How to Not Lose Your Mind: 8 Days and Counting

My plane leaves the bustling metropolis of Manhattan, KS bound for Graz, Austria in t-minus 8 days; before this time, I need to solidify financial matters with ESU, settle bank affairs, find documents, figure out logistics of living in the EU, revisit Austrian-German basics, contact with the Austrian girl meeting me at the airport, and 23 other check-list items. Oh, and pack. I’ve got to do that.

People chant “Josie! Are you excited?!” at least five times a day, to which I reply, “Uh, yeah. Excitement is one of the thirty million emotions raging through my body”.

I am excited. It’s kind of a given. These things are almost by definition exciting. I am also a smidge overwhelmed. And perhaps a dash anxious. And maybe a sprinkle of petrified. But you know what? I have a plan on how to spend these next days in order to not only ensure I don’t get kicked out of Austria but also to do it without losing my mind.

I introduce you to: single-task days. I have created a master giant list of all of the things I need to accomplish, and then have split that list into 8 clumps. Each day is a different clump, and each day the entire clump of tasks is checked off to completion.

For example, yesterday was Bank Day (as shown by my Bank-themed blog post that I published). Yesterday I payed for ESU tuition and figured out my budget for next year. I researched the cost of living in Austria. I called the bank to tell them I will be out of the country. I researched the currency exchange and how credit cards work internationally. I spent the day devoted to checking off only the things on the Bank Day list. Because of this focus I was able to accomplish much more in a shorter amount of time than the alternative of running around overwhelmed by the length of the list and rendered incapable of doing anything productive because of how stressed I am.

I think this tactic can work for any daunting, lengthy task one might face. You have a weekend to complete a novel-long list of homework? Friday is Writing Day, Saturday is Math Problems Day, Sunday is Reading Day. It doesn’t have to be the whole day, it just needs to be all the items checked off the list.

This ties back to my post on Living Without Commitment to the Unfinished Laundry quite nicely, offering evidence of how much I have been relying on the single-task tactic in order to maintain sanity lately.

In case you are curious, today is Writing Day. Sorry for the back-to-back posting; just following the check list.

Peace and Blessings,

Josie