I’m on an organization kick right now. Every once in a while I go through this. I spend a few days trying to wrap my brain around a new system for task management, etc., etc., etc. It’s been a long time since I’ve done this. Probably since before I was sick.
Now for me, being a complete geek, getting organized means finding some nice computer program to help me. I’ve tried Things and Omnifocus this time around. They would both work well, but I’m going with things.
The whole process, though, has really gotten me thinking about the process of managing information, and what that means for mental health. If you’re like me, there are a thousand things going through your brain at any given time. I run around putting out fires, trying to stay one step ahead of disaster in all of the spheres or realms that I operate. Church, home, school, opera, DOXOLOGY, Higher Things, and who knows what else. With each of these comes big tasks and little tasks. Projects and emails and phone calls and meetings and contacts and people and jobs…you get the idea.
I had a revelation a couple days ago that part of the reason why I go into mental shut down is that I am trying to remember and juggle all this stuff in my head. Whatever seems the most pressing at the moment is what gets the attention. What that usually means is that my own health and well-being ends up last, until I crash and have to recharge.
Furthermore, these lists and piles and STUFF literally keeps me up at night. I’m so afraid of forgetting something that I can concentrate on nothing.
I’m no expert, but this just doesn’t seem like a good pattern to me.
So what I’m trying to do is a few simple steps to help me keep my sanity. Here’s my list so far:
1. Deal with things as they come in. Do it now, schedule it later, give it to someone else, or delete it.
2. Don’t allow lingering projects to just hang out there. Resolve them as much as possible.
3. Actually plan for relaxation time. I wish this were not necessary, but it really really is.
4. Schedule time for prayer and meditation. If I don’t have that as a regular part of my routine, it simply never happens. If it is a choice, as often as not I will choose no.
That’s the start of my list. So far it’s been helpful, but it is a tough road.
What do you think? How do you keep the voices in your head from driving you mad?