Thursday, November 27, 2014

Time Management When You Have Too Much To Do & Limited Space

With all the new exciting things that have been happening in my life, all the notes I made for myself kept getting lost in the bottom of piles of... well... everything. I write things down everywhere because I forget things as quickly as I think of them and I want to have a notation I can go back to. Too many thoughts become information overload. Too many pieces of paper with notes on them becomes paper overload. I had hoped having a cell phone I could enter appointments and reminders into would be helpful, but alas, I forgot to write a lunch date down on my paper calendar which I had put in my phone and forgot all about it until they called to say "where are you?" (I amazed myself by getting dressed in five minutes.) Also, I began to get frustrated as evening would approach and I'd realize I had forgotten to do something that I really wanted to do (like make a phone call during business hours). Days fly by quickly and with the help of my smart phone, email, and Facebook, hours disappear. Does this sound like you?

After reading someone else's blog post about using different colored 3 x 3 inch sticky notes to organize their activities with their busy families, I bought a package of these multi-colored mini-sticky things. I made two pages of sticky notes on the blue pieces of paper I keep with my paper calendar. One for current asap things I need to do and the one behind it that can wait. Sometimes I take a sticky and stick on my calendar page on the date/time I hope to accomplish the task. By doing this, I only allow myself one thing to do at a time. If I can't get it done, I can move the note to another time slot. But otherwise, I just leave it all on the blue sheets of paper. Lavender for music related things, yellow for people I want to call, pink for phone calls I have to make. Green the tasks I volunteered to do so they are 'work' related (money is green so I relate green with work). Pink is related to writing (blog posts and books). Drats. This is work, too. Can I get paid in Pink? Blue is for things I hope to do SOON. The bright orange one is to remind me to find the long detailed to do list I typed up several months ago but can't remember what I typed it in (gmail or Word) or where I put the print out I made just in case I forgot where I typed it. :-/ I've been trying to be kind to myself by taking one little sticky note at a time to accomplish the one little task at a time and then experience the sense of accomplishment when I can wrinkle the itty bitty piece of paper up and throw it in the trash... unless it is for a task I do on a weekly or monthly basis in which case I can stick it on the paper behind the top one for when I need it again, which is what I like most about the sticky notes.

Now here's the thing. I don't know if I am normal or not when it comes to making lists that I promptly forget about, whether having a racing mind is an issue I need to be concerned about, or whether I am experiencing early signs of (I won't say the word so I won't convince myself I have it). Maybe the reason I chose bookkeeping for my line of work all those years ago is because it is very intensely focused and organized. There was income and there were expenses. Each type of each of these had their own columns and pages (back when bookkeeping was done with pen and ink on ledger sheets). Mmmm... I wonder if my attempt at organizing my life with little colored sticky notes is an attempt to departmentalize tasks in a similar way.

How about you? Have you found an organization tool that works for you? Do you like my idea? Please leave comments below. And, HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

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