What to do when you have too much to do

As with all libraries, our services are fluid.  So are the demands that our users place on us. We aren’t getting as many questions as we used to, but the ones we do get are more difficult. We still lend books, but our DVDs fly out the door. We have RFID and with that, about half of our loans are self-serve, but we are part of a library consortia with free holds, so the returns handling side has increased dramatically.

So there is usually a balance as things change.  But not always.

We have been adding events online, as I have written about in a previous post and with the addition of online bookings, we now find ourselves with just way too much work to do, for any one given event, let along the multitude of events that we do offer.  But we have been so caught up in the doing, that we haven’t realised how time consuming and duplicating it has all become. We have just added bits, onto bits, onto bits etc. But now my manager, after discussion with our Publicity Officer has recognised the problem and put it out there. So its time to reassess.

Now here’s the Catch 22 in this whole process. To try and find ways to streamline what you are doing, to try and reduce the overload, you have to spend time investigating and analysing what you are doing. Time that you don’t have and time that during which, all your work continues to build up. Not only that, but there is no guarantee that such an assessment will help you find ways to save anything, whether it is time, effort, duplication etc.

So why do it then?  Because if you don’t, the tasks will continue to build up and something will suffer – either you or some aspect of your work.  And because if it does find something to save, then you have all the more to give to the next task added to your list.

Now if we can just find the time to do the reassessment.   🙂