Since the beginning of this year, I’ve had that constant nagging worry of simply having too much to do, something that most within this industry will be familiar with I’m sure.
Simultaneously, I’ve felt frustration with myself for not doing enough about it, which if I’m honest with myself, is a feeling I practically live my life with, albeit generally more subtly. A symptom of my fondness of work, but mainly, my ability to procrastinate.
Why does this procrastination come about? I recently listened to Jessica Hische speak about the topic at New Adventures 2 weeks ago. She raised the point that often the things we work on while procrastinating are the things we should be working on more regularly. Ultimately, evaluate what you’re working on, and if you’re not enjoying enough of it, do something about it.
Overall, this wasn’t the source of my recent concerns. I’m working on some kick-ass projects, with many more planned, both for personal and client work. All things I should be psyched about, not avoiding.
Eventually I evaluated, and confirmed something I think I already knew. The concern of having too much to do so often causes me to fear organising myself, where the extent of my to-do list reveals itself. Fear of my own commitments, plans and aspirations.
A lack of organisation and schedule will do that to do. If you have no clear targets in sight, your workload appears infinite. The more intimidated I am by the workload, the more I’ll try and avoid it.
It’s easy to forget how disorganised you can be. I’ll go weeks at a time with that nag in the back of my head, when even time spent working feels unproductive.
Now I’ve made a resolution to clear my mind of that overwhelming feeling as soon as it occurs, and get over the fear of organisation.
Writing down (and scheduling as much as realistically possible) helps me resolve how much my mind wants me to do, and stops that workload panic. This isn’t just work related tasks, but my own personal development away from my desk too. My recent endeavour to prioritise fitness, diet, and some other hobbies requires as much attention as any web project I may be working on. When I’m in a disorganised state, my work always takes a front seat. When I organise myself, work and personal aspirations work fluidly side by side.
I know to-do lists aren’t much of a revolution these days, but it’s easy to get in the habit of working from incomplete lists, only tracking work focused goals, or delaying putting your tasks together in the first place. Get as much written down as possible.
Of course, there’s a realistic limit with how many goals one person can deal with at one time. Organisation will also allow you to note down all those other crazy ideas you have floating in the back of your mind, and reject those that may not be possible alongside your prioritised goals, putting your mind a little more at ease. Nonetheless, don’t be pessimistic. Humans are capable of achieving a lot and being incredibly efficient, it’s easy to forget this.