One of my 2011 Resolutions was to increase my productivity. I even have a plan of sorts. Will bought me a Moleskine weekly planner and each day I am writing down just five small goals--things like send a thank you note, make a dental appointment, pick up a birthday gift--and I am checking off the tasks by the end of the day. I also make a larger weekly goal that I jot down at the top of the page and cross off by Sunday.
Here's a recap of my weekly goals for January:
Week 1 and 2: Get my Address Book in Order
This took TWO weeks. I had over 600 addresses in the address book on my Mac, literally every person I had collected an address or telephone number from since 1999. For instance, that guy I met in the quad at UCSB, exchanged numbers with, and never spoke to again. And a girl in my Islamic Architecture class that I studied with one time, in 2002. And some guy named Fred. I dutifully deleted anyone I was never going to contact again. Then, with the remaining folks, I updated their addresses to the very best of my ability.
Week 3: Clean Out Email Boxes
I'm not too bad at email, but each of my two email boxes had accumulated about 80 messages. I know some people operate with thousands of messages, but I get anxiety when the items occupy more than a single page; so, I set out to empty the boxes. Each day I reduced the box by 50 percent. On Monday, I deleted or archived 40 messages per account. On Tuesday, I cut that in half for a total of 20 per box and, on Wednesday, reduced that number to 10. And so on. It got harder as the week progressed because I started with emails that required only a quick and easy response or a simple click of the "Delete" button. By Friday, I was dealing with just 2 emails, but ones that required some lengthier action on my part.
Week 4: Work on 31 Before 31
I am massively behind on my 31 Before 31 list and I will likely extend the deadline for myself, but I was able to make some progress. I continued my geography studies, visited the Getty Villa, completed some Martha tasks, and did some running. More on all of this to come!
Hooray for Productivity!
We've now entered my birthday week and I have a fun task for the week, one more about giving and less about productivity, which I will tell you about in a few days!