Following up on my last post, I declared task list bankruptcy at work and spent a day sifting through all my notepads, emails, reminders, and whatnot. I grouped the items into broad buckets and, when I was done, I found that had 14 different buckets I was tending.
To be fair, some of those buckets were administrative: working on my contract, doing a bit of professional development, and the like. But even taking that into consideration, I didn’t really think I was managing that much stuff on a day-to-day basis.
I worked with my supervisor to fine-tune and prioritize my buckets, then I set about trying to tame it all. Our office has access to Planner, which is Microsoft’s version of Trello. I gradually poured everything into that in an effort to better visualize my tasks, and I am trying to make sure I’m adding new stuff as it arises.
I also finally did something I’ve long thought I should be doing, which is to block off time in my calendar for tasks. I already had meetings and personal appointments in there, so now I have blocks for managing certain buckets at certain times. I also organized my email so that tasks contained in emails are filed into appropriate folders. In other words, if I am working on the data management bucket at a set time, I have a folder of emails I will work through. I also want to add regular tasks in order to get reminders to do them.
Nothing about this is revolutionary, and it’s still very much a work in progress. But it’s nice to be able to look at all the projects I’m on and feel like I know what I need to do next without getting stressed. I hope I can make this last.