It is 3 months into the year and a lot of that motivation you had to finally “get your shit together” has faded. Let’s just say it’s unorganized business as usual. This could have happened for lots of reasons – maybe you are just too busy (not in a good way) or some life event got in the way. It’s a process like anything else of course but there are a few good organizational habits that you can add to your routine today that will help you hold on to that motivation a little longer.
Re-thinking how you are making your to-do lists. The biggest mistake people make with to-do lists is write down everything under the sun you need to complete and stop there. This will only overwhelm you. Instead of just jotting down the 100 urgent things you have to complete this week, take it a step further and add some true deadlines, and for bigger projects, break them down into steps. For example, if you need to send a marketing email, your list would be…write content, edit content, get the list of recipients etc. This becomes 3 (or more) action items. Once you have those, write deadlines by each small step.
After you have done this on one big list for the week or month, break it out into daily rocks. The Rock thing is one of those old cheesy corporate ideas but it works. In short, the practice talks about rocks and sand. Rocks are the big things you want to do to get results and sand is all the stuff you get caught up doing that does not help your to-do list get any shorter. The goal is to have 2 or 3 rocks completed per day based on the deadlines and priority of projects you just outlined. These few things are your top priority for the day. Turn off the email, stop cruising social, go silent on group texts, and spend your time on these. Then before the end of the day, make the rocks for the next day.
Try Calendar Blocking. Please. This is one of the most life-changing practices I have implemented in the last 5 years. Calendar Blocking can be done on any platform. I prefer my google cal because I do it for both work and play. It is what it says – blocking space on your calendar to work on a project or the rocks previously discussed. The trick is to pick 2 or 3 – take it from a person who always thinks they can do 10 things in a day…you can’t and if you do, I would bet they were not done well. How to get started? Make sure your calendar is updated with meetings and other obligations, then add your rocks for each day giving yourself more time than you need. Give space for email, lunch, buffer (or break time ) to take care of those small things that get on your plate.
Here is a quick view of mine for example…
The great thing about Calendar Blocking is if something blows up and takes you off course, simply drag it to the next day and rearrange. It is a perfect way to keep yourself on track especially if you are an all in one marketer like I once was. This easily translates to your personal life as well.
Take focus time away from your normal workspace. The act of getting organized always requires some work up front. You have to take a second to think through all of the things you need to complete as well as planning for big projects. Sitting at your normal desk with your normal computer and the tempting internet connection can get in the way. Step away to another room, a coffee shop or just a conference room with an old fashioned pen and paper, if you can. Even if it is only for an hour, it helps you get all those things you need to complete out of your head and onto the page.
Find some free apps. It’s 2017 and tech is in everything we do so why not add it to the act of “getting one’s shit together” :). My personal favorites are Evernote for lists and SplenDo for to-dos such as “remember to pick up bread on the way home”. You can set reminder times and dates with this app. I also love all the Google drive options for sheets, docs, and the calendar. Need a few more, check them out here.
I hate to say it again but – it’s a process. Do not feel like you have to do them all right now. When I was first starting out I did not do all of these things at once, I added them one by one. I am sure you will get there.
Good Luck Girl!
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