I’ve got a lot on my plate. Or rather, plates. I won’t recite it all here because it starts sounding like a pity party, but trust me … it’s a lot. And it’s a lot to keep track of.
For the last month or so I’ve been trying out a new strategy for keeping track of which plates need to be touched so they keep spinning and don’t wobble out of control. It’s a Google spreadsheet called “Angular Momentum” that lists all the tasks — work, home, civic, nuketown — that I need to keep track of. The spreadsheet includes:
- the task or project
- the date I last did something related to it
- a brief note indicating the last thing I did, and maybe what I need to do next
- conditional formatting that highlights anything in the last week in green
My goals with this list are two-fold: remind me where I left off when I return to a task … and remind me that a task needs to be returned to. I can’t possibly keep all of these tasks current, but at least I know exactly how long its been since I added a little more angular momentum to a plate … and that helps me know when I might need to add some more.
It is … a big list. There are 40 work tasks, 8 home tasks, and 5 Nuketown tasks. Work dominates the spreadsheet because frankly, February is nuts and I’m having the most trouble keeping track of things at the day list. There are likely a lot of home stuff that needs to be on the list as well, but so far I haven’t dedicated the time to figure out what those tasks are (aside from the really big, really obvious stuff).
Nuketown? Well, that’s for me, and ultimately it will be the reminder of exactly how long it’s been since I’ve written something. I’ve found it’s easy to deceive myself into thinking I’ve done more than I have (or at least, that I’ve done it more recently than I have). I think part of that is just the site’s legacy. I have spent 20 years working on Nuketown and there were times when I was updating it every day. It’s still hard for me to adjust to the idea that I don’t do that any more.
So how’s it going? Pretty good. There are still things I’m missing, but I’m adding them to the list when it happens. Back in January I was feeling like I was being pummeled with a body blows every time I got an email or question about a thing I hadn’t updated in a while, and now I’ve got a much better sense of what needs doing next.
I’m going to keep the list going until mid-March, then re-evaluate it’s effectiveness. I’ll also pause and look to see what can be cut or reassigned so that the list can be pared back to something more manageable in the long-term.