A Too-Long To-Do List

I pride myself at being the model of efficiency. At times …I really am. At times, I feel in control and in that state of “flow” where I feel like Neo at the end of The Matrix when the bullets appear to be moving so slow he casually leans out of the way as they harmlessly pass by.

Today, however, and for about the past two weeks, those bullets are hitting their target …me.

How does one dig out? How does one regain control and get back out in front of deadlines and projects and ideas?

This is probably an age-old dilemma. My to-do list is longer than I have hours in the day. My cognitive load is at it’s breaking point.

Cognitive load is a term most often associated with individuals learning something. I’m not in training or anything like that, but I think it can also apply to the modern-day worker who is trying to succeed at work while also succeeding at home as a father, as a husband, while simultaneously trying to pursue a passion-project (writing, golf, model train, pick-up soccer game, exercise, etc).

Last I checked, each day is only 24 hours. Seven of those hours need to be for sleep, leaving 17 hours for everything else Eight solid hours should go to the job, right? For me, an hour is spent commuting. Hmmm. So that leaves 8 hours for me.

When I put it that way, I guess that’s lots of time. What do I do with those 8 hours?

Many time management experts say a person, a person who feels crunched for time, should journal all their activities in a day …including the social media stuff and small talk. This exercise does one of two things …(1) it forces you to waste less time when you feel guilty logging something like, “stood and watched the coffee brew in the kitchen for 4-minutes,” or, “wiped down and dusted my desk at work for 3-minutes,”. Or, this exercise (2) shows you all the things you do and how you don’t group and cluster the activities, so you essentially are your own worst enemy.

Today. I will journal. Actually, all this week, I’ll journal. First thing on the list …7:55 a.m. – 8:20 a.m., blogged.

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