June 22, 2017

Are you killing 2017? Or is it killing you?

Today is the 173rd day of the year and there are 192 days left in 2017. Is anyone else feeling the pressure?!

As the midyear point approaches, I’m definitely thinking about all the things I need/want to get done this year.  (The actual midpoint, by the way, is the weekend of July 1st in case you were curious.)

I’m an Air Force brat so we moved a lot growing up.  I remember when we would move and have to organize a new home and all the stuff that families come with, one of my father’s jobs would be the attic.  He was in charge of getting every up there when we moved in, organizing it and removing it when we moved.  If I’m totally honest, I can’t remember ever going into one of our attics.  When my mother and I didn’t know where to put something, it typically went into the attic.  I remember in each home, my father would complain that my mother and I seemed to believe that the attic was a magical place with infinite space and storage.

I have started treating my time like the attic

For some reason, the planning habits I started the year with have gone into hiding.  I seem to have forgotten that if I don’t have it scheduled, it doesn’t exist.  I have caught myself in the last couple of months, making these long to do lists and telling myself they will get done by the end of the week.  But sure enough, the following Monday very few of the tasks on the list have gotten done.

Here is a closely held personal belief:

If you want different results, you need to DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT.

Of course there are some notable exceptions but this is totally true about my schedule and bad habits.  I can’t continue to treat my time like the attic (an infinite amount of time and space), I need to do something about it.

In Jen Sincero’s book, “You are a Badass” she says, “You need to go from wanting to change your life to deciding to change your life."

Just do it

I hear that all the time, “I just need to do it” or, “I’ll get it done.”  But typically when I ask how, I’m meant with a blank stare.  If it were as simple as “just doing it” it would have already been done!

Recently, someone asked me to help them get organized around a large project due at the end of the year that requires a lot of thought and planning.  I was floored with the person showed up to our planning meeting without their planner!!  I’m good but I’m not magic.

So let’s not kid ourselves and say, “I’ll just do it.”  Because that is NOT a plan.

There are two organization methods I’m going to suggest to you today.  I think both work for different people and neither is better than the other but some will work better for some than others.

The Bullet Journal and the bit picture planning

Both are time consuming so you are going to have to sit down and really commit to making this happen.

Bullet Journaling

I heard about Bullet Journaling friend a close friend last year.  She is creative and busy.  As a work from home mom of three kids all under the age of four years old, she has started her own calligraphy and design business and she is active in her church and mom group.  She swears by the Bullet Journal Method.

What I like about this method is that it makes you sit down at the end of the month and take stock of the month and look at the upcoming month.  What I don’t like is that my handwriting looks like that of a serial killer so I’m not about having to write/draw it all out.  But this works for lots of people (as I learned by going to YouTube) so I offer it up to you as a solution.  As I do not know this system as well, I would encourage you to click on the link above and watch the video from the person who devised it!!

Big Picture Planning

Step 1:  Start with a list.  A long, uncensured list of all the things you want to do before this year is over.  Personal, professional, big and small, all of it.  Get it aaaallll out and on paper.  Don’t zip through this, really take your time and be thoughtful.

Step 2:  Knowing that there are 6 months left in the year, look at your list and think about what is most important for you to have come NYE.  What will build you up?  What will bring joy?  What will be the most meaningful.

Step 3:  Draw 6 boxes with the remaining months of the year.  In the boxes divide up the projects/tasks into the boxes.  Post this somewhere that you can see it and refer back to it until the end of the year.  I keep mine under my laptop but hanging it on a wall near your desk in your office is a great place for it too.

Step 4: SCHEDULE IT!  Now that you have figured out what month things need to happen in, chop the project up into a to do list and assign days/times that you are going to do them.  Note: the to do list is not enough.  You must actually SCHEDULE the tasks or this entire process is a waste of time.  I use a DayMinder brand planner that has monthly and daily break downs by the hour.  Don’t under estimate your need for rest.  If you don’t plan breaks, it will be easy to get overwhelmed and fall behind.  There is nothing wrong with a day off.

What do you think?!

Are you ready to take control of things again?!  I would love to hear if you went with the Bullet Journal or the big picture plan.

(Just a quick note, I am not an affiliate of nor do will I be paid in any way for my support for any of the sites/books/products I discuss in this post.)

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