A few months ago I gained more responsibility at work. And later the responsibilities grew a little bit. I started to struggle keeping everything together, managing projects and just managing myself and unfortunately it started to affect people around me. I started to answer late, forgetting things and delivering bad work. And I was tired and stressed out. And because I was stressed out I got more tired. A vicious circle that would just spiral and grow bigger if nothing was done.
What I mostly lacked was a good overview of my tasks and projects.
When I felt I was loosing it (literally felt like I was juggling too many balls and they were starting to fall on the floor) I decided something needed to be done. I cleared my calendar for a whole morning, went to a coffee shop and sat down with my computer. Over the years I have tested out a few organizing tools (lists) so I had lists and tasks all over and no dedicated place for everything. My only task this morning was to decide on which product I wanted to use to clear up my mess and keep everything in one place.
I decided on Trello and today I am really happy with that decision. I use it in my own way, a way that works for me. I put every task that I need to do or remember into Trello, prioritize them there and delete what is done. WOW. My life has changed! I finally have the overview. Of course I’m still working off a few kinks but I’m getting there. I’m getting things done. I can see clearly how tasks go on and off the lists.
I have six lists:
– NOW (for things that need to be done asap)
– Action required (for things that need action from me)
– Following (for things that I need or want to follow up on and regularly check the project status)
– Daily tasks (just a reminder for everything daily)
– Weekly/seldom tasks (just a reminder for a few things that require action regularily)
– Waiting answers (for those tasks that I am waiting for answers)
Today I am more relaxed and less torn apart. I’m still working on distractions regarding tasks that I suddenly remember or tasks that I suddenly notice or new tasks that suddenly come up – while I’m in the middle of another task. What I need to do then is to „put it in Trello!“ so I won’t get distracted.
What I also love about this is that I have the app on my phone, so when I remember something I can put it right away in Trello so i won’t forget. Or more importantly, so I won’t get stressed out that I won’t remember this later. Like the other day. I needed to order lunch for all employees. I remembered it on a Sunday evening and thought to myself „Ahh yes I have to remember to order the food tomorrow“. Then I went to sleep. Then I woke up at four in the night. My subconscious mind was saying that I would forget this aaaand I couldn’t get back to sleep. Was too worried. Damn! (Ok there were also more serious things related to customers that worried me more and I was afraid I would forget). Sooo I took out my phone and opened Trello. Only then I could go back to sleep (for 2 hours yay).
Now, there are many organizational tools out there. I’m not saying that Trello is better that the others (or advertizing Trello). It just works well with how I use it.