Have you ever gotten to the end of the day and your spouse/significant other comes home and after giving you a 3 second hug (yes, that’s rule #1 in my house!) he asks “So, how was your day?” and you’re stumped to answer?
Many a day I’ve been so busy and have gotten a lot done, but when I’m asked to recount what I’ve done, I can’t really tell! I KNOW that I’ve solved many of the world’s problems and he would be proud of me for doing so, but the stupor of thought gets me somewhat frustrated because I don’t want to appear “lazy” although a good Hallmark/bonbon day is really good for my peace of mind once in a while. I do “fess up” to those days because they make me happy!
So, I just figured out WHY I can’t remember all that I’ve accomplished during the day and it’s because I multi-task ALL day. I may not have a method to my madness, but I can get things done.
I’ll start on one project, such as reading and responding to emails, which for me means running address labels for my company and that leads to packing the products up for customers. Then I clean out the trash bin beside my desk because I’m determined to keep my workspace clean and tidy. Then I hear something at the door and when I open it I see a box from Chewy.com and I’ve got to open it up and put the cat food away. Of course, the empty box then has to be put in the garage beside the trash can so it goes out in tomorrow’s pick up. On the way back to my office, I go through the laundry room and move a load of laundry into the dryer and throw a new load into the washing machine. Is the day over yet? Oh no, it’s only been about 25 minutes and there is so much more to do!
Does this sound like your morning? Do you start on one project only to be drawn into 5 more? I believe this method of multi-tasking would be effective if we were to really get the projects done completely, but that doesn’t always happen, especially if the third project was “more fun” than either of the first two!
Have you ever heard that failing to plan is planning to fail? I have and I truly believe it. I follow that adage for my company, for the most part, and I’m accountable to my business associates but in my day to day schedule, I make the plans up in mind and with “senior moments” slipping in a little more frequently, my “mind plans” don’t always turn into “execute plans.”
So, what would “the experts” tell me to do with my problem? How about the following rules:
- Write down everything you do for 24 hours to see what you are really doing!
- Check out everything you’re doing…is it necessary? Will it take you closer to your goals? Sometimes it’s necessary to pull away.
- De-clutter your home…your office….and organize!
Do any of those 3 rules feel good for you? Do you have the tools to get them done?
For Rule# 1, start with a journal, or at least a pad of paper and a good pen. I know that I do hundreds of “things” a day and I’m going to need a lot of paper and ink! Just like making a goal or a plan, it’s just an idea if you don’t write it down.
Rule #2 gets you to drill down on INTENT. Are ALL of the things on the list “necessary?”
Well, for me, it depends on the project I’m working on at the time. Getting emails read, labels made and packages put together make my business profitable and that’s certainly necessary, at least to pay some of the bills! Is emptying the trash basket right after I do the packages really necessary…well, I guess not. I could wait until the end of the day to collect trash from around the house – it doesn’t have to be out until the next day by noon!
How about the laundry – well, yes, doing the laundry is certainly a necessary task in my home but doing a small load every day may not be a “must do” task. It just makes me feel good to have empty laundry baskets and clean clothes put away! Isn’t peace of mind a necessity? It is for me!
Rule #3 resonates with me the most. As I’ve gotten older I’ve enjoyed the cleaning out of closets, bins, and boxes that hold family treasures. I actually enjoy organizing things and I find it liberating getting rid of “stuff” even if it’s sentimental and I want to save it for the kids. Funny thing though, for the most part, they DON’T WANT IT so the challenge is for me to NOT WANT IT! It’s so much easier cleaning out someone else’s closet because I don’t have any emotional attachment to their stuff.
Hint: Get a buddy to help you de-clutter. You’ll have fun going through the old pictures, love letters, and 1960s clothes and you’ll have someone to take them from you to place in the TRASH, DONATE, or HOLD boxes you have set up!
Well, I’m back to my office and I’ll be practicing Rule#3. For me a clean work environment makes all the difference in my mindset and ability to focus and if that’s not incentive enough, my mom is coming to visit!
Remember, don’t be a Jack of All Trades – Master of None!! What you focus on is what you’ll get!
What is your focus for the New Year? I truly hope you find it and cut out the busyness and get to the business!