Do you ever feel overwhelmed by all the stuff you need to do and you don’t know where to start? Or do you ever feel like you’ve been busy all day long but didn’t actually get much done? I get that way sometimes. And for some reason when I get stressed I tend to clean…which is not always a bad thing because I like my house to be clean, but it usually isn’t the best use of my time when I have a lot of other things that I need to be doing.
One way we can help stay better focused and actually accomplish some of our projects and goals is to write our own job description. Start by listing out your responsibilities and tasks you need to accomplish.
My list for my career coaching and speaking business included:
Grow / Learn: read blogs, podcasts, TED talks, Platform University
Create / Give: write blogs, videos, workshops
Market/ Network: advertise, connect, book events
Speak / Coach: my actual fun “work” activities
Then analyze your schedule and work habits and assign your tasks to the best time slot.
Mine is here:
Mornings: productive, active, energetic
Quiet time to focus
Do creative work / blogging
Network/ connect / book events
Afternoons: usually less engaged mentally
Do busy work- run errands, laundry, cleaning, etc
Exercise with podcasts
Evenings: usually rather passive
Growing/ Learning: watch TED talks, Platform University
I’ve also found that To-Do Lists help keep me focused. So when I’m feeling particularly overwhelmed I write out everything I need to get done and start ruthlessly working through it so I can cross stuff off my list. There’s something quite addicting about crossing stuff off a To-Do list. Lately I’m trying to make my list the night before so I wake up with a plan and don’t spend 2 or 3 hours busy but not productive. It’s easy to find stuff to do, but without a plan sometimes you never get to the most important tasks.
One last thought: pay attention to your most common time wasters- checking e-mail, facebook, tv, whatever- know where you tend to get stuck and plan accordingly. But don’t waste your most productive hours on activities with low returns. Be intentional with your time so you can make the most of it in a focused organized way and avoid the frantic rushing around with little direction or accomplishment.