Managing Time

Why is that after a vacation, one finds it hard … or more precise … I find it hard to get back into the swing of things. Or in my case a ‘hiatus’ resulting from preparing for a writer’s conference, attending conference, taking care of treasury duties needed done because of conference, and then a vacation following right on the heels of said conference. One thing I’ve learned is that it would be less hectic and tiring I didn’t plan our vacation for a week after conference.

I like to plan vacations in advance so at the time I made the arrangements, I didn’t know that I’d be treasurer for an organization. It’s a position I never thought I’d ever take but like any good self-rescuing princess, I decided to give it a try and stretch myself. I’m glad I did and am enjoying learning more about non-profits and taking on the role. It gives me a real sense of purpose and accomplishment to be doing this for an organization that I have grown to love.

Ah … I think I’ve discovered one of the reasons I have trouble getting back into the swing of things — otherwise known as staying on task — is that my mind can easily divert itself to another project or item even when I’m currently trying to concentrate on one. Right now, I want to talk about time management, or my lack thereof, and my brain wanted to interrupt to mention about my decision to step outside of my created box and take on a role I never thought I would.

I think I’m going to employ a ‘trick’ that I used when I was a church secretary. Items were added daily to my to-do list and a single call could reshuffle and undo my plans. The Yellow List. It was the Yellow List because I always had one of those large yellow legal pads nearby. Every morning when I got to work, a few minutes before the office officially opened, I’d take out my list from the night before and read it. I’d make any adjustments I felt necessary and then started going down the line. When new projects were given to me, I’d add them to the bottom of the list and then at lunch time reevaluated the order. If there was a true emergency, I’d work on that project and once completed go back to my list. Then at the end of the day, I’d write a new list for the next day. I found that The Yellow List cleared my mind from obsessing about work and reminding myself about what needed to be done ‘tomorrow’ and then in the morning I didn’t feel overwhelmed when I walked in the door.

Since I returned home to write, I didn’t think that having a list was important. But I found that working at home there are more distractions and items needing my attention and in so many different areas that I lose focus. A lot. I’m going to start keeping one list and breaking it up into three different category: Work, Volunteer, Home. Basically writing, treasury duties and family stuff. Then I’ll focus a part of each day on a category and go down the numbers.

I feel hopeful that tomorrow will be more productive. Now I really wished I had picked up one of those princess notebooks from the store today. It would have been a nice place to keep my lists.

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