Content originally taken from eBella Magazine, “Terrorized by your To Do List?” by Kelly Townsend.
How many times have you agreed to do something and then forgotten all about it? Do items from your to-do list pop back to mind as you drive down the road? How often do you feel like you’re forgetting something, but can’t quite figure out what that something is?
According to a study by the Professional Convention Management Association, 38% of employees have missed life events because of bad work-life balance due to demands of today’s work environment. Nearly two in five survey respondents revealed that they’ve had to skip some milestone moments due to work. Survey Here
Key Pillar to Being Successful
One of the key pillars to being successful in your career—and today’s fast-paced lifestyle—is to have everything there is for you to do and handle in some kind of existence system, which is really just a reliable system for keeping track of all these things. How do you keep all your agreements, commitments and activities in existence for yourself? When you promise or agree to take an action, where do you keep track of those things? I know for years my system for what I said I would do for myself or others was my memory. I actually thought I would remember everything I said I would do!
At some point in my career, I found not only was my memory unreliable, but that system was also eroding my day-to-day life. I spent my time being constantly worried and anxious about what I had forgotten or missed, which made it really difficult to concentrate on what I was actually trying to do. It was a stressful existence system for me, holding all there was to do in my mind. My primary attempt to improve an already unreliable existence system involved several different notepads and sticky notes pretty much everywhere. The sticky notes turned into a reminder of what I was not getting done and my lists became a parking lot for good intentions. I also noticed that many of my conversations with my colleagues were about how busy I was, and of course how stressed I felt. Everyone else was complaining too, so it seemed like it was inevitable—just the way of life.
Gain Peace of Mind Around Your Schedule
Then I had a breakthrough, which I was able to access when I truly realized that I was never going to get it all done. It sounds simple, but if you stop and understand the reality of “I am never going to get it all done,” you will begin to see there is peace of mind available when you can resolve this for yourself. We live in a faster-paced environment compared to years previous and we need a new way to deal with its pace and expectations on our performance to be productive, effective and live with peace of mind.
First Action to Take
After gaining this powerful insight, my first action was to throw all my lists and sticky notes away. I traded them in for one singular spiral notebook (my capture tool) which goes with me everywhere.
Create a Schedule
Secondly, I began to put everything I said I would do or needed to get done in my business and my personal life, in time, on my schedule using Google Calendar. I put in everything, from what time I was waking up, showering and working out, to when I was returning emails. I even scheduled spaces in my schedule for interruptions and things that happen unexpectedly. This has been one of the most freeing practices of my breakthrough. The only place I write down notes other than my schedule is in my capture tool, and I take time each day to empty any important information from my capture tool to my computer.
Since then I have actually started having fun creating my life in my schedule! I started using the color coding categories in Google to create a vivid display of my life. By looking at the colors, I can see if I am balancing my life in a way that reflects the areas of my life that are important to me. For example, I schedule personal time in green and send invites through Google to my friends and family members. They appreciate my planning ahead so we can all spend time together.
If you have finally resolved yourself to the notion that you can not get it all done, you may be open to creating the possibility of organizing your daily work and life schedule through your calendar and using only one capture tool.
Tips for Living an Active Life:
1. Get a spiral notebook (capture tool) that goes with you everywhere to write down everything you need to do and handle.
2. Put everything that you said you would do in one calendar using Outlook or Google Calendar.
3. Empty your notebook everyday into your calendar or computer.
4.Have fun! Color code categories in your Google Calendar. This will give you a vivid display of your life and if you are balancing personal and business.
If you are constantly stressed or challenged by living an active life, I invite you to actually plan your life through your schedule and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with a powerful existence system.
For more information on how to find balance in your personal and business life, consider executive, business coaching or our Mission Control Productivity and Accomplishment Workshop from Townsend Consulting Group.