Thursday, March 15, 2012

Workin' the Plan

The only way to escape becoming chronically overwhelmed while we are preparing to move is to Work the Plan. We haven’t gone as far as employing Microsoft Project, but I do have an Excel spreadsheet. In it, I have listed all the Tasks I can think of that face us before the move. Some are broken into Sub-Tasks. They are weighted by duration/difficulty, color-coded by status, and assigned to Laurel, Ron, or L & R. All needed contact names and phone numbers are consolidated here, where I can easily find them.

Every morning, and throughout the day, I peruse the list and make updates. I’m still adding tasks as nagging thoughts arise. It’s better to get it all on the spreadsheet than to have worrisome thoughts rattling around in my head when I’m trying to go to sleep.

The list is long. But each time I change a task status to ‘DONE’ and color it Green, a small sigh of relief escapes my lips. It keeps me focused, and helps me direct Ron to his next assignment. He’s a dedicated soldier when I give him a plan to work.

When panic creeps in, I pull up the plan and find something to do that gets us a step or two closer to our goals. Progress is the only antidote for this special variety of panic. That is… progress and a glass of wine at the end of the day.

I find comfort in the fact that there are a finite number of things to be accomplished, within a specified period of time. It will all be over soon. Every Task will be Green, and all the Statuses will be “DONE”, and we will make the move.

Fellow List-Makers out there understand. We are a special breed. Our tools may be spreadsheets, or paper with colored markers, but we are always “Workin’ the Plan”.

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