flowing motion

How am I getting along with my one line job description?

Posted on: January 29, 2009

Deal with work overload by writing a one line job description

Two weeks ago, I posted my system for dealing with overload. I wrote myself a one line job description “During 2009, I needed to achieve A, B, C, D and E, simultaneously”.

I wanted to stop today and tell you how this job description is working.

To refresh your memories – I began by taking all my goals for 2009 and putting them in a circle on a piece of scrap paper.   Amazingly, they clustered naturally into five groups.

Then I took the back of an old Christmas card, put 2009 in the centre, and drew five spokes.  I marked off ‘quarters’ for each spoke, and then months for the first quarter, and jotted down what I wanted to achieve.  I also labelled the spokes.  Then I propped the card up nicely below my second screen.

So how did it go?

Guess what?  I didn’t look at it again – for ten days.

When I did, my first thought was – oh, so you forgot about this pretty quickly!  Then I looked at the drawing more closely.

  1. Yes, on two spokes I am far ahead of my goals.  I am on target to achieve much of February too.
  2. On a third, I am doing fine and will achieve everything provided I don’t drop the ball.
  3. In the fourth, I am a little behind but there isn’t much too do.
  4. The fifth has been neglected but when I labeled the spoke, I had made it much clearer why I was doing this work.  With that in the back of my mind, I stumbled on a solution bye-the-bye in the course of other work.  I only expected to find the solution in months and months!  Now I can tackle the tasks on this spoke more efficiently and with more verve and energy.

Yes.  This works.  I’ve even redrawn the card and increased the goals somewhat.  I am my own worst boss.

I’m still busy.  And I will still  prune and prioritize.  But picturing has helped, a lot.

The next stage is to do this for another two fortnights, I think.

Come with me!

Anyone want to keep up with me and reduce their job to a 5×4 card?

UPDATE: As I tidy up this blog, I am also tidying up my office.  And I have lost my card.  I know one spoke is far ahead, one is very far behind but there is a clear way forward.   Two spokes have morphed into another project.  Can’t remember the fifth spoke.  It will be interesting when I find the card.

And then I will have the fun of seeing how far I have come – on each spoke and on reducing the feeling of being pulled in all directions!


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