Something I have always struggled with is organizing myself when I have a lot of things to do. I like to do 5 different things at once and maybe finish 1. I need constant reminders of due dates, and to set alarms 3 days before. Managing myself has become even more of a burden/task/difficulty since starting Key Changes because I am the only person who can remind me to do things! I’ve been spending this week telling myself to complete my tasks, make lists, and think positively. Having some extremely productive colleagues who constantly wow me with their project ideas, announcements, and blog posts has motivated me to really put the effort in this week to stay on top of things, write, and network like I did before moving the office.
As a result of this new frame of mind, I’m going to share with you what I am doing to keep myself motivated and organized not just this week, but hopefully indefinitely.
Putting my to-do list where I can see it: I make lots of lists! I had read David Allen’s Getting Things Done before I started Key Changes, and while I have integrated a lot of his ideas into my work space, I can’t seem to clear my brain out all the time. As a result, I have lots of to-do lists. I’ve tried various applications on my phone to no success (it doesn’t work if I don’t check them), utilizing my google calendar (that plus my client schedule became way too busy), lino-it (that is a wonderful tool, but something about it and I just didn’t click) and then of course, paper to-do lists, which I promptly lose. So! I’ve decided to put my to-do list where I can’t miss it: on the wall right in front of my desk. It’s on a dry erase board, so I can easily erase what has been completed or obsolete. Ta-Da! Hopefully this will be problem solved and not another step on my journey.
Morning Mantra: I do practice yoga (not as much as I used to), but you don’t have to be a yogi to do this. I have spent this week waking up and saying “Okay Natalie, we’re having a good day. We’re being productive, getting things done, and not getting caught up on whatever bad seems to happen”. Well here it is Tuesday afternoon as I am writing this and already the elevator in my parking garage (7th floor is my spot) was broken so I had to haul my guitar and instrument cart up 7 flights of steps, I forgot my gathering drum, I forgot to bring my F handbell, forgot my colored scarves, and I forgot to put the bars back on my glockenspiel after having it in a C pentatonic. Even through all of this, I am still feeling like it’s a good week and will continue to be a good week!
Actually doing the things on my list: My library has a bad habit of having really good books in large enough amounts that I never have to wait long for a request. In fact, my library is the best library I’ve ever had the luck of living near. That being said, I love nothing more than to curl up with a cup of coffee, a blanket, and a good book for hours. I know several other music therapists love Audible but I can’t do it. I love the smell of a book. With that being said (see, I went off on a tangent just talking about it), I’ve made a schedule of what I need to do and when, like writing this blog post.
Cutting off my internet: Rachel Rambach shares a Mac program that helps disconnect her from the online world on her premium members site. I go cut my router off when I need to not be distracted, but whatever works! Being as scattered as I tend to be though, it helps to be able to do this. I’m a major multi-tasker, but a horrible finisher of things, so disconnecting myself really helps me achieve my daily goals.
I hope that some of these tips might help you be as productive as I am (this week). If you have any other secrets, let me know!
Sounds like we have a few things in common! I am also an idea person, and get many things started, but less of a git-er-dun kinda girl. (OK, I haven’t been a “girl” for way too many years, but I still feel like more of a girl than a middle-aged woman!) I have used a few of the tools you have (google calendar, written lists on paper, apps on my smart phone, reminders sent to myself, etc.), and, like you, have not had great success. I rarely get to sit at a computer, and do most of my e-communication via my phone. I travel to 4-5 different locations every day, and my “home base” is my car. No dry erase board there! I still haven’t found the answer that works best for me, but I continue to search. If you have any great ideas, send them my way! (Oh, and I love to read too. I visit my small local library regularly. Those darn books can really keep me from getting work done!) 🙂
Young at heart Julie! Perhaps something similar to Michelle Erfurt’s Car Organizer could help, or a dashboard dry erase! kind of like a tom tom but better. 🙂
1) Hooray for library addiction! (Oh, wait. I guess I wasn’t supposed to be yay-ing for that. Sorry.)
2) Totally appreciate the challenge of being organized.
3) And am I the only one who thought it was funny that it was the “F” handbell?