Do you ever feel like you cannot get everything done that you want to get done? There is simply not enough time in a day to fit everything in. The questions I have been asking myself is “How do I live my best when I always feel behind?”
One day this week I was feeling particularly blah. Life overall was good, so I did not understand what was making me feel so stale. I think through writing, so I decided to pick up my journal and start writing. The issue behind the way I was feeling became instantly clear. I was frustrated because even though I had done so much, I was still behind. The areas that I was behind in were nagging at me. I instantly asked myself, what can I do about this that is within my control?
Believe it or not, I started with taking a deep breath and resting for a little bit. That kind of sounds like a backward approach to getting things done, in fact you are probably thinking “Jen, you need to do less resting and more doing!” I’m sure that is true at times, but for the most part, resting a little allows me to gain more motivation and productivity in the long run.
As I thought about what I could do better to stay focused and get more done in my life, I realized I needed a new system of organization. Some areas of my life have changed, and since those changes, I had not found a good system to help me stay on task and focused. I have been jumping from here to there and finding myself getting into reactionary mode instead of being on top of things and intentional.
I needed a new system, so I bought a new planner. I have been following a blog for quite some time of a gentleman that helps people who want to write and publish books. In addition, he shares a lot about productivity and prioritizing. I knew my way of thinking fell in line with his, so I invested in purchasing his planner. I talked to a good friend about what I was doing and she said that she really needed a new system as well to help her get focused. She went out and found a planner that she loved.
A new system, or planner in my case, helps me by:
- Listing the top three things that I want to stay focused on each day. This helps me stay focused on what is most important and not get buried in everything else.
- Staying on top of all of the tasks that need to get done and prioritizing their importance. One nice thing about this is, if I have a few minutes, I can look at my list and take care of something small off of my list. I can take care of the things that are most pressing and feel a sense of relief when they are done.
- Creating a realistic game plan for each day. (Don’t forget to plan a little margin in too!)
- Writing down any notes that are important for me to take away from the day.
Implementation of any system takes a little investment of time each day, but I feel it is well worth the investment in the long run. I am excited about getting back into the routine of using a system to keep me organized and focused on what is most important. I hope I can be more intentional about my time and feel less “under the gun” and behind each day.
If you have no idea where to start with a system or planner, take a look at your local office supply store or browse the office supply aisle at your favorite place to shop. Start with something that is visually appealing to you and go from there. Over time you will find what works for you and what does not. I have even created my own throughout the years.
Long story short, creating systems are a great way to get our most important things done, stay focused, feel less behind and work towards living our best life.