The tasks that are to be faced each day at work always require more time than one day provides. Therefore a type of triage needs to be performed to move some tasks off the back burner and others to the front of the front burner. Otherwise nothing gets done. Or nothing seems to get done, because the only things that get addressed are the new tasks the day brings, and which always arrive like Neville's grandmother's howlers dropped by owl during breakfast.
I have seen a kind of automated coin sorter that uses rotating discs with coin sized holes to separate each different diameter of currency into a separate pile. Most days my task triage works the same way, picking out the biggest items and feeling good about getting them into the stack marked DONE.
But if I do this every day, then there would be a constantly-growing number of small tasks that fall through the sorting process every day.
So every once in a while -- once a week or twice a month? -- the sorting algorithm gets turned on its head and I try to see how many of the nagging little nits I can pick out and crush. Good intentions being what they are and all that, it always seems like THOSE are the days when a big muddy sluice comes flooding into my department and over my desk with a fresh alluvial deposit of Big Diameter Problems, all in bright red envelopes. Cover your ears and run for your life!
And the ha'pennies keep silting up the crannies of my work spaces ...
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