It is probably common at most jobs to have work that is distributed unevenly, meaning that it's very busy at some times and not so busy at others. The break between the fall and spring semesters is typically a quieter period on campus, at least as far as students and faculty are concerned. The winter intercession is usually a great time for planning and preparation. This year, however, I was barely able to catch my breath, and I completed only about half of what I set out to. Now classes are in session again, and I'm already scrambling. When it's busy, multiple people all need a librarian at exactly the same time, resulting in back-to-back instruction sessions all day, demand for a reference librarian at the service desk, on the phone, and on chat all day, and sudden interest from faculty to work on projects and initiatives. I can learn how to delay people, and I can learn how to schedule my time efficiently, but unfortunately I can't be in five places simultaneously.
Inevitably, this means I start work on projects during the slower periods, but they never quite move past the brainstorming and planning phase, and then I get swamped with more urgent things and forget about them until the next time it slows down.
Maybe there is nothing I can do about this, but on the other hand if there was an efficient way to bookmark my work to make it quick and easy to return to, I could make more progress during the slower times. Is there an app for this?
Update 5/16/12: I just read about something called Gantto & may try it out for some summer projects!
Reconsidering the Think Tank
5 weeks ago