Sunday, June 5, 2011

Small steps can be very productive!

For several years, I have put different items into file folders that are labeled "Things to Do Online," "To Be Typed," "Remove From List," and "Things to Take Care of."  These are things that are not urgent and can wait.  While it is a good thing to have them sorted and filed, unfortunately, they do not get done.

I started doing something new this past week that has made a difference.  One thing is that I set up a "tickler file" which is separate file folders that are labeled 1 to 31 (for each day of the month) as well as January - December.  On 3x5 cards I have written down specific things that I want to do on a weekly basis or things that I consider to be projects that I want to work on at least a little at a time.  I put each 3x5 card in the file folder for the day that I think would be a good day to work on it.  Each day, I go over these 3x5 cards and make sure that my schedule allows for those tasks to be done.  Because I am a listmaker, I write down these tasks on a piece of paper for the day's "To Do List."  If I think that something can and should be postponed, I just put it in a future date's file folder.

For my projects, I paperclipped them all together and put them in a file folder for Monday so that I can go through them and put individual cards in the file folders of the day that I want to work on that project.  Some projects and some tasks I know will take more time than I could do in one day (especially when I do much of these things during my daughter's naps), so sometimes I plan on working on them for just a few minutes.  Even just 15 minutes on a task moves the project along rather than doing nothing and putting it off for a more convenient time.  Those projects that I will wait on, I put in the following Monday's file folder to be reviewed then.  Some I may even put in a future month's file folder.

This afternoon, after my much-needed Sunday nap, I had some free time available to work on something, though I didn't really have anything scheduled.  Sundays are for church and naps and little else!  Since I didn't get a chance to work on my "Remove From Lists" folder on Friday or Saturday, I decided to pull that out.  In about 15-20 minutes worth of time (before my daughter woke up and it was time to get ready to go back to church for our evening service), I was able to take care of 10 pieces of correspondence to companies from whose mailing lists I would like to be removed.  All that's left in that folder are two catalogs, and I know I will easily be able to take care of that within five minutes the next time I assign myself that task.

On a side note, I was more-than-a-little perturbed at a charitable organization that wrote asking for donations because it was addressed to my 16-month-old daughter and included a dime that they wanted me to send back with my donation.  Realistically, I know that they have no idea how old the people on their lists are; but, seriously, sending a dime to a 16-month-old?  She's more likely to swallow that dime than do anything else with it!!  I'm reasonably sure I know how they got her name.  I ordered address labels with my daughter's name on them (to use for when she writes Thank You notes and sends pictures and cards to her relatives, etc.), and I'm pretty sure they sold her name.

I was really excited about being able to make a big dent in that one folder in such a short period of time.  I'm reminded of something that FlyLady says:  Hit a lick at a snake.  Of course, if it were a real snake, I'd be killing it dead, but theoretical snakes are ok to kill at a slower pace. One way or the other, they get killed.
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1 comment:

  1. Good morning! I found your blog through a comment you left on A Modest Mom's blog, and saw that you are a fellow IFB sister in Christ. I just thought I would pop in and say hello! I look forward to visiting your blog a bit longer.

    Have a blessed weekend! :)

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