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Overcoming Overload?

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Posted by Dr Andus
Mar 11, 2015 at 11:04 AM

 

Another way to overcome information (to-do) overload is to get off the grid, i.e. make yourself unavailable (don’t allow others to pass on tasks to you). Get off email, switch off the mobile phone, hide somewhere to get important work done.

I find that a lot of tasks get solved by others, by themselves, or fall by the way-side even in a 24 hr period, or the perspective of time allows you to make a better judgement about what is important and what can be ignored. I realise this may not be possible in every line of work, but it’s worth trying, when possible.

 


Posted by Ken
Mar 11, 2015 at 03:27 PM

 

Bernhard wrote:
>When it comes to the point to keep track of many Tasks/Projects I
>appreciate MyLifeOrganized (http://www.mylifeorganized.net/). With it’s
>views there are plenty of ways to see what can (should) be done. There
>are many properties that can help to schedule tasks (importance,
>urgency, reminder, dependencies ...). At times this may seem as overly
>complex and one may get lost in organizing but it did help me to stay on
>top of things.

Asana seems to offer a number of views, like MLO, and perhaps I need to reconsider how I use my views, but things seem to happen quite quickly, that when I finish long conversations involving lots of issues, I could easily spend all of my available time afterwards just writing up tasks rather than actually working on them.  I am certainly adhere to the idea of spending a bit up front to save in the long term, but the ratios of spending (time) to saving in this case are just not that great.  But, when I do have some quite time, I will reconsider how I am using my views to see if there is a way to better capture tasks as they are generated.

—Ken

 


Posted by Ken
Mar 11, 2015 at 03:43 PM

 

Dr Andus wrote:
Another way to overcome information (to-do) overload is to get off the
>grid, i.e. make yourself unavailable (don’t allow others to pass on
>tasks to you). Get off email, switch off the mobile phone, hide
>somewhere to get important work done.
> >I find that a lot of tasks get solved by others, by themselves, or fall
>by the way-side even in a 24 hr period, or the perspective of time
>allows you to make a better judgement about what is important and what
>can be ignored. I realise this may not be possible in every line of
>work, but it’s worth trying, when possible.

A very good suggestion.  While I cannot easily remove myself from my workstation at work, I do sometimes stay after hours as this has a similar effect.  I wish I could do this more often, but for a variety of reasons, this can only be done on a limited basis.

—Ken

 


Posted by Dr Andus
Mar 11, 2015 at 04:09 PM

 

Ken wrote:
>I cannot easily remove myself from my
>workstation at work

In that case it is about resisting the temptation to check your email (and turning off any instant email notification) for a prolonged period of time. Every new email has the potential to distract you from your current work, introduce new to-dos, which at the time of arrival might seem urgent or important, but from the hindsight of a few hours they might not (or even disappear or get solved by others).

If something is urgent, let other people come over and tell you in person (or have them call you on the phone) that they sent you an urgent email. That is another way to filter out what is urgent and important. Or if it’s the phone or voice mail that is the problem, then one needs to turn off/disable those. It makes sense to filter communication through the channel that you can control the best.

I know how difficult it is to do this from my own experience. I noticed that I used to check my email as a way of procrastinating, hoping that some more interesting task comes along to distract me from my current tedious work, and surely enough, seemingly “urgent” and “important” emails come in unexpectedly all the time. Sometimes colleagues just reach for the email too quickly, too ready to ‘delegate’ the problem to you. It is important to fight back and let them try to work it out by themselves (which they’ll be forced to, if you don’t get back to them immediately).

There is also the old trick of turning on the “Out of Office” notification, to manage their expectations, and then they’ll be still pleased when you get back to them a few hours later.

 


Posted by Arnold
Mar 11, 2015 at 04:52 PM

 

I have found ToDoList to be an excellent tasklist with project support. Can handle resources and basic reports. Not a full blown Project Manager yet for most people it will handle the workload.

The input screen has just about anything you can toss in, using a reduced entry screen can be a benefit. You can customize the the screens. All data can be exported in xml format, Excel, HTML ICS etc.

Did I mention it is freeware? Or can be used in portable mode

See here:

and here:

 


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