Systems are Literal Minded

calendar, glue stick, scissors

They said, “Break it into smaller steps.” So I did.

Being visually oriented, I often get overwhelmed with the information in front of me.  I am non-linear and concrete random in my thinking style, which makes me very creative, but not well-organized.  The Ultimate Blog Challenge suddenly seemed like too much.

Who would think that a simple piece of paper with blocks of information would be overwhelming? But yesterday as I was checking off my blog to-dos, all I could see were how many blocks were left to go, not how many I had already checked off.

Now, it’s not like I don’t have ten new posts and lots of nice comments from the other UBC-ers.  You’d think that would be enough of an accomplishment for anyone. But I kept SEE-ing that big chunk of uncompleted tasks for the rest of the month.

So taking a clue from my coach (having a coach for a best friend really ROCKS!), I literally broke down the checklist into smaller pieces, so that the mass of to-dos now fit neatly on my planner pages.  See that right-hand page?  That’s how the blocks seemed to me, a big pile of tasks scattered across a month. But those four little blocks on the left? Each one is DO-able.

One of the things I’m learning about systems is that I do have to develop my own. I can take hints and clues from other folks, but just as I am my own brand, I have to be my own system as well.

The good thing is that I like playing with scissors and glue! Win-Win. Now to check off those little boxes for today. Happy Friday!

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6 Responses to Systems are Literal Minded

  1. CarolynW says:

    I find your post interesting as I have a very anylitcal mind and I see the world as one big to do list or a big puzzle where everything has a place. I too took the challenge and already have my three next posts started in my head. However, my personal todo list is so large I do make lists to things don’t fall off my plate, as some always do since we only have 24/7 and I am human! Keep at it. You will get there.

    • Charlotte Henley Babb says:

      To paraphrase Hamlet, I am analytical only north-by-northwest. When the wind is southerly, I am completely random and scattered. Thanks for your encouragement. I have heard myself lately say several times, “that task hasn’t bubbled to the top of the to-do list yet. “

  2. PattiOLeary says:

    Charlotte,
    I am with you on the overwhelm part..and the messy blocks…I wish I could see clearer how you organized and what you put on your tiny blocks that you pasted in. You look like you have reeled in this challenge. I wish I could say the same. 🙂
    I might need some of your coaching…or more tips. Looks great!!!

    • Charlotte Henley Babb says:

      i’m sorry that the picture did not come out more clearly.

      We got a download from the organizer of the UBC that had a calendar. The little boxes have checkboxes for writing a blog, posting to facebook, tweeting and commenting on other blogs.

      I just cut the one page up into smaller blocks, and pasted each block in my planner. Now I don’t have to keep up with a loose sheet of paper, and I can’t see more than 4 of these little to-dos at one time. This is all new to me, and I am just trying different ways to remind myself of what to do, and when, rather than trying to remember.

      I need that (RAM) thinking space for thinking up new story twists instead of remembering to take out the garbage on Wednesday.

  3. Dani says:

    I can relate to this, too. I’ve managed to keep up with UBC blog posts, not so great on visiting other blogs, failing miserably at trying to link everyone’s blogs on my blog. I’m also the worst at a to-do list. We have to figure out our own systems, don’t we? 😀

    • Charlotte Henley Babb says:

      I’m not trying to link to others’ blogs. I hope through my commenting to build some relationships with bloggers I like and who write on subjects that interest me. I link to my article on facebook, then make a new message, and list the names of the three bloggers above me. I right click on their links, opening three or four new tabs, then I go read and comment. I’m finding it fascinating what people are passionate about, and how differently we all think about stuff.