I manage an activity that's very intense over a short period of time (a few weeks) and requires many people to think deeply in different directions. To ensure everyone's on the same page, I know that I can't hold too many meetings in-case I stunt productivity; therefore the few meetings we do hold run through all aspects of the activity and, when productive, will result in actions being dished out left-right-and-centre.

I always feel positive after these meetings but in shock by the number of activities that now need to be kept track of. So much so that I don't know where to begin until its settled in my mind after a couple of hours.

Has anyone else felt this & does anyone have any practical advice on overcoming this "shock" so that I can dive right in as soon as the meetings over?


lindge's picture

I think it's fine to spend an hour or two thinking about how to best approach the actions, in fact I'd even recommend it.  You can review how to group them together, can a number of them be covered off by speaking to the same individual etc. etc. Spending this time can help you be effective, make sure there are no gaps, and it will help you use other people's time effectively as well.

Then, once you've spent this time finalizing your approach to the activities, just begin. One thing I've found helpful when dealing with a large list of to-dos that seems insurmountable is for each activity to identify the first action to get it moving.  After completing that action on an activity, and you're waiting for a response, then move onto the first action of the next activity, and so on. 

If there's actions of other people to keep track of, just keep on top of it.  Send out reminders / chasers when you need to.  If you've set target dates in the meetings for those actions then this should be fine. 

Keep some sort of tracker, so you know where everything is.  Would suggest for this sort of short intense period, sending out a regular status report of actions will also help you stay on top of things, and let others know what's due and when, as well as what's outstanding. 

This way you can keep the momentum and know what the status of things is, without feeling quite as shocked by the whole exercise.  A good book i'd recommend is David Allen's 'Getting Things Done.

Have found this works for me in similar situations.  Hopefully something similar to this can help with yours...