Hair on fire? Mine too. Here’s what I’m going to do.

 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.