I’m a very detail-oriented person. Fortunately, I think I am also pretty good at looking at the big picture, but I struggle with letting go of the details. It turns out, sometimes it may be important to do just that if you want to remain organized with a busy schedule and competing demands.
I absolutely love the advice in this piece from Time.com on ways organized people manage their time, many of which focus on paying attention to the big picture while either delegating the details or using technology to manage them. What helps me is the trick of thinking of yourself like someone really important. As the article says, “The President of the United States is not desperately trying to remember his to-do list.”
The specific tips in the article mostly have to do with setting up your environment to make it as easy as possible for you to get your tasks done. Keep good notes, use technology tools like apps or even a basic e-calendar with reminders, and minimize distractions like clutter or unneeded documents. Other tips involve delegating work (another area where this Type A doer sometimes struggles) and getting cozy with the idea of “good enough” (see previous parenthetical). The organization ideas are easier for me, for sure, which means I see the others as my more important need.
One tip I’d add to the suggestions in the link is to think critically when a task feels overwhelming about what it would mean to complete it successfully. As a perfectionist-type, I sometimes create standards for myself that are unnecessarily high. There have been issues that take an email to resolve yet I set myself to writing a full report. Taking a pause to ask the critical question about what success means for a task can help me set more realistic expectations for my work.
The takeaway from this article, and the heart of what I hope to make my approach to work, is to focus my time and effort where it matters, and find other ways to take care of the rest.