Sunday, January 9, 2011

In Praise of Post-its!

I love a good to-do list!  I love making them and crossing things off as I get them done.  Well, as long as I'm actually getting things done.  I prefer a to-do list I can see all the time so even though most of my work is on a computer, I usually print my list  so I can have it beside me all the time.  But I do love a good handwritten list too, especially one with colors. 

The end of year is an especially busy time for me for a number of reasons.  It's the end of the semester for the course I teach and I have papers to grade and tests to correct.  My consulting job usually has some end of year deadlines -- grant applications, invoices, etc.   The end of the year also bring Christmas preparation. I am the daughter of Mrs. Christmas (believe me, this is the topic for another post) and the owner of a large 1903 Queen Anne style house and those two things together create A LOT of Christmas decorating.  To complicate this a bit, we (okay just me) am pretty strict about only starting the decorating after Advent begins and not finishing completely until shortly before Christmas Eve.  We then celebrate the twelve days of Christmas and Epiphany with the house all festively decorated.  That, too is the topic of another post.
Too much to do combined with an attitude of "I will get it all done" forces me to come up with a variety of methods of keeping on track.  And that invariably includes many to-do lists, often unsuccessful ones.  But this year was different.  In a flash of brilliance (that may be a bit overstated), I devised a system of using color-coded Post-it notes in a simple spiral bound notebook with a page for every day.  The best part of this system was when something didn't get done on the day it was scheduled, I could simply move the Post-it to the next day or the following day based on my schedule. 

It gave me a great visual, pretty colors and the ability to checkmark the ones I completed and never feel bad about the things undone.  I don't want to give too much credit to just my to-do system but for the first time in YEARS, I got everything done AND I finished several days ahead of schedule.  Was I just more motivated this year?  Were the planets aligned?  OR did my new brilliant system actually work for me? 

Based on my success, I'm going to try to keep it going.  I found a spiral bound date book and some smaller Post-its and developed a new color-coded system for everyday life.  I'm only a week into it and it's working so far.  I actually thinking of adapting a variation of the system for my regular work tasks.  I am a disorganized person who LOVES being organized and so I'll try anything to keep me on track.  I'll give an update a little later in the year.  In the meantime, you might want to buy stock in Post-its!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Love/Hate Relationship With Those Writing Prompts!

Reading over my last post and my smugness over not needing those introspective writing prompts has been a bit of a slap in the face today.  I was fairly certain that I didn't need those writing prompts to keep me going on this regular (semi-regular) blogging habit.  However, once I stopped using the prompts, I suddenly had nothing to say.   A little karma to start the new year right. 

I'm happy to report I have moved on from this dilemma and now have several ideas for writing.  Along the way, I have found some great tools for writing prompts..many that are not focused on navel gazing. 

So stayed tuned for some posts soon covering a variety of topics...