I work with and coach people on creating good systems to keep track of things and efficiently get them done. Folks often tell me that their systems work pretty well….until a crunch period comes (extensive travel, a crisis of some kind, whatever) and then “the wheels come off” and they abandon their systems temporarily. This sets the person back and getting on track again is challenging.
What I counsel people is that – even during the crunch – the one critical thing to keep doing is capturing all the incoming stuff in a trusted place. For example, many of us keep some kind of Master List of everything we want or have to do. Even if we can’t process the stuff in the crunch period, at least we have it captured in one place. Then, when things ease up, we can easily go to that key list and begin responding to those items that most need our attention.