I felt frantic. My mind raced, and I had the overwhelming sensation of forgetting something of dire importance. I couldn’t sleep, and when I finally managed to doze, my dreams keep me tossing and turning all night. The white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland made frequent appearances in my nightly horror shows. Non-specific monsters chased me through swampy, misty lands until I reached the edge of the world and fell into the gaping maw of the abyss.
After a couple of nights of terror, I knew calming my anxiety demon was a must if I ever wanted to sleep again. My life was running at a fever pitch of meetings, appointments, deadlines, and commitments. I opened a fresh Excel spreadsheet and listed every task, project, chore, and promise floating around inside my head. It didn’t matter how minuscule or gargantuan the item, if it was on my mind, I wrote it down. One single line would house each worrisome detail. I kept thinking and writing until my brain felt empty, and my spreadsheet contained 208 line items. Yeah, it shocked me too. No wonder I worried about something slipping through the cracks.
Now that everything lived in Excel, I created columns with categories, due dates, priority groups, and other sortable criteria. Some lines contained tasks simple enough to be completed in a few minutes. Others were complicated and required me to create a breakdown of sub-projects and To-Do Lists. I sorted and filtered, highlighted and parsed, printed reminders, and shared portions of the list with appropriate individuals.
I wish I could say I made a giant dent in the number of outstanding jobs. My task list has gotten longer since I needed to expand details for some items. So far, I have completed twenty lines, and another thirty are in progress. It may not seem like much, but I’m not complaining. By using my massive brain extender, lately, I’ve been sleeping like a baby.
How do you manage your workload?
Keep on writing.
Jo Hawk The Writer