In my younger years, I was called a procrastinator by some. And I sure was. Identifying with this label gave me limiting beliefs about my ability to be organized later in my life. Shortly after I started my business, I reluctantly dialed into a conference call that promised to help “creative-types” get more organized. To my surprise, this call helped me embrace a new mindset: my organization will look different from others. This gave me a freedom which I didn’t realize before.

You don’t have to follow a prescribed method.

Build a strategy that works for you.

Here are four tips that will help you define how you manage your day.

 

  1. Interview. Ask others what they do to organize their day. Act like you’re writing an article. Be Barbara Walters. Remember, your findings work for the sources, not you. Let these discoveries inspire you.

How could you make the ideas work for you?

What did you hear that will be helpful to you?

Try a new experiment with what you learned. (See #4)

  1. Get the tools you need and love. Your mind will support you well to get things done if you are excited about your tools and if the tools work well. Get that pen that writes well. Buy that scanner. Use colorful folders.
  2. Get over it. Get over what others say about how you organize your day and time. If you think something will help you be more effective, try it. Let go of old negative labels.
  3. Experiment. Assess. Do it again. I started “experimenting” with various ways of planning my day and became a better planner. There is no right way. Just your effective way. When something doesn’t work, assess it.

What would make the approach work better?

What other approaches would work instead?

Is there a different version of this approach I could try?

By practicing these and other experiments I gained more time to be with my family and more time to exercise. I moved from a 40++ hour workweek to a 20-hour workweek. It took one intentional step at a time over four years. I am still refining. Be patient with steady progress, not paralyzed wishing for perfection.