Hi! It's Karen from Karen Vincent Solutions.
Where did the time go? How many times have you said this to yourself or others? How many times have you gotten to the end of your day or week and wondered what you actually got done? We have all been there…a lot!
If you are reading this, you are likely busy and a doer. I already like you…you are my kind of person! There have been many weekends where I get to Sunday and think…where did two full days go? I used to get really frustrated so I was motivated to come up with a system where I make sure that I am accomplishing the things I need to accomplish each day, week, month, quarter and year.
Before I go on…let’s talk about “to do” lists. I am a list person, so I am not here to tell you not to have one. However, I used to make these super long “to do lists” that were overwhelming for me to look at, let alone act on.
I also used to do the classic move of putting something on my list that I had already done, just so I could cross it off. Come on…you’ve never done that??!! We must be realistic that there are only so many hours in the day and that we need to prioritize what needs to get done.
For example, if you are looking at a work “to do list”, consider whether there are external deadlines, are others waiting on something from you or will something help you advance your career. Also consider if there are items that are “must do” versus “would like to do” items. Use that criteria (and any other that makes sense for your situation) and write two to four things that must get done each day.
Once you determine what your items are for the day, determine how long you think it will take you to get each one done. The most important thing to remember is that you shouldn’t write down everything that needs to get done for the next month and try to look at that list as your daily plan. You will feel overwhelmed and then feel bad that you did not accomplish what you intended to.
If you like to plan into the future (and I recommend you do), start with the year, the quarter or the month and then pull actionable items from the longer-term lists into each week and then into each day. Remember, keep your daily list small and manageable. The goal is that you actually accomplish what is on your list which will get you results and keep you energized and motivated. We all want to feel like we are making progress and being successful and this process will help make that happen.
Years back there was a big push for us all to have work/life balance, however, that is not usually, if ever, a realistic goal. There are times where you may need or want to put more effort into work and times where you may need or want to put more effort into your personal life.
Let’s face it, it is never going to feel like there are enough hours in the day so don’t beat yourself up about the fact that you stayed at work to finish an important project and that the laundry did not get done. Or don’t beat yourself up about the fact that you had to reschedule a meeting so that you could attend your child’s school performance or sporting event. Or don’t beat yourself up that you did not get the grocery shopping, the meal prep, the laundry and the house cleaning all done.
Decide what the top few priorities are and focus on those. And by the way…if today your priority is to relax under a warm blanket while reading a great book…you should not feel guilty about it and it goes on the list!
3 tips for organizing your day
Live your best Boss Lady life!