Getting Off the Treadmill: How to Get Organized
“I finally got it all together
but I forgot where I put it.”
~ bumper sticker
Do you know what it’s like to feel frazzled, scattered and overworked? Does it sometimes feel like you’re running on a treadmill when you’re not even at the gym?! Do you work so long and hard that when it’s time to play you don’t have the energy? I know the feeling.
When I started blogging, I had no idea there was so much to it. I thought the biggest challenge would be writing the posts. I was wrong about that. The biggest challenge is to keep up with all the other things I want to do; visit other blogs, engage in Twitter fun, organize the guest authors and keep up with the comments at LFI. And that was only a part of my weekly activities – I still had another business to run!
It got to the point that I was feeling behind all the time, never satisfied I accomplished enough in a day. I wanted to feel balanced and productive; in the flow. I had been reading some great organizational ideas on Daniel Wood’s site for some time and had picked up an idea from Tim Ferris’s book, The 4-Hour Workweek. Recently it all coalesced into a plan that was perfectly customized to me. This is the system I developed:
- Schedule two time slots on my calendar each day to take care of email. The rest of the time don’t just minimize email – shut it off!
- Make a plan for the week where all other tasks are given a time slot on my calendar, completing the plan by Friday at 6:00 so I can relax on the weekend knowing I’ll hit the ground running on Monday.
- Use the timer on my iPod to keep myself on track.
- Shut down the computer at supper time. Move away from the desk and enjoy my offline life too! (Confession: I do open up my laptop in the evening on post days, when I’m free, to get into the conversation at LFI- but that’s just fun!)
I’ve been feeling more productive than ever before since I adopted this system. All the planning is done at one time (I even schedule the planning time) and the rest of the week I just follow the plan. Everything’s getting done and I’m not frazzled!
It’s too easy to get lost on the Internet today whether you’re in business, in school or just hanging out here for fun! How do you stay in the flow rather than pacing the treadmill from dawn to dusk? How do you organize your work?
photo credit: Benson Kua