Starting something new is never easy, and if you aren’t already a little organized, I know the idea can be daunting. What helps me is to have a goal in mind. “I want to get organized so I have time to do (blank).” Your (blank) could be anything, but it should be juicy enough to entice you to stick with a new organized habit.
If you don’t have something in mind, try this. Block out about an hour of time. Find a pad of paper and a pen. Get yourself situated somewhere where you won’t be interrupted. And take a deep breath.
- Write down everything that’s knocking around in your head that you have to get done. This should be a mix of work, home, health, food… It could be things you have to do today, or next week, or next month – write it all down without editing. Go.
- Write your “ideal” obituary. I know! No obit is ideal because it means you have passed to the other side. But think of it this way – by the time you die, what do you want to get done? What are the big projects you’ve thought about doing but haven’t managed to finish – or maybe even start yet? Maybe you’ve thought about learning a language, learning to play the guitar, spending more time with your family, losing weight, traveling, eating better, saving money, writing a book… This is your list. What do you want to get done before you die? No editing! Just write.
- Do a time audit. Now think about a day, a week, a month, and a year. How do you spend your time? If you have a really demanding job, or little kids to take care of, you probably spend a good percentage of your time there. How else are you spending your time? How about your leisure time? When you have a minute, an hour, or a day, what do you do with your time? On a clean sheet of paper, estimate where you now spend the precious time we have on earth.
- Think about the things in your life that are most important to you, that give you balance. One last clean sheet of paper, and one last brainstorm. What three, or five, or eight things are essential for you to feel complete? This could be family, spirituality, volunteer work, health, creative work, career… Really think about this. What’s vital for you to be who you are? How much time are you giving that now? And are you missing anything that should be part of this mix? Jot it down.
In the next post, we’ll take the next big step: Sorting this out and prioritizing so you can take the first baby steps to making your list more manageable.