Our Secrets To Getting Stuff Done Even When We Are Overwhelmed
Everyone is busy. Everyone has too much on their plate. As a writer, you have word counts and deadlines to meet, family obligations, meetings, research, not to mention building and growing your online platform. It all piles up and starts to feel out of control.
When I left the corporate world to start my own company, my head was spinning and I felt like everything was completely overwhelmed. I sat down with a dear friend who had been self employed for years and gave me some excellent advice on how to survive self-employment and stay organized. Most of which I still use today.
The way I see it, we could all use some insight, help, and tips to navigate through our busy lives. While this might not be the perfect system or outline for you, it has worked for me for nearly a decade of self-employment. I hope you find some golden nuggets that will take that overwhelming feeling away.
What Do You Do Every Single Day?
The first step is to make a list of things that you have to do every single day. By making a standard to-do list of things that you have to do every day will help you organize your schedule (more on that in a minute). But creating some sort of routine is a must. Does this routine stay consistent? Not always. When I had my son my routine obviously needed some shifting. There will be changes to our routine that we need to adjust to. But there are things that we know have to be done every single day.
As a writer, that might include getting a certain number of words written, research done, outlines created, etc. Writing those daily tasks out will help you not only become more efficient but it will save you time and headache.
Break Down The Week
Now that you have your set list of daily tasks there are obviously items that you might not have to do daily or that just pop up. Every Monday morning I sit down and make a list of additional things that need to be done over the week. I list the most urgent first and then work my way down. Once I have a general idea of what needs to be done I insert 2-3 tasks for each day. When you know you have time scheduled to get certain tasks done throughout the week and when they will be done, it takes a lot of pressure off.
Create A Check-List Template
I have a template that I created with a check-list (no joke) of the tasks that I have to do every single day to make sure they get done. It might seem overly anal or over the top, but I'm telling you, it works. Below that list I have my 2-3 additional tasks that I need to get done and I check them off as I complete them. Call me crazy, but mama's gettin' stuff done!
Set A Timer
There is a resource out there called The Pomodoro Technique (link below) that I have found to be very helpful. I don't follow it completely but they suggested setting a timer for 25 minutes to focus completely on the task at hand, take a 5 minute break, then work another 25 minutes, take a 5 minute break, and so on until you complete your task. This has been incredibly helpful for me. I set a timer, work a solid 25 minutes, break, then get back at it. You would be surprised at how much you can get done in 25 minutes!
I take about two-15 minute breaks throughout the day as well as a lunch break. You need longer breaks! Don't burn yourself out.
Set A Cut-Off Time
When 6:30 hits I am out the door. Some days I get so much done that I take off a bit earlier. But 6:30 is my absolute cut off time. Computer goes off and I am fully focused on my family. That's a huge struggle for many of us who work from home...turning things off. You will find yourself getting worn out, frazzled, and flat out sick of it before too long!
Everyone is different and everyone has different work styles. This is mine and, honestly, it took me several years to find what worked best for me. But the key is to create a routine that works for you and to actually create a routine that works for you.
Here are some resources that I use daily that have helped tremendously:
Evernote (syncs with your computer, smartphone, iPad, etc., couldn't function without it!)
- Want to be more productive and save time? Here are some great tips: click here!
- Secrets To Getting Stuff Done Even When You Are Overwhelmed: click here!
- Is your schedule freaking you out? You need to read this! click here!
QUESTION: What resources have you found to keep yourself organized? Is this something you struggle with? Leave a comment/question below!
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