As much I love "how to" posts, most of the time I leave them feeling even more confused on how to actually implement changes - I really hope that at the end of this, you'll feel like you can take at least one thing away to help how you organize your ever growing to-do list. I also want to mention that this post is not sponsored in any way by Wunderlist, I just really love the service & have found that it has helped me immensely.
A few months ago I took a time management course through work, while most people tend to dread these, I actually love training's because I find that I can take something away not only for my professional life, but for my personal one as well - winning!! The basis of this course was on the fundamentals which Stephen Covey came up with and most of the course was taken from, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. So what did I learn in the training and how did it help me with my organization? My key takeaway was to define ALL of my roles in life. What does this mean? This means I now look at my time in chunks and the things I have to do within each role I have.
My roles are:
1. my full-time job (which in and of itself involves marketing, business development & events) - I keep all tasks related to this role in outlook - it's complete and separate from my personal life.
2. my home life - this includes my role as a wife, daughter, friend & sister
3. my blog
4. my wedding & event planning business
5. my writing for a stylist's blog
You'll notice I also use Wunderlist to hold links for things I want to purchase, my 30 before 30 list & just a running list of things I want to get done around the house (this is shared with Gary) - another bonus to Wunderlist is that you can share with a business partner, friend or spouse. So let's say you're going on a trip, add in all the things you want to do in that city, or have a running list of things you want to buy for the house...the list (haha so pun-ny) could go on and on!
Within each to-do you can go a little deeper and add a note for yourself, even attach a file that goes with the to-do, set a reminder or give yourself a due date. If you add a reminder or due date, you will get an email from Wunderlist (or notification - depends how you have it set up) that your task is due.
Once you define your roles, staying organized is so much easier - rather than having a to-do list that is a mile long, you now have tasks broken out within your specific roles. Sometimes those blend together, but most of the time it's clearly defined.
For my pen & paper lovers don't you worry, you can still print out your entire list so that you can feel the satisfaction of crossing things off - tell me I'm not alone here!
Let's take it to stationary! As much as I love having notebooks for all different facets of my life, this starts to get really cluttered and I end up with 10 half full (albeit cute) notebooks! My action plan was to condense to only two notebooks! I know I can't believe it either! I section out the notebook (blog, bespoke & other)This means when I go into a meeting I'm always carrying the same notebook with me. No need to shuffle through papers for past notes & this also means I have one folder for each of my roles. These are my favorite to use for work & these I use for home/business stuff.
While this doesn't actually deal with organization - this little tip will help with your time management. I've recently implemented the "one-touch" rule to my emails. That means, I only look at my personal (anything not 9-5 related) e-mail during certain times in the day AND if I read an email I immediately need to have an action with that e-mail. That can be responding immediately, trashing it or marking it unread to go back to again (not suggested, but it happens). This way e-mails get answered on my terms and I never go to bed with any unread - this makes me uneasy! The bulk of my blog emails get answered during my commutes - it's currently the most time I spend without something else taking my attention.
Wunderlist syncs with your phone or iPad so you can get to your list whenever and wherever you need it! While I realize this system doesn't work for everyone, I would love to know what tips & tricks you have to staying organized!
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