I’ve been trying to become more organized at work as my workload has increased.
Before, I had a to-do list that I’d create at the start of the week. I’d slowly work through it, ticking off things as I went. Every time I did, I felt accomplished.
However, not everything would always get done. I’d push something off because I didn’t want to do it, and then Friday would arrive without me having completed it. I’d find other things to do or get distracted by email. Slowly, things would compound and I no longer felt efficient. I knew something needed to change.
So, over the past two weeks I’ve tried something new. Every day around 4:30 p.m. I pull up my Google Calendar and plan out hour by hour the next day. I still have my overall to-do list gracing my desk, but now I’ve started looking at what I’m going to do when.
From 8 to 9 a.m. I check my email and take care of tasks to get my day started. Meetings are blocked off. I’ve jotted down when I’m going to write or reach out to people. I’ve even made time for brainstorming. Now, I don’t follow it exactly every day. I usually leave room to account for things not going quite as planned. There’s stuff that pops up I need to take care of immediately, or I will switch items around on the list. I’ve even started scheduling things out in my personal life, from tasks I need to do in the evening or when I’m going to workout.
With this new strategy, I feel like I’m tackling each day more effectively and efficiently. It’s given me a clear vision of what my 24 hours looks like, helping me to make decisions that will in turn help me achieve the goals and tasks I’ve set out to do. I don’t just pick “What does Heather feel like doing today?” I listen to my calendar and obey what it says — adjusting when needed, of course, because not being flexible can be a detriment.
Now, I know your days fluctuate, Affiliate. There’s a lot going on in that business of yours and you might not be able to plan out your day like I have. But I invite you to try for two weeks. Each day, take 30 minutes to look at tomorrow. Think about what you have to do and plan out when you’re going to do it. Even write down when you’re going to eat, call your friend or pick up your kid from school.
Just give it a try and see what happens. You might be surprised at how organized and efficient you feel.