This the first of a series of articles I will write on how to get yourself organised. My plan is to take you through the steps needed in order to enjoy a stress free and productive life, being in control of everything in your life from your work commitments as well as your personal life.
Setting Up Your System Gathering your Routines
One of the mistakes people make is trying to separate their work-life from their personal-life. Today, that is almost impossible because technology brings your personal-life into your work-life and vice versa. If you need to call your bank to discuss a personal issue, the chances are you are only going to be able to do that during working hours. Or perhaps you have an important presentation to do first thing in the morning, you are going to want to put the finishing touches to your presentation the evening before - while you are at home. Once you accept that your life is one big life, not a series of unconnected parts, then you are ready to start putting together a system that helps you to reduce your stress and to help you feel more in control of your life.
In the system I am going to help you develop, there is going to be no distinction between your work-life and your personal-life in your day to day activities. I will make a distinction later, when we begin to build projects, but for now I am going to keep everything together.
Gathering your Routine Work
Everyone has a number of things they have to do every day, every week and every month. These can be tasks such as take the kids to school, take out the rubbish, update the daily sales figures or submit your monthly expenses report. These tasks have to be done every day, week or month and they are fixed. Most of these task need to be completed on particular days and at particular times. These are your routine tasks. Basically, anything you have to do regularly is a routine.
Creating Your Routine Tasks List
Get a piece of paper and a pen (or a digital note taking app if you prefer) and write down the flowing headings - make sure you leave sufficient space between each heading in order to create a list below each:
Now, start adding all the things you have to do daily. Put everything down, both personal and work related. It does not matter how trivial you might think these tasks are, they could be as silly as "get out of bed", "brush teeth", "make coffee" or "turn on computer". You can edit your list later. You need to open up your mind and think of everything you do daily.
Next start adding things you have to do on a weekly basis. For example "send out agenda for weekly departmental meeting", "Do the weekly grocery shopping", "email sales activity report to HO". Once you have this list done, move on to your monthly routine tasks and write done all the tasks you have to do monthly. Things like "file expenses report", "pay gas bill" "Send £125.00 to savings" etc.
Once you have these lists completed take a good look at them and see if there is anythnig else you might want to add. Don't worry if you haven't added everything just yet. You can add to these lists anything you want at any time. I find that my lists change regularly as my work schedule and pesonal life changes. They are not static, they can be as fluid as you like.
In Part 2, I will go through a number of different tools you can use to make these lists come alive and really help you lead a more stress-free and productive life.