I feel like I spend all day creating lists. I make shopping lists, menu lists, lists of people I want to invite for Shabbat lunch, lists of people I need to call, to-do lists for work and to-do lists for all the various outstanding projects I have to do at home. I have broken down these lists into “in due time” (go through the kids closet and pull old clothes that don’t fit them) and “urgent” (draft blog posting for www.challahcrumbs.com) and “super-duper-urgent” (pick up prescription for sick child).
I keep scraps of paper in my kitchen and a notebook by my bed and an open running document on my computer collecting all of these bits of information. When I train various staffers, I give them a run-down on the value of creating and maintaining a to-do list and instructing them on the importance of prioritizing the work they have to do – and of course, on bringing any given task to completion. I have even written a “Torah Study” session on this topic for leaders of Jewish organizations.
So you think that I’d be on top of my game 24/7, right?
Like so many of you, I work full time, and when I’m not at work, I try to devote every waking second (including many sleepless nights) to everything related to my home – husband, kids, family, friends, community, etc. etc. etc….. But no matter how organized I try to be, I can’t seem to stay ahead of the game. It feels like I can’t ever bring a full list to completion (unless the issue or project has been resolved in the fullness of time).
And I know there is some joke to be made about me spending too much time on creating/maintaining my lists and not enough on completing the tasks at hand. But truly, few things give me greater pleasure than knowing that I’ve cleared everything and that I can start my day the next day with a clear sheet of paper.
So? What am I missing? How do you prioritize your tasks and manage your time? Is it possible to get it all done? Or are we all trying to achieve the impossible?