lol – wouldn’t it be great if you could go to sleep and wake up a new person? And by that I don’t mean wake up a newborn – I mean wake up and suddenly be that perfect person you are always striving to be?
That’s not how it works and you know it but I applaud you, me and everyone for taking the opportunity of a year change to hit a reset button and vow to try harder. Goals are good. They’re really good when you write them down and make a plan to achieve them. I think that’s where most of us fall short.
Here is a quick guide to a few things you can do to take steps toward that new you you are forever trying to create.
1). Choosing your Word – Setting a word for the year is a really streamlined way to focus your energies on what’s important. I had a really good word for last year; I just don’t remember what it was ,so write yours down or join a group where you note your word. INC magazine has some helpful material on coming up with a word. Use the word – check in with yourself from time to time and see if you are living your word.
2). Try a journal method. I tried the Bullet Journal last year and failed pretty miserably even though it’s a great system. But, like all systems, you have to stick with it and, more to the point, the system itself won’t change who you are or how you deal with things unless you actually use it. I started strong but devolved into my normal, take messy notes self. I still survived the year and I have some notes on some things I did so not a total loss.
There is a whole culture around Bullet Journals and some people do some very fancy stuff. It’s really fun, but it’s not me. Check out this blog for some fancy bullet journal tips.
3). Try a time management system. There are several but one common one is the ABC method (not an official name) Every day you list your tasks and assign them a priority (a,b,c or 1,2,3). Start with the A/1s and work your way down. As things come up during the day, add them to the list and give them a priority. Several times a day, reassess the list and re-prioritize the tasks, if needed. It’s pretty effective but you have to not be the kind of person who gets too caught up in the moment that you forget to do the assessment. This site talks about it an refers to several resources to help with this strategy. You also might want to look into the Eisenhower Matrix which is a way to put tasks in a quadrant that defines them by urgency and action.
4). Find a good online organizing tool. There are many. OneNote comes with MS Office now and has a lot of features for organizing your day. as well as being portable across platforms an accessible via the web. Another one I really like is Toodledo which has a serviceable free version and then some premium features you can pay for. Also accessible both by browser and mobile app so it goes everywhere with you.
5). Forget about multitasking. Multitasking as a way to get more done per unit time is a myth. What you end up doing is losing focus on all your tasks and not doing them nearly as well as you would have if you had just paid attention. When you are on a conference call, don’t be reading and writing emails unless your participation is optional. You’ll get caught, anyhow. How often do you hear (or do you say), “excuse me, could you repeat that?” because you realize you weren’t paying any attention at all and someone has asked you a question. Don’t be that guy – pay attention!
That covers your daily tasks and work life. What about all those fitness goals, eh? That’s a story for another day but for now don’t forget to note your planned workouts and your new, healthier eating plan in your journal/task list/Eisenhower Matrix/online organizing tool. Happy organizing and 3 cheers for the new you!