The opposite of not being bored

I’m pretty sure I’ve come full circle. I am definitely not bored.

In fact I’m overwhelmed.

People have asked me in the past how I was keeping the pace I was keeping. The answer was very carefully. I would on occasion double book myself but for the most part my calendar knew where I needed to be and I learned little tricks like blocking out travel time.
Beyond that I’ve tried a myriad of organizational solutions. I grew up on Franklin Covey, but before that I was a natural born list maker. That list making fits well with the David Allen approach – his getting things done.

Today with the iPhone, iPad, MacBook I’m reliant on syncable technology. Google calendar is my hero of the moment. But for my tasks and to dos I’ve yet to find an app that truly meets all my needs but was getting by letting a few apps work together – one for groceries, one for bills/finances, one for writing projects and one for the general stuff.
I had a process – at least once each week, I was doing a brain dump to paper. It is my release of everything on my mind. A brainstorm of life so to speak. Birthdays and holidays. Calls to make. (note to self schedule follow up with dr) Assignments for school. (another note need to register for fall classes) Drafts due to editors. Work stuff that’s bugging me. Music I want to buy. Anything and everything found its way to the paper.
The next important part was to sort all this stuff and put it where it needed to go. Events on calendars. Reminders set to beep. Tasks listed in one of my apps that I  am testing out. (note – expiration date on the trial of the budgeting software ends soon)
See one of these gurus – pretty sure it’s Allen – will tell you if you don’t get things out of your head, your brain will try to play it on continuous loop. But you can’t just get it out of your head, it has to go somewhere your brain can trust. If your brain doesn’t trust where you put its precious details, it’s not going to shut up.

My calendar exists at least one quarter into the future so I knew I could say with confidence if I could volunteer somewhere, meet up with a friend. It was that confidence that made it fun and easy to not be bored.

This is where I confess to you all I fell off my organization wagon. Some things happened that I stopped making time for my process and I went into a sort of survival mode doing the bare minimum.

The last two days I’ve realized that being not bored and being overwhelmed are no where near the same thing. In a desperate attempt to recover, I’ve managed 3 solid pages of 11 pt calibri font to dos. And that’s just for work.

So why am I telling you all this? I want you to not be bored. Being bored is that state of doing things day in day out and never making time to enjoy the really cool stuff of life. In my over scheduled life, it would have been easy to do.

Overwhelmed is that avalanche of things coming at you while you are unprepared. It comes with a side order of guilt when you chose to do the cool stuff because you aren’t totally sure you should be.

Summer is here – my weekends are nearly all booked. I refuse to miss out but sadly because I had lost track I missed out on the First Sunday in Annapolis. (note get all the festival dates on my calendar)

My plea to you is while you consider some of the ways not to be bored, watch out for the unintended overwhelmed side effect. Find a method that works for you – paper calendar, iPhone reminders, google calendar or any number of apps like GTD or Wunderlist or Next!
The point is don’t lost track of what’s going on, what you need to do and block out time for the things you want to do.
It’s probably going to take me about three days to unbury from this avalanche. And like that pile of unmatched socks, it would have definitely taken less time to just do it at the time. Quite frankly I am a little afraid to see what I might find under the pile of unopened mail, pages of brain dump and unread email.

The good news – by Monday I should have a good handle on it again. (noting one more additional to do – update this blog!)

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About AngelaMWrites

mom-of-two, fan-of-non-profits, can't-sit-still-for-long-kind-of-girl
This entry was posted in The Business of Keeping House and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The opposite of not being bored

  1. My favorite task manager is ToodleDo. You can get a lot of functionality out of the free website and a great iPhone app. It fits really well into the GTD methodology. You can pay like $20/yr for the premium version, which gives you subtasks and some other features. Hopefully the website gets updated soon, I feel it’s growing a bit stale.

    You might prefer Wunderlist, just for it’s sheer list making awesomeness. I might make this pick over Toodledo if I had to make the decision now. With over 100 million tasks created it certainly gets plenty of use.

    I do love GroceryIQ for the shopping list. It lives on your iPhone so it’s always with you. You can input the isles of your store and prices of items if you are especially neurotic. Adding your staples to the Favorites section can help you knock out nearly a full grocery list in just a couple of minutes.

    • I’ve got GroceryIQ and use it happily 🙂 I’m going to have to try ToodleDo (add it to my to-do list!). I love Next! because it allows me to link goals and projects and to-do and ideas all pretty easily – sadly they don’t have an iphone version. I’ve outgrown Wunderlist because of the way my tasks are often interlinked, but for simple list keeping – it’s the best of easiest and free. I’ve got producteev downloaded to try next but haven’t made it in there to try to set it up.

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