By Amanda Smyth Connor
I can multitask as well as anyone. I am neither more nor less gifted in this realm than the average person. However, once I have met and exceeded my limit for “activities in progress,” things get decidedly ugly.
Multiple embarrassing and messy situations begin to arise. My quality of work suffers. I tend toward general hysteria. And instead of approaching this situation with a level head, I continue to swirl within this ugly vortex of multitasking until everything blows up and I become a Looney Tunes character in the midst of one of those black splatters of ash post-explosion.
My immediate response is not to delegate necessary tasks to others who can help me. Instead, I tend to dig myself deeper by refusing to say “no” to more and more tasks. My response is not to prioritize, but rather to worsen the situation. Why do I do this? I have no idea, but I suspect I’m not the only one out there who does this.
What I have done to combat this ongoing problem is to subscribe myself to various online organizational programs that do their very best to keep me organized and help minimize my hysterics. The current love of my life is a free program called Remember the Milk. While the smartphone app is a hefty $30, this free online account is simply a to-do list that allows you to enter your tasks and then hit the corresponding number in which you want to prioritize each one (1 for top prios like “don’t forget to take bathroom breaks! 2 for middle prios like “don’t forget to take a meal break!” 3 for bottom prios like “don’t forget to take a shower break!”) If you do decide to upgrade to the $30 app for your phone, you get to enjoy to-do list reminders that come in the form of a surly sounding “MOO.”
Thank you, RemembertheMilk.com, for reminding me to get this blog post in on deadline. “MOO!”
My second time/life management app of awesomeness? The FindMyPhone app that allows you to send a text message to your phone from another phone in order to trace it’s lost location. The text message will either alert your missing phone to ring on max volume until you find it OR will text you back with a Google Map location of where you left the d*mn thing. The app only costs $1.99 but since I’ve used it three times to date, that equates to three times that I have NOT had to replace my phone. I’d label this app as “invaluable.”
I’ve become quite the app junky, but these two apps are my lifeline to sanity. I highly recommend.