Do you ever wish you could get your organizational plan dialed in? Or use your time more effectively?
I do. I think about it a lot, and I write about it a fair amount too. I devised this organizational plan to get those neglected things done.
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My goal is to find a way to build my own business, and not always just work on marketing material for my clients. (Although I do really enjoy that work, and my clients are fantastic.)
Recently I devised an organizational plan that I think will help me take baby steps toward building my business. It involves taking only 30-60 minutes per day to focus on something specific. Something that I am apt to neglect if I don’t carve out time for it.
I’m sharing it with you for two reasons.
- Maybe it will get your wheels turning on ideas to help you
- Making it public provides a layer of accountability for me to actually do it. Because I know at least a few of you will be kind enough to ask me how it is going.
So here we go. My weekly organization plan that I am starting this week! I like alliteration, so I employed it here.
The idea is that I will give myself permission to stop down and spend 30-60 minutes clearing clutter and getting my workspace physically organized.
As you can see by this picture, this is something that would be beneficial. 😉
I rarely take the time to organize my workspace. Instead, my default is to dive right into the workday, eager to plow through a mountain of tasks. As it turns out, messes don’t really bother me. (I can’t say the same for my husband Mike. A messy work area drives him crazy!)
On the rare occasion that I do take the time to declutter, I feel so much better. The chaos in my mind naturally calms down. So why not schedule some time to do that?
Tactical Tuesday (and Thursday)
Setting aside a chunk of time for tactical work 2x/week means taking a bite out of one of the many things I only think about doing. Sometimes these things make it to a written list, where they go to die or be ignored indefinitely.
- Order that piece of office equipment
- Research a software subscription I’ve been considering
- Troubleshoot a tech issue that has plagued me, but I’ve put up with
- Write a thank you note to a client or colleague
- Research a personal item like a recipe, supplement, exercise regime or health matter
- Really anything that isn’t urgent, but is important, that gets neglected
Again, the key here is
1) giving myself permission to take the time to work on that stuff and
2) scheduling time to actually do it
Wednesday Wins / Wednesday Wisdom
This is two things, but I’ll explain both. These will be alternated as needed in my weekly plan.
A business coach I worked with previously always had me tell him about some “wins” I’d accomplished since our last call. Why?
Because it forced me to think about the things that went right. In our context, it was often business wins. But it could be expanded to personal as well. Taking the time to reflect on those things was a big mindset shifter. It made me realize that I was making more progress than I thought.
Do you ever get caught in a negative mindset? Fighting self-doubt or wondering if you’re making any difference? You’re human, so of course you do! Brainstorming your wins might help more than you think!
I’d talk with my coach about things minor and significant. They all add up. Things like:
- Having a tough conversation with a client (got through it, whoo-hoo!)
- Achieving demonstrable benchmarks for a client, such as
- increased social media followers
- driving more sales
- increased engagement on social media posts
- better Google rankings thanks to content I created for them
- an increase in positive Google reviews
- establishing a positive rapport
- Pushing past the fear of sending a proposal with increased prices
- Actually taking a day off during the week after working a client event all weekend! (Yes, that was a win for me, because I was having a hard time doing it.)
- Tactfully resolving a scheduling challenge with family, friends or a client
If I take the time to brainstorm wins, I’ll continue to have a realistic (not pessimistic) view of the progress I am actually making. Not subject to my mood or emotions.
If I’ve brainstormed all the wins I can think of, I can instead take a few minutes to focus on sources of wisdom, for inspiration.
Perhaps that means Googling “inspirational memes” to flood my screen with feel-good vibes.
Maybe that looks like reading a chapter of a business book, even (gulp!) at 10 a.m. on a Wednesday when I “should” be doing “real work.” (The words in quotes are to denote the toxic self-talk I have to sift through when attempting to break the mold.)
Ultimately, whatever it looks like for you, it means taking the time to find inspiration from others to give you a new or fresh perspective to meet the day.
That brings us to the next day of the week (since Thursday is in the same category as Tuesday)
Quite simply, this is a day to work on my books. Update my mileage log, enter receipts, update my income spreadsheet. Yes, I use a spreadsheet, not accounting software. Judge me if you want.
This could also be a day I set aside to write proposals for potential clients or update financial projections and goals once I enter the actual numbers.
Confession: I’m not good at setting aside time to do this, which is why I earmarked “Financial Fridays” as a thing. I’ve heard of some people who update their books once a month. I like that idea too.
Bonus: Superstar Saturday or Shoutout Saturday
As a self-employed person, there is rarely a Saturday when I don’t work. Even just a few hours – it seems to be unavoidable unless I have a scheduled item that prevents me from working.
But as a bonus, I can take 20-30 minutes to reflect on someone or something that has had a positive impact on my business. Behind every successful person is one or more people that have helped them get where they are.
- A mentor from a previous job or time in life
- A previous boss that really invested in me and believed in my potential
- A person from my sales team of referral partners who made an introduction that changed the course of my business for the better
- It could even be a “thing” like a piece of software that saves me tons of time or an indispensable tool or hardware item
Once I’ve identified that person or thing for the day, I can do a little giving back:
- Write them a card, send an email or text telling them how I appreciate what they’ve done for me
- If it’s a business, leave them a Google or Facebook review. OK, I guess Yelp might still be a thing too??
- Share or comment on one of their social media posts to highlight their business or shower them with gratitude
Doing this does two things.
- It keeps me grounded in gratitude, reminded of the good that has come my way.
- It helps others.
I truly believe that if we focus on the good, and intentionally give back, it makes life so much more enjoyable. Plus, it embodies the adage, “be the change you wish to see in the world.”
This is a weekly flow that I’ve devised to give me a framework to address things that I’m likely to neglect. Now the trick is implementing it and sticking with it!
I’m curious about two things:
What would you add to this list or take from it?
What is your secret for staying accountable to your plans? I’d love to hear your thoughts in a comment!