Yes, I do love my system.
I love my system of scrappy bits of paper and a box to put them in. I know that nothing will get forgotten because it's corralled in the box. Everything is written down.
I love my two-box system – one is today/this week, and one is longer term projects.
Yes, there is a huge BUT.
There is still the problem that there is too much to do. Both boxes are overflowing, and I feel I am drowning in paperwork again. I just can't do it all. I feel overwhelmed and panicky.
So, yesterday, I emptied both boxes out onto the table and went through those scrappy bits of paper and made a list.
In some ways that list was even more daunting, as it covered two and a half sides of my A4 lined paper. It did mean however, that I could start going through those tasks with my coloured pens.
Some of those tasks are urgent and important: writing this blog, for instance. Some are important and fairly urgent, like getting a couple of tax returns in by the end of the month. Some are important because they contribute to my business goals: tasks like going through all the bounced emails from my newsletter and following those up.
And some of them... Well, as my husband would say, "Who will die if you don't do that?"
Sometimes we make work for ourselves. My daughter has an old tablet she no longer uses because it stopped working for her. On my list of things to do is to charge it up and perform a factory reset. But – she got a new phone for her birthday: she uses that phone for everything now. The tablet could sit in my in-tray for ever more and nobody in this family would miss it.
So, I've created another box. A box I've called, imaginatively, "My-can't-face-throwing-it-out-yet-but-it-can-wait-for-three-months" box.
That box has gone under my desk. Right at the back. And I've made a note in my diary to get it out again in three months. It's sealed up at present. And in three months it may well just go in the bin.
It might not, of course. In three months, January 16th, I might have time to reset that Kindle Fire and to watch that free DVD on selling techniques for small businesses. I might. Perhaps.
In the meantime – I looked at those items on my list marked in orange and red and started on them. I've written this blog now: that's one thing I can cross off the list. Even crossing off just one thing feels good.
Writing things down somehow imprisons the fear into those words. The list itself is long, but each task is manageable – even if it's not doable today.
Next is that tax return for my mother. It's a big job and I need to allocate time for it, but I can do it next week. On Tuesday.
Phew! I feel a lot better now.
A Moodscope member.