Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Getting things done

There are so many things on my mental "To Do" list that when I have plenty of time to work on this list, I get paralyzed with indecision and end up doing Sudoku puzzles or surfing the Internet. I should clean the bathroom, but I'd rather stitch, yet that quilt needs binding, and I haven't finished the ironing. Yet I probably should pay the bills first, or perhaps start a load of laundry. And the kitchen floor needs scrubbing, but the quilt retreat is coming up and I need to prepare for that. My head starts to spin, I pick up a Sudoku puzzle, and nothing gets done while I look for where the 9 goes in the last grid.

Today I thought about my problem and decided to take a new approach. Instead of having to decide what to do on my long list, I made out little slips of paper for each list item and put them in a big bowl. After mixing them all up, I closed my eyes and reached in to pick out my first item. Then I set my timer for one hour and began on the assigned task. When the timer dinged, I put away the project and reached for another slip of paper, set the timer again for one hour, and began my new task.

It worked!!!!! I finished four projects and got an hour's worth of work done on four others, plus I took an hour out for lunch and dinner, reading my book as I ate which meant I also had almost two hours of reading time. What a productive day. I feel great.

Of course a lot of things did not get done - but they might not have gotten done anyway. Maybe I will pick them out of the bowl tomorrow. Maybe not. So if my kitchen floor does not get scrubbed until next week, well, it's just the luck of the draw.


Sara said...

Cute idea. I wonder if that will work in the office. Sometimes I am so overwhelmed by the amount of work that needs to be done, I take too much time trying to decide which to do first! :-)

Maureen said...

Bonnie! Great solution! Will you come to my house and help me make a list! Hee Hee! I too feel overwhelmed and put things off to the last minute, sometimes it's only because I really don't have the time to do what I want. I love your system! I'm going to send your blog link to Mary at Country Threads, she's always looking for ways to be productive too and I'm sure she'll love your idea!

mb said...

Once again, you are off-scale in the clever department! I love the idea!! I'll have to do this when I get home from TC right after I organize my desk, wait no, I need to open the mail first, wait no, I have ironing to do for Monday ....Hugs!