The Holiday Shopping Season is upon us and I’m as busy as a bee can be. I’m in retail and I just have so much flying at me. Sometimes I don’t get to eat lunch until 4 pm. I’m swamped with customers, preparing the ad flyers for the next weekend advertising campaign, preparing for the New Year sale, and just trying to maintain my sanity. I can’t seem to get any of my Big Rock projects done because I’m swamped with everyone else’s priorities. I used to worry about missing important deadlines, trying to contact people for some “Waiting For” items, or just trying to make sure I have my maintenance tasks taken care of. But I think I’m going to do OK because I’ve learned to trust my system.
To trust my system during hectic times such as the Holiday Shopping Season, I’ve learned to do a daily review of the most essential parts.
Review and process my Inbox
I check my OmniFocus inbox or any other inboxes such as e-mail, my incoming mail tray, and voice mail. I discard the junk mail and capture any important incoming items into OmniFocus and try to set a project and context to the new task. If needed, I set a due date on a new task only if severe penalties (financial or otherwise) will occur.
Check the calendar
I look at the next 7 days and remind myself of any due tasks that are coming up. The OmniFocus Forecast perspective is a good place to start looking. I might be able to find time somewhere to catch up on maintenance tasks and due tasks.
Another list I look up that is related to the calendar is a “Due list.” I have an OmniFocus perspective called Due which shows all of my remaining due tasks sorted by due date. A collapsed version looks like this:
In a paper-based system, I’ll just look at my calendar or refer to a page in my notebook which shows this month’s due items.
Work on Maintenance Tasks when I can
I try to work through the daily tidal waves that rush at me and I try to squeeze in some maintenance tasks in. All of my Big Rock projects are put on hold unless there is a due date attached to it.
Maintenance tasks are tasks that must be completed to make sure my life is running smoothly. These admin tasks can be something as simple as “balance the checkbook” to “pay the utility bills” or “close out the cash registers.” I need to do these maintenance tasks to make sure my life can run as smoothly as possible.
Everybody has times where we can’t just seem to get to the Big Rock projects that we wanted to do today. I narrow down my focus to:
- Inbox processing - capturing and hopefully processing new task.
- Calendar items - complete due tasks and projects before the due date as well as reviewing any future due items), Look at my calendar or my Due list.
- Maintenance tasks - complete my life running smoothly by completing any admin tasks that grease the wheels of my life.
I’m running pretty ragged right now. Long hours, high customer traffic, lots of demands from workers and customers. But I think I can manage. I should be ok as long as I review my inbox, my calendar, and my maintenance task list on a daily basis. I don’t miss anything. I know that all of my other Big Rock projects are safely stored away in OmniFocus so that I can get back to them after my busy Holiday Shopping Season. Trusting my system has never been easier.
Does anyone else have any other lists they need to check when the s••t hits the fan and everyone is running around like a headless chicken? I’d like to know.
Merry Christmas everyone!