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  • n/as that take too long/bump day-specifics

    What are some approaches to prevent the following scenario from occuring or ways to rescue myself when it occurs?

    Today I started out with a reasonable list of N/As, 15 small day-specific actions (have to be done today but not at specific time), and 6 true appointments. Enroute from one of the appointments, I saw an opportunity to get some of the N/As completed, in theory in one fell swoop and so I launched into them. What I thought would take 1/2 to 1 hour, took 21/2 hours. I was an hour and half into this when I realized that I had made this mistake but it seemed wiser (at the time) to finish all those in a batch since I had invested the time already. At the end of the two and a half hours, I realized that there was one more N/A I could do in that location. Again, not day-specific, but something that was getting stale on my list and would be a convenience to me since I am rarely in that locale, so I went ahead and did that. But, instead of taking 15 minutes, it took an hour but while there was a waiting time, so I accomplished two other actions that I am glad I did, even alhtough they were not on any list at all. Now, when I resume work in a few minutes (this is my little chill out time and I have to sit 2-3x a day with a heating pad anyway), I am going to be in crisis mode. I have 14 day-specifics to do, 5 appointments (1 hr, 1/2 hr, 1 1/2 hr, and 2 1/2 hrs) and there is not much of the day left!

  • #2
    With 15 day-specific actions and 6 appointments, it seems to me you had a pretty full day already. I would consider myself overscheduled with half that load. So the first suggestion is to avoid having such a heavy load or, if that's not possible, at least recognize that you're going to need the whole day for it. In your position I probably would have skipped the non-day specific actions altogether. If I did decide to tackle them, I would have been hyperalert to the time involved, probably setting a mental time limit.

    The second problem was having the NAs take 3.5 hours, rather than 1.5. Clearly your time estimation was a little on the overly optimistic side... for which the usual cure is to keep track of how long things actually take, because it's always longer than you think.

    Once you've gotten into such a crisis, the only way to get out of it is to either do the work or renegotiate some of the commitments. Can any of the appointments be rescheduled? Do all of the day-specific actions really *have* to be done today? My guess would be that *something* probably isn't going to get done, so it's time to admit it and decide what not to do.

    Katherine

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    • #3
      Kewms took the words right out of my mouth. Six appointments and 15 actions in one day is just too much.

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      • #4
        I'm worried about your day specific actions - do they really have to be done on e.g. 12th September and no other date? You've already got 5+ hours of appointments; if you then allowed yourself 2 hours to get your other NAs done, that's an average of 8 minutes per item, without allowing for lunch, going to the lavatory and things in general not happening as quickly as you had planned.

        You'll need to prioritise your actions, and seriously ask yourself "will the sky fall in if I don't do this today?" If not getting these things done today will have catastrophic consquences, then you've got too much to do... and that's a whole new ball game.

        Ruth

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        • #5
          thank you!

          There are times when a reality check is absolutely priceless!

          I need to say to myself, after looking at my planner "I have too many day-specific items to dip into the lists". It was poor judgement to do otherwise. And, in realty, both kinds of items had not been done days prior to today in part because I did not look carefully at the consequences of letting them ride.

          Also, I think that so many actions became day-specific because they were not done in advance of when they absolutly needed to be done when they could have been. But, of these, several where put onto today because of their proximity to where certain appointments were being held. So the remedy needs to include a little more analysis of what needs to be done before the final opportunity and whether it is more or less stressful to attach activities to one another because it saves travel time or wheather it clogs up the day.

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