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I’m Late! I’m Late! For a Very Important Date!
Remember the White Rabbit from Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Walt Disney’s Alice in Wonderland? Always running late, he was. And I’ll bet you feel that way sometimes too. Am I right? Well, don’t feel that you’re the only one. We all get that way from time to time. Even the most organized of us do.
But here’s the good news! There are ways to minimize those times and tools to get you there, and they’re not difficult to develop and use. It’s just a matter of forming good habits. Here are some things you should do to make things better.
1. Discover and develop your priorities
Make a list of everything you do during the day and week. Don’t leave anything out. There are tasks that you do every day that you shouldn’t be doing—things that are a waste of your valuable time. Figure out what these tasks are and eliminate-NOW! Be ruthless, don’t think twice! Make them disappear and don’t look back!
Next look at what’s left. Prioritize them making the most important Priority Ones. Use as many categories as you need to, but don’t go crazy. We’re trying to make things easier here, not harder.
2. Develop a schedule you can keep
It’s important to have a regular schedule. That makes it much easier to develop good habits. Do what works for you.
When I get up, I let my pups out to go wee-wee, etc. (That’s only fair. After all I get up a couple of times during the night.)
Then I take a look at Twitter, Facebook, messages and email. After a cup of coffee we (me and the pups) take a walk. When we get back it’s time to clean my bod.
And then it’s really off to work I go—a quick commute from the kitchen to my office. My work day is always tentatively planned out to take into account writing blog posts, working on projects for my clients, catching up on the latest news (world, local and job related} and, yes, juggling all that around to make room for interviews, meetings, conference calls and things like doctors’ appointments.
Along about 5:00 the work day comes to (at least a temporary) end and I begin fiddling around with supper for my missus and me. As you may have learned from some of my previous posts, I treasure my time off, so I generally don’t do a lot of work work in the evening unless I have something pressing to take care of.
That’s a basic schedule, one to start from. Once you’ve got that skeleton laid out, you can begin to quickly fill in the blanks. Believe me, once you start, you’ll find that it’s not that difficult. And you’ll find that once you’ve structuralized (new word!) your work day, there will be a time and place for everything and you’ll get scads more done.
3. Keep a calendar of events
Keep a real time, working calendar of all your commitments along with your schedule. It’s important that you write down everything you have to do—everything!—as soon as you determine you have to do it. Do it right now or you’ll forget about it and then you’ll be like that White Rabbit.
If you’re diligent about your schedule, you’ll find you won’t miss anything and you’ll be able to look ahead to plan all those “smooth” moves of yours. And you will be such a cool dude or dudess!
4. Work from a list
A wise man once taught me to work from a list. This is such a simple thing to do and so, so important. If you have a list of the things you need to do, you can see how many there are, you can prioritize them and—best of all—you can scratch them off when you’ve completed them.
Think how satisfying it will be at the end of the day, when you can look at your list and see that you’ve done so many of them. You’ll soon find out that progress really can come in bunches.
5. Learn to just say “No!”
Nancy Reagan had it right on this one. Her advice to would-be drug users was this: “Just Say No!” I’m not sure how effective that advice was in solving the drug addiction problem, but as a way to help us all get organized better, it is very effective.
It’s easy to bite off more than you can chew. Ineffectiveness creeps up on us one bite at time, just like eating one more chocolate chip cookie makes you turn you into an overweight balloon.
Don’t be afraid to turn down people who want you to do things that will keep you from achieving your goal—especially if those things are things you don’t want to do or don’t do well. They will head you in the wrong direction, eat up your time and accomplish nothing worthwhile.
The 5 steps to getting organized
There are my and your 5 steps to getting organized. Not really very difficult, are they? All it takes on your part is the simple desire to improve yourself and make your life easier. I’ve done it and you can too! How do I know that?
Because I know that we’re both AWESOME!
Thanks for reading my blog. I hope you’re enjoying them and learning something useful from them. And as I always say: Y’all come back now!