This was the question put to me by Ariana Gee, subscriber of MediaMinister’s Communiqué for Success!
Good question, Ariana! I used to be the most disorganised person on the planet, I’m sure. And if you came and looked at my desk and workspace today, you’d be forgiven for thinking nothing has changed.
But in my method of madness and chaos is a super-organised person and work approach. (It’d better be, else I have my clients to answer to!)
My first tip is to tear up your ‘To Do’ list. I used to operate from a ‘To Do’ list and found that I ended up with more items on that list at the end of each day than at the beginning! I think it’s because there was no real commitment or organisation to it.
What I started to do instead – and this is the system I have been successfully using for quite some time now – is to take a sheet of paper and write down everything that I need to do for that day or week, including popping out to buy bread, if that’s the case.
Then I will categorise everything, separating or grouping items in terms of priority, ‘high-payback’ or big ROI, personal tasks, free time, marketing planning, and so on.
I colour-coded each one – for ease of identification.
Next, I take the priority and high-payback items and schedule them in red ink in my diary, which has a planning page for each week. I will go one step further here and put these items in my appointments planner, along with any meetings.
For me, the most important items that I absolutely MUST DO usually involve working on client projects. Today, I estimated how long it would take to complete one particular project, and blocked out the time needed – 10.30am-11.15am, then a break, then 11.30am-12.30pm and again at 2.30pm-4pm. During these periods, I treat my time as though it were a meeting with ‘the boss’ (my fictional one!). I will close my door and have calls intercepted.
If I have any spare time I will take a break and then get on with the next-important ‘must do’ task.
If you schedule several of these ‘meetings’ with yourself during the week, you will accomplish those priority jobs and increase your effectiveness.
So get out your planner, schedule some decent blocks of time per day and week for important goal-oriented (personal or professional) or results-oriented activities and get organised!
COPYRIGHT © 2007, T Dooley