a folder at home.
Bethany said…
I must admit, even a techno-geek that I am-- nothing beats a hand-written list! ;-) they make me commit to doing them!

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