New Year's Resolution Step 3: Organized Brain Dump

Monday, January 3, 2011

Although this step probably should have been Step 2 in my New Year's Resolution, it ended up being Step 3 and that's okay! I had been starring at my brain dump for a few days now and decided it was time to take it to the next step so that I could actually do something with it! The next step was to categorize and organize. I wasn't really sure what the process was going to look like so I just sat down with my BFF (MS Excel) and started playing around. I thought about doing this step by hand like my brain dump, but since I wasn't quite sure what the end product was going to look like, I decided to use Excel so I could easily move things around and adjust the format as I felt comfortable.

After a few trial and errors with how I wanted things set up, this is what I came up with; a very simple spreadsheet that will allow to me sort my tasking in a couple of different ways. You will notice that there are no due dates or tasks numbers associated with each line, and that was done for a reason. This way, I won't be stressed out or get down on myself for missing a due date and I can shift around my task list and if I am feeling productive, then maybe I'll tackle a high priority item, or if I am having a rough day or week, maybe I will look for something low priority to tackle. I set a goal for each task as to which month I would like to have things done by, and assigned a priority because there are some things that just physically have to get done before others.

The text is probably hard to see, but the point here is that I can easily look at my list, and with one click of the mouse I can see my high, medium and low priority things are. I can also see which month I would ideally have each tasking done by. And frankly, just because it feels really good to be able to cross something off the list, I added a "Complete?" category so I get the satisfaction of crossing something out and watching my list get smaller and smaller!

It's probably hard to tell by the picture but with one other small click of the mouse, I can re-sort my list and check out everything that I wanted to get done by month. That way, I can try to concentrate on even the low priority tasking that I was hoping to get done in January, like creating a watermark for my blog pictures. Could I do that in March? Of course, but the sooner I do it, the better. At the same time, I'm not going to stress myself out and make sure that I get that complete in January say over something higher priority like getting Jackson signed up on our insurance plan so he is covered on day one.

Whenever I complete one of my tasks, I change the font to a light gray and cross that list out! I could just delete it but it makes me feel good to see those babies crossed off! So, so far so good! I don't really yet know how this is going to keep reducing my stress because if I don't keep up with it, it could make me more stressed out, but I still am at least feeling good that its all out of my head and written down and somewhat organized. It's also really easy to add things to, so as I think of random things in the middle of the night, I can just add them to the list (the next day of course). :)

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