Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Slicing the salami

And no, that's not a euphemism for anything between the sheets. It's a way to deal with having a lot to do. Kate White, in her excellent book WHY GOOD GIRLS DON'T GET AHEAD BUT GUTSY GIRLS DO, uses this expression for dealing with such tasks. I can't find it right now, but I'm sure that's where I read it and I haven't got a lot of time to look it up.

Anyway, instead of thinking about the major task as one big huge job, you break it down into small parts -- you "slice the salami" -- and do a little bit at a time. I have two big huge tasks staring me in the face: the revisions I need to finish by the end of the month, and getting ready to have a party on the weekend. I thought, "Hey, I've got a whole month for revisions. I can have everybody for Father's Day." Silly me. But I digress.

So I think about what needs to be done, assign priorities (ohhh, how business-like!) and make lists. Revisions are key, but I'll still have two weeks after the party to finish them. So I made a "pre-party" deadline of what I want to have done before the weekend. In this case, I want to have the big changes done. That's JOB ONE. If I can -- and I'm really going to try -- I'd like to have all the other changes inputted, so I can print out a fresh copy and go through it again the day after the party, making sure everything makes sense and flows as if I wrote it that way the first time.

Then I looked at what needs to be done for the party, and I broke it down according to what can be done early, and what has to wait until closer to the party. I prioritized them. Then I assigned myself one or two of those tasks per day. I also made lists, so I don't foget anything and because crossing off something on the list makes me feel like I'm getting there. I'm "on task," as they say.

My blog is rather far down on the list, but it's not off the list. So I will have a quote later this week. Maybe I can find exactly what Kate White said about salami....

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