Thursday, December 11, 2008

Getting Behind

When I get home from work I pick up all my mail and dump everything that isn't screaming urgent onto my desk, Then I dump all the receipts, and other paperwork leftover from the shift on my desk. And remember I'm at work for a month or more. After a while that looming pile of paper gets really scary. Today I tackled it.

I won't just pick everything up one at a time and deal with it, because I need to have all the bills to make sure I don't pay one twice, and I don't want to spend time on non-urgent things on top when there are urgent things at the bottom I should deal with. But I know the risk of sorting things into neat piles and to-do lists: the very act of doing that gives me such a sense of accomplishment that I take a break and then I don't get anything done but the sorting. So I tried a new sorting algorithm.

I sorted everything into piles:
  • To Do (Mandatory) - Things that will cost me serious amounts of money, or my licence, if I don't do them.
  • To Do (Ought To) - Things I don't have to do but I will feel guilty if I don't
  • To Do (Would Be Nice) - Things that would be nice if I did, or fun to do, but can be ignored, guilt and consequence free
  • Reuse/Recycle - Paper I can make to-do lists on, envelopes I can keep per diem expense receipts in, and paper that can go in the blue box.

Employment expenses for 2008 taxes, booking an aviation medical and packing for work (yes, I have to do my laundry and repack as soon as I get home) go in the Mandatory pile. Christmas shopping, answering personal letters and getting a new phone plan go in the Ought To pile. Blogging is in the Would Be Nice pile.

Lucky for you, I caught up before I ran out of posts. But I'm going to take a break soon, anyway.

4 comments:

paul said...

Hey, take a break, enjoy the Holidays!

We'll see you on the other side.

--paul

jinksto said...

I agree. You should really take a break so that you have more time for blogging. :)

Love your work. Thanks again for sharing.

Lord Hutton said...

I usually have a mandatory pile then lose interest in the rest, which is generally disastrous

Julien said...

Just one word: GTD. Yes, the to-do list takes time, but getting the task list out of your brain and onto paper/software pays back in the end.