Listmaker, listmaker, make me a list...
September 11, 2012 7:15 PM Subscribe
To-do questions on here often tell you to have a daily or weekly meeting with your boss. Please help me figure out how to make a list of tasks and projects so that I can do this and keep my head on straight and not get mired in anxiety-land.
posted by inmyhead to Work & Money (12 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I am using my sockpuppet for this cause my real name is attached my main account and I am embarrassed by even asking this.
I have anxiety so I know that doesn't help. I'm in therapy, on meds, etc. I may have some mild ADHD but the docs think my issues are more based on anxiety.
Anyways, to the issue at hand...
First off, my boss thinks I'm doing fine. He just doesn't have the same issues with organization and follow through and anxiety about it all that I do. I just want to do a good job and feel like I'm on top of things. I feel like I'm just wading through, doing this, doing that and barely staying on top.
I've tried numerous task organizers and project management apps over the years but I can't wrap my head about how to actually use them. I eventually get overwhelmed by the amount of tasks and no longer can see what I need to do. What happens is that a project will start, it turns into something incredibly complex when I thought it was simple and all sorts of unexpected things happen and I got lost because the plan changed and I no longer feel like I know what's going on.
I don't know how to keep track of various tasks that "in progress" - maybe it's because I need someone's help or I'm waiting on someone else to do something so I can go finish it or just that I got stuck and need to think about it for a little.
I need to juggle like 18 chainsaws and cats without hurting anyone. I just don't know how to organize that.
I feel like the task list I have and the task list I would discuss with my boss are really two different lists, the second being more specific. "Create article for the user documentation on Topic A" is actually take screenshots, resize screenshots, put in document and add text. Sometimes I need to tell him that is my plan and other times not...there have been plenty of times that I thought I knew what I needed to do, but turns out there was some other way to do things that would have saved me a lot of time and energy if I had told him what my plan was. But I can't tell him the details of every little thing I'm going to do, it would take too much time.
Also, if I'm working on Task A and then I run into a roadblock that prevents me completing Task A and getting this roadblock cleared means I now have to do several new tasks which are going to take more time than I thought Task A was originally going to take...I lose my shit. I get very stressed. I feel like I'm letting everyone down, the client, my coworkers.
I feel like I have somehow failed to see what I needed to do. That I didn't think things through and didn't make a plan. Cause I didn't. Because I feel like I don't have time to make a plan and when I try to make a plan, I don't know which parts to share with my boss because he doesn't have an hour everyday to go over everything with me - I need that hour he does have to help me actively get things done, like fix problems so I can keep working, not help me refine my todo list.
Another thing ... some times I get very caught up in the trees and can't see the forest. I spent at least an hour and a half trying to find the "right" screencap tool - that was free, that would let me crop and resize, and put little arrows on it. I thought I should do that because this documentation project is going to be something I'm spending a lot time doing. It never occurred to me that my boss might pay $40 for SnagIt because I think it would do the job. (I used SnagIt at my old job so I already knew it was great.)
But maybe that's a different question.
It's late and maybe this was rambly, but I'm just very stressed at work and I do love it, I just really want to feel like I know what's going on and not just randomly putting out fires. All of my jobs end up being this way and I guess it's because I actually do get stuff done and get it done right, but I hate feeling like I have no idea what's going on. I don't want to be a firewoman. Whatever the opposite is, I want to be that.