Getting Organized

Sometimes when I start huge projects, they seem intimidating, sometimes haunting. If there is too much information for me to process, I start to get confused and often have a hard time knowing where to start. Something that I have relied on heavily for the past year is my planner. Whenever I feel myself beginning to stress, I make lists. All kinds of lists. To-do lists, daily lists, weekly lists, grocery lists. I am constantly re-organizing my lists to see if I could see things in a different or easier way. As I have gotten older and more independent, I have since increased the amount of organizational tools I use. I am looking forward to Trello because my planner becomes messy and confusing at times. This way, I can have a neat and visually pleasing to-do board.

For this Project Management project, I was excited because it allowed me to lay out the rest of this Foundations of Graduate Studies course. Something that at first seemed daunting now is laid out in a way that is best for my mind and is much more manageable and personalized.

How I choose to set up my Project Management: After looking over a few of the websites, I decided to go with Trello, a site that was really visual and easy to set up. I began by making lists for each module. This way, I could set all my tasks for each module and I could easily see due dates without it getting confusing. I also added descriptions to most of my blog post tabs, brainstorming ideas I could write about based on the articles and book reading for that week. One of the features of Trello that I enjoy is that you can check off when you complete a task. As a person who enjoys the gratification of checking an item off of a list, I could not wait to watch the top bar turn green! This is also a living document. I have the ability to change, add, and delete anything that I please.

How do I see this changing my work habits? I’m looking to really to have a digital copy of my to-do list. It is often that I forget my planner or forget to write something down in it. This way, I can double check my planner with my Trello so I can make sure I’m not missing anything. Also, I have a huge project coming up for my senior seminar class, Crisis Communications. This project is overwhelming, with 15 different moving parts. I was so excited when I started using Trello because I now am going to use it to organize my bigger project. I am looking to hold myself accountable for different parts of this project because I can’t leave it all to one week or one night. I plan to complete a different task each week so that I can keep up some sort of schedule.

How does this promote deep work? Deep work requires focus and organization. In Deep Work this week, Newport talks about the importance of a schedule for your deep work. He uses the example of Jerry Seinfeld in the early days of the show when he was still doing stand-up. He talks about creating a chain. Each day that Seinfeld would write jokes, he would make an X on his calendar and it motivated him to write everyday so he wouldn’t break the chain. I am hoping to develop similar habits. I want to make working on bigger projects as part of a routine so I become motivated to complete what I need to in order not to break my chain.

Can I use this in the future? These project management sites are used in a lot of workplaces and I believe that by using it as tool as a part of my educational journey, it will aid me in my future jobs. It also seems very helpful for collaborative work. As someone who often likes to know that the people I’m working with are going at the same pace as me, Trello can help me keep track of where they are and also help me pace myself according to others. It would allow me to share what I’ve done and also see what others have done.

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