Today I’m lamenting the number of projects I want to do and the inability to do it all. Processing collections, creating finding aids, mounting exhibits, collaborating with other cultural organizations in the area, working with professional groups, mentoring, creating opportunities for volunteers and citizen historians…just to begin. Oh yeah and writing lots of (successful!) grants so my archives is funded like crazy. But I’m one person, and though I’m willing I haven’t mastered to organizational savvy required to get this whole thing up an running. And speaking to a number of my colleagues, I know that this is pretty much universal for many of us lone arrangers working in public institutions. I’m incredibly fortunate just to be employed full time, as many others are struggling with these same issues but on a 20+/- hour a week schedule, if you can imagine it. And don’t forget all the volunteer organizations, who do this strictly for the glitz and glamor of it all (ha!).
So, what are my strategies for making it all happen? As of this second, I’m working on it. The most important thing is going to be harnessing the power of volunteers, but that becomes a huge management issue in itself, which creates even less time to work on projects (catch 22, I hate you!). The other thing is to perfect time management, say no to work that falls outside of the scope of the historical collections, and keep a steely-eyed focus on my task list and not getting sucked into other departments’ projects. Easier said than done, but a worthy goal.
What kind of strategies are you employing (or thinking about) to try and be more productive and less exasperated?