This post isn’t about setting resolutions or goals for the new year, but rather a few tips that have worked for me with overall organizational project management for school, home, and work goals. I tend to be slightly messy in some areas of my life but for some reason when it comes to projects I’m usually on track. My professional job requires that I meet entirely way too many obnoxious important deadlines so I quickly had to get myself organized. I learned a lot from a colleague last year who had impeccable project management skills. Multi-tasking is so overrated, it actually slows you down. I’ve found focusing fully on one project at a time is the most efficient way to do things.
I always carry a notebook with me and keep one in my desk at work. This is helpful for both tracking spontaneous ideas and having everything in one place. I used to have pieces of paper everywhere in my purse after I’d think of an idea or in my desk after work meetings. You will never lose or forget anything this way!
When it comes to my personal life, blog, meal planning, and projects, I keep a master list of everything I want to accomplish. These are ongoing short and long-term goals. This helps get all of your ideas on paper and sometimes it doesn’t seem as “official” until you write them down. For example:
Fix dent in car (short-term), or sign up for Arabic training courses (long-term), or paint desk chair
At the office, I keep things visual by writing out the projects for the week on a large pink post-it.
I then take that weekly list and narrow it down even more to daily projects. That way I know exactly what I’m working on each day. I sometimes take it a step further and set time slots for each project but I don’t like to restrict myself too much and always like to leave room for surprises.
Forget Chatty Cathy at the office, e-mail is the biggest distraction. I exit out of my e-mail for certain blocks of time while at the office, clear my desk and work on one project at a time.
I’m a visual learner so I love to use anything that will make mundane projects a little more exciting. I print off a monthly outlook calendar, use pie charts to track yearly progress, and label extremely boring reports with post-its and red sharpies. As crazy as it sounds, it really does help.
I’d love to hear how you manage your time, goals, and projects! Are you not a list person? If so, how do you like to stay on track?