We all have days when we feel like we are running from task to task with barely enough time to eat or sleep. Sometimes there just is not enough time in the day to get everything done. During times like this it is hard to schedule, but it is even more important than usual to make time. Even though we are busy, we must still make sure everything gets done on time and that nothing gets forgotten. Though we may not have the time to set aside for scheduling, we must maximize what we do have and use it productively.
The past week was quite a busy one for me, as will be in the coming ones. With my internship and first Watson summer coming to an end soon, I am working hard to finish all my assignments and projects. Classes for John Jay start in mid-August along with some volunteer opportunities that I would like to take part in. This means gearing up for school again and making sure I have everything I will need. Additionally, I am trying to enjoy these last few weeks of my summer by hanging out with friends.
With a lot to schedule and get done and little time to do it, I was feeling a bit overwhelmed. With so many things running through my mind, I wanted to get everything down on a to do list so that nothing would be forgotten. I did not, however, have time to write a three page to do list. Instead, what I did was make a list of all the sub-lists I needed to make in the coming weeks. This “meta-list” was a lot shorter than a regular to do list, and it took less time to write as well. The purpose of the meta-list is that it breaks down a giant list into sub-lists that you can write-up later, since each one is short and should not take much time. My sub-lists include a list of things I need to do before classes start, a list of things I need to get for school, a list of things I need to finish before my Watson summer is over, etc.
During this week and next I will take the time to write out the tasks for each sub-list, but knowing that the meta-list is complete helps me to feel less overwhelmed. I know now that nothing will be forgotten. Rather, each list will be completed in due time.
The idea of a list of lists sounds a bit ridiculous, and when I was writing it I felt as if I had finally reached scheduling insanity. However, once you get over the concept of the meta-list, you come to see its function and how it can improve productivity (and we all know how much I love productivity). So next time you find yourself in a bind for time with a lot of tasks to get to, try a meta-list. Maybe it won’t completely erase your anxieties about getting things done, but it will at least make you feel more abstract.
I hope everyone enjoyed their week. During this last week of July try to work on those summer to do lists, and evaluate your progress. In the coming weeks make sure to address those tasks you have not yet gotten to, and do not forget to have some fun! For a look at a meta-movie click here.