Friday, October 3, 2008


With so many to do and only a few hours each day, I felt burnout at least for the past three years. Many a time, I could not get done what I planned to do from my to do list. Part of the reasons was it's sometimes hard to anticipate what I would be asked or requested to do from patrons. The requests could be from staffing the Reference Desk, or from Ask a Librarian email, or from phone call, or from my liaison departments. Some literature search requests could take me days to fill. In addition, career development, grant project, and exploring new services also needs lots of time, effort, and thought. I got to find a way out.

My recent strategy turned out pretty effective. Each day, prioritize a list of things from my to do list leaving enough room for unanticipated tasks. Once I got one item done, crossed it out. By the end of the day, even though I did not get to do what I planned to do, I could see on the sheet a couple of cross-outs. I did accomplish a lot in a day! Sometimes more than 10 items. Instead of feeling irritated due to burnout, I felt positive and good about myself. Meanwhile, I realized I can't do everything I wanted to do. It is OK to let go and say no.

No comments: