I really like my organization system. It really works. I haven’t changed much in the past year, but I did recently come across some old HTCs (Hobonichi Techo Cousins!) and it made me realize that I have definitely honed things significantly over the years.
My daily ‘dashboard’ type page was born in 2016, and has evolved subtlely since then, for example. My accessory notebook (with various goals / lists / etc) has become more complex. At any given moment, I’m pretty confident that I know where all of the seemingly random tasks live, and how I can corral them.
Now, my biggest challenge is not allowing myself to let things pile up to a stressful degree! The only way that I have found to avoid this is purposefully designated Admin Time. Admin time must be:
- time with childcare or when children are all reliably asleep (essential)
- time without a high likelihood of frequent interruptions (ie, between patients – not a great time to admin)
- at a time when I am not super tired/hungry/grumpy
- scheduled regularly to avoid task pileup
When I notice that the sidebar of my weekly view (where I keep my ‘to do this week’) list of tasks seems to be just rolling over and accumulating more things, I know that I need an admin block. When I realize I haven’t triaged/emptied my email for weeks I also see the need for an admin block — I know everyone feels differently about this, but achieving Inbox Zero from time to time definitely is essential for the way I process things. I also find that I need a ‘bigger’ admin block each month to do some planning and perform my monthly review.
SOOO . . . the tough part is — when? The mornings aren’t necessarily long enough. In the evening I am too tired. That leaves my days off or weekends when I happen to have childcare.
I have actually found that a weekend call day can be perfect for a highly productive admin block. Even if I do have to see some patients in the hospital, it rarely takes the entire day and I usually have an extra 2-3 hours I can sit in my office and just GET *&#$ DONE. And then I feel a million times better afterwards!
On a similar note, I have been working on adapting some time blocking into my regular work schedule. This has become necessary as my administrative/GME time tends to get run over by clinical tasks if I am not ruthless about protecting it. I’ve started to note in my planner things like “1p-4p – GME” and closing our clinical workspace during that time. I think the concept of time blocking (and on a similar vein, singletasking) is really important and I’d like to explore it further.
Some more random notes:
- My Summersalt bathing suits arrived! Sadly though the one-piece (this one) did not fit at all. I think it was a length issue (ie it was too long) because the top was basically falling off of my shoulders and gaping next to the bra cups — not a good look. If I had 2″ more torso, it probably would have been fine, but . . . I don’t. The two piece (bottom, top) fit really nicely and I like the look of the contrast band (it’s also a nice compromise between high and low rise when left unfolded). I still want a one-piece though too and may try Madewell or Athleta next.
- I found out yesterday that C got in (via lottery, totally random) to a very popular public magnet elementary school. I entered both kids on a whim, assuming our chances were quite low (they were, something like 60/800!) and I honestly did not expect to have this option. It’s a Montessori-style program and located close to my office/hospital. I am tempted to let him try it even though it will increase our logistical challenges for next year (although not terribly; again, drop off is 7-8 min from my office and there is also a bus). There is sibling preference, so G would be allowed in at pre-K 3 and A could potentially transfer in if a slot opens up. If we find that it’s not worth the logistics, we can pull him out at any time. Am I crazy? My thought process is that this is likely our only chance to try the school and I would regret not finding out if it’s worth it.