Post by Blog Manager, Robbi Hess
Does the idea of “becoming organized” make you break out in a cold sweat and pronounce, “But that will mean I have to change who I am!?” If so, step back, take a deep breath and realize that becoming an organized blogger isn’t easy. It’s a rare individual who can make a wholesale personality change and all of a sudden become organized. It either takes a life-changing moment or it just takes the realization that you have just spent six hours looking for a piece of paper that you desperately need to finish a project you’re working on. If you take that six hours and multiply it by your hourly rate you can see how you’re losing money, right? Yipes!
At the #BlogPaws Conference, the Joyful Organizer Bonnie Dewkett, shared her core message of organization which is that each person needs to find his or her own motivation for becoming organized:
- Why do you want to manage your time? Is it to meet your goals by maximizing your productivity?
- Is it to lessen your stress when it comes to finding information you need?
You should identify your goals first and then you can uncover the “why” behind your goals. If you have a driving motivation, you are more likely to stick with it. She advised, “Find your goal and then break each goal down into five to ten smaller steps.” Once you have done that you should, “write down the time you believe each goal will take and then put them into your calendar.” Hint: The type of calendar you use is not as important as the act of writing down your goals and to-dos. You may need to experiment and see what suits you best — paper or electronic. It’s a very personal decision.
The reason for writing your goals and to-dos down, she says is, “What gets written down gets attended to, what gets attended to gets done.” Don’t rely on your memory to keep track of your tasks because inevitably, something will get forgotten and that is the item that will wake you up in the middle of the night and nag at you. If you’ve written it down, you have committed it to a tangible form and that just might help you sleep better. Bonnie also advises, “Create tomorrow’s to-do list before you leave work so you don’t waste time in the morning figuring out what tasks to begin.”
Prioritizing your list is crucial and here are her tips for doing that:
- Know when you work best. Are you a morning or a night person. You need to know this so you can tackle your most difficult tasks when you’re at your best.
- Do the most difficult item on your to-do list first. Why? The momentum you receive from having completed that first task will propel you forward… AND… your day can only get easier from there, right?
- Work on the tasks that will make you money first. If that means making sales calls or completing blog posts, then that is where you should concentrate your efforts.
For everyone who has “tried to get organized in the past” she has some tips to evaluate your past “failures.” (“Failures” because it didn’t work for you and that doesn’t mean you are a failure it just means that method didn’t work for you).
The common reasons your plans for completing projects may not have worked in the past include:
- You didn’t have enough time or energy to devote to it
- Getting organized wasn’t important enough to you
- It doesn’t meet your overall life or business goals
- You never held yourself accountable
Bonnie urged everyone in the session to “be forgiving” of themselves.
She offered these ways to rethink and regroup:
- Take one step every day towards your larger goal
- You may not have failed in meeting your goal, you might have chosen a process that needs tweaking
- You may need to look at your project differently
- You may need to re-evaluate your steps and try a different approach
- Change your mindset on the project at hand
Consider this: Someone gives you $86,400 per day. Whatever you don’t spend is taken away at the end of the day. What would you do? “You’d use it, right?” she asked, adding, “That’s how many seconds you have in one day-use them wisely.”
Have you made attempts to get organized in the past? Did it work? Did you take a step back and ask yourself why it didn’t? What is your biggest organizational obstacle?