5 Steps to Organize your Day
A Recipe for Success
One cup of coffee (or as needed)
A few deep breaths
A ‘you can do this’ attitude
A couple blank sheets of paper
Pen (pencil can be used to substitute)
1. Drink coffee… We're entrepreneurs not super humans.
2. Take each task that’s important in your world and write it down in one place. I've been there before where there's sticky notes here and a scratch piece of paper there, a to-do list and a couple timed reminders on your phone (and let’s not even mention your calendar). Grab a fresh sheet of paper, or if you’re my husband and prefer to type, pull up a fresh doc and write it all down. Combine all of it. Don’t leave anything out. Everything you feel that's urgent and pressing, anything that have been lingering in the back of your head, good ideas, all of your to-dos (personal & business), etc.
3. Once everything is written down in one place and you’ve got a birds eye view of all that needs to get done, start dividing things up based on priority. List the things that must get done and/or have due dates coming right around the corner, at the top and things that you say to yourself, wouldn’t it be nice (cue Beach Boys) to get this done, but don’t necessarily need to be completed right this second, towards the bottom.
The Eisenhower Decision Matrix is a very helpful tool when organizing your thoughts:
*I include things for my business as well as things that are for my family and personal life. The way I see it is I am one person and I have the same amount of hours in a day regardless of how many times I change hats.
4. Once things are placed in areas based on urgency determine what you can realistically get done today. I know you're optimistic, I am too, but again you are not a superhuman and no amount of coffee will make you one. I’ve been there when most, if not all of my list, feels like the highest priority, but you only have so many hours in a day and it’s important to have balance while understanding that your family needs to eat more than just Red Baron frozen pizza for dinner! Hey, it happens to the best of us! So, decide what you are going to accomplish today and stick to your goal. For me a realistic goal is getting 3 of my highest priorities done in a day and if I have more time to work, I’ll tackle more on my list.
It’s better to aim realistically and feel accomplished, than be over zealous and always feel like an underachiever.
5. I read an article that encouraged people to create incentives for completing tasks. No not naps... well maybe. :) I thought this was a brilliant idea, because you can’t expect yourself to be at 100% energy and efficiency the entire day, so creating incentives or short breaks after completing a task will actually make you more focused and effective while executing that task. That way you are working towards a goal rather than working endlessly.