I started a new, full time contract two weeks ago. Last week I also started a World Coach Institute training course in professional coaching. I also promised myself I was going to keep this blog alive. I was pretty exhausted by the end of the week. So, first things first, I gave myself Saturday off, from everything!
I sat down to think a bit about why I felt like my hair was on fire. Well, frankly, my hair was kind of on fire. I was a mess, missing several meetings completely, searching frantically for stuff in too many places and generally sifting through the mess on my desk to find what I needed from one minute to the next. It didn’t seem to matter how many lists I made myself, I still didn’t feel organized.
So, I took a moment to assess my environment and here’s what I found.
I have a work computer and a personal computer and an iPad.
I create files on each in different formats and applications : Microsoft Word, GreatNotes, iNotes.
And I still can’t tear myself away from having physical notebooks – I have three. One for work. One for coaching class. One for my writing.
I started out with one calendar two weeks ago but by the end of last week, my meetings were spread across four calendars.
I am a big one for lists and productivity tools. But I realized that the addition of each new tool creates additional chaos. And I have way too many.
So, I set myself some goals.
Before the day is out, I am going to consolidate my calendars into a single one and only use that one.
Then, I’ll be tackling my office space to set up a workspace for each of my hats. I’ve realized that means both my physical and virtual office space. I still don’t know exactly how I’m going to do this effectively but I know I need to settle on a few specific tools and organize myself within them.
I also created a high level view of my week to come and blocked out time for specific things like hours I will work on my contract, hours I will be in class, hours I need to do homework. I even block out lunch time. This is a trick I learned a long time ago. I can eat on the fly but I am much more effective in the afternoon if I have had a 30 minute break when I can rest my brain.
I still have a lot of work to do to stay organized. It’s not going to be a one time investment. I will have to keep good habits and frequently revise my daily and weekly schedule. But that doesn’t scare me. I feel better already knowing how I am going to take this bull by the horns. I would love to hear your productivity and organization tips – especially the best tools to synch up across multiple applications, computers and devices.