Do you start your day in a state of overwhelm? A to do list as long as your arm that is constantly banging against your brain? Starting one task then switching to another before you finished the first? Constantly wondering “Am I doing the right thing? I’ll just have a look at Facebook for some inspiration…”
You get to the end of the day wondering where the time went. Why don’t you feel like you’ve achieved anything? Cue wine and chocolate.
Let’s change that shall we?
It’s time organise your time to stop feeling overwhelmed!
Over the past few years I’ve been trialling different ways of working to see what the most productive way is. What I’ve found is this:
Plan for tomorrow. Today.
If you sit down at your laptop in the morning with no clear plan for what you’ll be working on, you’re going to come unstuck very quickly. Self-doubt comes calling, along with his buddy “Procrastination”.
These days I don’t open my laptop unless I know exactly what I’ll be doing.
TIP: Before you finish work for the day write out your tasks for tomorrow.
I like to take time on a Monday morning to set out my tasks for the week so I know where my priorities are and if it looks like I’m trying to cram too many things into my week (that is my downfall!). I type my tasks into a spreadsheet so I have an easy place to review what I’ve done. You could use a spreadsheet or Asana or a physical planner – whatever suits you best.
You could also do your list on Friday afternoons or at the end of each day. Try out different ways until you find the right fit for you.
I find that I can get 3 big tasks done each day. If I try to do more my day becomes stressful as I’m always looking to the next task rather than the one I’m meant to be working on. What number of tasks feels right for you?
By planning for tomorrow, today, you’ll save yourself time as you’ll no longer need half an hour to get started in the mornings while you figure out what to do. You can dive in straight away.
Bye Bye Procrastination
Another bonus to planning in this way is that procrastination takes a back seat. You don’t need to talk yourself into getting motivated. Instead you look at your task list. No second guessing. Simply hit your Pomodoro timer and you’re off!!
You might be thinking “How do I choose my 3 big tasks?”
This is when you need to look at your bigger plan. Your daily actions will flow down from your annual, quarterly, monthly and weekly plans.
From my experience, getting this kind of planning right first time doesn’t happen. Instead it’s a process of trial and error. Try this method for a week, then have a look to see what did and didn’t work for you. Then adjust as needing. After all you’re looking for a plan that is going to suit you and your business.
End of day review
Having a system in place so you can set your tasks then review what worked, and what didn’t, means that you’re intentionally building your business rather than letting it happen by accident.
I do a quick review at the end of each day to see I achieved and what is left to do for the week. Did a task take longer than I thought? Did I run into any roadblocks? Do I need to adjust the rest of my week?
End of week review
At the end of the week I have some CEO time to review my whole week.
What did I get done?
What didn’t I get done?
What didn’t work?
Creating this habit will help you organise your time to stop feeling overwhelmed as you’ll be consciously creating your week rather than fighting fires.
I also do a review at the end of the month that goes into more depth on my numbers.
Doing a brain dump at the end of the week is a favourite activity of mine. Getting all of those ideas and tasks out of your head and down on paper (or somewhere digital) gives your brain a break as it doesn’t need to hold hundreds of small tasks (did I follow up with Mary? Has Martha used up all of her clients sessions?). Instead you create space for focusing on what really matters to you and your business.
Each of us is different in the way that we like to approach planning so find a method that works for you. You might love to have a pretty physical planner to write everything in or you might love to record everything in spreadsheets. What matters is that you have a plan and you’re taking daily action to get things done.
Are you a business owner who is feeling overwhelmed about how many things you need to do behind the scenes to run your business? Book a 1:1 systems session with me for just US$150 and let’s get your business working the easy way.