- Make lists in a journal or notebook: to do’s and by when (be as specific as possible, e.g., by Wednesday the 17th EOD), key points to note (AKA the parking lot), use bullets and numbers and date your entries. The best part is checking off the items on the list! Instant sense of accomplishment
- Color code: I love to group similar-things together. Folding and sorting laundry calm me. I used to carry around many different colored pens and colored sticky-tabs to mark important pages in my notebook to refer back to. I would start a new entry with a different color to denote the change of entry, or I would write important, urgent things to do in red and everything else in black (I no longer carry notebooks around, see point 5)
- Prioritize: when there are so many things to do and so little time, you have to go for the biggest bang for your buck. Do the most important, time-sensitive things first and give yourself a reasonable deadline for the rest, but there has to be a deadline! Otherwise it should come off the to-do list and go on a nice-to-have list
- Manage expectations: most disappointments in life can be avoided if you have the right expectations. The same applies when you’re trying to manage others. Keep their expectations very low. If you know it will take you 2 hours to do something, give yourself a day. Then you’ll always deliver ahead of time, even better!
- Marry a Latin: Which in some sense is the opposite of how to stay sane. Those of you who live with/ are dating/ are friends with Latin men or women (and are not one of them) know what I’m talking about. I feel extremely organized by contrast. When they tell you they’ll pick you up or come to the party by ten, they could mean ten, twelve, or never. The concept of time is superfluous. I’ve stopped wearing watches and carrying notebooks because of this influence, it only makes me annoyed to note how late they are. I can work myself up to a frothy, mad-dog level of angst. But on the bright side, they force you to stay more on top of things. Somebody has to do it!
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