OK, Back From the Break

6:53 am Will Do

The house is now back to it’s currently regular occupants. It’s time to get back into the swing of things. I haven’t left myself much time to write. But it’s not about the time or the amount – it’s about the habit… the doing it.

So I’m back. Let me ask you – how do you handle a backlog? What do you do when commitments and tasks has piled up on you and there’s really more than what you can do?

Here’s what I’m trying. It’s a simple 3 step process.
1) Keep your head and stop the madness. Drop the hatchet. There is what needs to be done today, and there’s all that piled up stuff. Put the piled up stuff in a pile (or in my case, in a plastic bin). Make sure you are keeping up with the things that need to be done today. For me… today’s “day job” is going to be a thriller with 2 meetings in the morning and a continued investigation of a bug in production. I found it but my boss wants to know what it does, when it got introduced, and why wasn’t it caught in testing? To answer all these questions is taking time. Time that could be spent moving forward – but hey, I do what I’m asked to do. If I wanted to work on a CSI team, I would’ve signed up for it. But it pays the bills. Plus I have a meeting over lunch regarding a church meeting coming up this weekend. And then tonight I have a meeting to possible bring in some side business. (However I think that will fall through because I’m going to be asked to do somethings that aren’t my specialty. Just because they would pay me to drive a race car, should I? I don’t think I’d be good at it – so an offer shouldn’t always be accepted just because it’s “there”… word to the wise).

2) Make “working the backlog” one of your tasks and take it on as you can. It will get smaller and you wont break anything due today that will eventually get you back on track.

3) Be ready for explosions and handle them expeditiously. Some of the things in your back log pile will have due dates that slip past (like a birthday card being sent out? oops). Handle them the best you can… move them to the top of the pile when you work on it. And be flexible.

It works better for me than just lining everything up chronologically and being “behind” on everything for a couple of days to a couple of weeks.

Would it work for you? How do you deal with these things?