New Year. New Week. New Day. Everything about this morning is new.
And speaking of new… Raise your hand if you made New Year’s Resolutions.
It’s very hard to make New Year’s Resolutions work, and I hate the thought that I begin a year with intentions that don’t carry me through the next 11 months. Don’t get me wrong – S and I planned for, thought and dreamed about, and made goals for 2015. I just chose not to make the traditional New Year’s Resolutions.
Instead, I decided to continue with a new thing I began in October that has worked well for me.
In the first week of the month, I sit down with a piece of paper and write the month at the top. I list everything I can think of that I need to get done that month. After the essentials are listed I begin setting goals for writing, health, travel, and whatever else I’m focusing on. If I am trying to adhere to a timeline I will make goals for the next month, too. Next, I put a star next to the items on the list that MUST be finished in that month, highlighting my priorities.
To accomplish these goals, I consult the master list every week and assess how I should set up my coming week. Every weekend I take a paper and turn it so I’m working with it in the ‘landscape’ orientation rather than the ‘portrait’ orientation. I draw a line through the middle of the paper longways and divide the bottom half it into five sections, which I then label as the days of the week. Along the top of the page I write the different areas of my focus – usually writing, work, home, and self.
When the page is setup it looks like this:
Then I refer back to the original list of month goals and ‘to dos’. Using that, I write down what needs to be accomplished in the week I am preparing for under each sections at the top. Next, I consult my calendar and write in my obligations accordingly for each day. When I can see my workload and my availability, I begin assigning tasks to each day.
When I’ve finished, I hang the ‘master list’ somewhere I can see it (usually the refrigerator) and leave the week spreadsheet out, where I refer to it daily.
For me, this system works best. It helps me stay focused, structured and organized, and eliminates the feeling of ‘drifting’ or being overwhelmed – two sensations I’ve experienced frequently since I began working from home. It also allows me to keep only the prize in mind, rather than having to keep up with a bunch of steps.
What do you do to stay organized? Did you make any New Year’s Resolutions?
I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!