About 18 months ago, when I was deep into another battle with depression, I had some difficulties at work. I allowed my personal problems to affect me at work and wasn’t really doing much. I got my work done, no one was going un-served, but I wasn’t doing anything else. I spent lots of time playing around on the internet and reading. And I got caught. It wasn’t the only thing that was wrong, but for the purposes of this post, it’s the only one that matters.
In order to keep my job, I had to figure out ways to be more productive. I’ve always been good with lists and visualization, plus I love crossing things off lists. So my solution to my productivity problem was to do lists. I started making to do lists every day. I type them up because it helps me think clearly and leave extra boxes so I can add things as the day goes on. Unless I finish the whole list (which rarely happens), I keep the list and use it to build my list the next day.
When I first starting making my lists, I made overarching lists for the week to help me stay focused. That way I always had stuff to put on my day-to-day lists and I had place to add new tasks and ideas as they came to me.
And it worked. My productivity level shot up, so did my usage statistics. And, once I started on some new meds, so did my mood. Within 6 months, I was no longer in danger of losing my job and the library was really starting to transform. All because of to-do lists. 🙂
These days I still make to do lists almost every day. Summer is a very slow time in my library and without my to do lists, I could easily fall back into some bad habits. Making a list in the mornings helps me brainstorm; I get some of my best ideas that way. And it helps me lay out my day so that I don’t over budget my time and end up with too much to do. That never ends well for my anxiety levels. lol
What about you? Are you a list maker? How do you stay focused and motivated at work?