Sunday, March 9, 2014

A Task Organization System

I keep wondering why I seem to accomplish so little. Am I inefficient? Too distractible? Overbooked? All are decided possibilities, however I observed my thoughts recently. Eight separate "Oh! I have to do this" ideas flitted by in about 3 seconds. Maybe I'll hold on to one or two long enough to write down.  The rest are gone until they come around again.

 So I do have a lot to do but I also have trouble keeping track. (I have tried to schedule everything I want to get done in a day and there are literally not enough awake hours.)

Making lists is helpful until I end up with various sizes of paper covering my desk, each with a few items checked off.

I tried a method where you take everything you have to do and pile it in a box.  As you have time, you work your way through the pile. This cleared the desk clutter but I was left with a daunting pile and no way to see what should be tackled first. (I still have that pile somewhere.)

I've seen systems where each task is on its own paper and everything is put in a file box with days-of- the-week dividers. This does not address the visibility issue. It's too easy to never open the file box.

What I needed was a system with each task on its own paper and filed so each day was visible. A task could be assigned to the day it needs to be done and there is time to do it. If a task is not accomplished it can be moved to a different day. Things that are done everyday or several times a week can be moved as they are completed for that day.

Searching the web didn't turn up anything like what I envisioned. So I made my own out of a box, some heavy paper for the dividers and glue. Now when I have one of those many thoughts zooming through my head I can catch it on a half index card and assign it to a day. There are extra slots for blank cards and "Someday Projects", things requiring either more time or research.

If it works and I actually use it, I might pretty it up or re-build it. This one is rough but I was more interested in getting up and running to see if it will actually be helpful. It is already a success in one way; my desk looks terrific.

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