The Waiting Room

This could take a while...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Task Master

Posted by Seeking Solace |

Whew! This week has been crazy-busy. I am teaching five classes this semester (only four preps, but five classes). It's a lot of preparation on my part, since I only have a week to get it all done. On top of that, I am dealing with responsibilities that belonged to someone else. Pretty much every day, something new is being dumped on my desk.

In the past, when someone would dump something on my desk, I would drop everything to deal with that new project. That would result in whatever I was doing in the first place to get pushed aside. My "to do" list would become a hot mess. Worst, I would get myself in a frenzy because my world of order was disrupted.

I have learned that what constitutes as an emergency for someone does not mean it's an emergency for me. When someone dumps something on my desk, I look at it briefly and assign a priority to it. I ask myself "How important is this really?" Can I finish the task that I am currently doing and then see what I can do with the new task later?

What I have found is that it takes a lot of discipline to do this. You don't want to just brush a new task aside, because you don't want to give the person who assigned you the task to think you don't care. But, at the same time, you want to set boundaries for how you are going to handle the task. The last thing anyone wants is to be the dumping point for all projects.

So, I am busy. Very busy. But, I can handle it, one task at a time.


Chelsea said...

I am better doing one task at a time aslo. Read something the other day that said that single taskers actually do better than multi taskers.

Anonymous said...

I agree. People "say" that the ability to multi-task is a strength when actually it's not the case. I wish I were as good at prioritizing as you are!