A few years ago when I had a different job, I felt like I needed a personal assistant. There was too much to do and not enough time to do it. A couple of friends were so good to me that they helped me get things done outside of work because I couldn’t seem to get them done myself. My To Do list was never-ending.
Flash forward to present day. I’m in a different job and I need a personal assistant again. Too much to do… blah, blah, blah. I’m starting to forget things. Even my To Do lists are not enough to help me remember and my brain is overworked. I’m working a full time teaching job, I’m taking a grad school class, I’m on committees, I’m managing some research students, I’m advising panicky students trying to graduate on time, I’m helping to design a studio. Too much!
Plate = full.
So what am I doing sitting here blogging about it and not getting things done? Well, I’m attempting to relax for 30 minutes… and I’m sharing my newest gosh-I-hope-it-works method of brain dumping so my mind is not filled with stress and anxiety.
Make no mistake, I’m a very organized person but when faced with so much to do, even I have issues with remembering what to do. I’m organized but I’m not super-human. I already use a calendar on my computer that alerts me when I have to be somewhere for a meeting, class, whatever. I add To Do items to that calendar. To prepare for class, I typically use post-it-notes affixed to each notebook I use for each of my classes or I would use a piece of paper with headings for each day of the week. Each course schedule has notes on it so that I don’t forget anything. The problem, though, is that since I have so much to do everyday that this is no longer enough. I’m so overwhelmed with tasks that when I have unscheduled time at work, I can’t remember the little things–like make copies of this, or print that, or contact this person. I become inefficient.
Anyway, today I think I figured out how to free my mind and organize myself even further. I bought a paper planner (50% off!) and I’m using it specifically for things that I have to do and to schedule when I will prepare this and that. No meetings are in the planner–those are staying on my computer–just what I have to get done. No more post-it-notes. No more to do lists acting like events on the computer. No more little notes on each course schedule. It’s all going into my planner instead and so far, it feels good. Tomorrow, I have 8 things I need to take care of and now I know when I will do them, and the rest of the week is filling out but still looks manageable.
So what do you do to get yourself organized? Any tips?