The day you realize that planning ahead and getting organized is the way forward: it’s magical and you suddenly feel a strange burden being taken off your shoulders. I cannot imagine my career without planning and organizing what’s ahead of me, can you?
I started very simply, I would tell myself that I need to do ‘this’ and ‘this’ and after that ‘this’ to feel satisfied in the end. It worked for a couple of days, and I quickly realized I need to start writing down what I need to do. I began by taking a sheet of paper and wrote on it a few things I want to do over the next couple of weeks.
You could call it a little bit of a strategy, but the problem lies behind the fact that everything you wrote down is sort of on one page – so you’re again giving yourself the ability to just do whatever, whenever you like. At the end of the day, you’ve got to complete those tasks over time.
I had to find another way.
Three weeks after I had began writing and planning ahead, I received my first planner. It’s a beautiful planner that took me a maximum of three days getting used to – and now, I’m not sure I would ever go back to the way of doing things without having written it first in my planner. You really become the master of time.
Morning / Evening – Type of Person?
I’m a morning person. I get up early, I start work early. There is something about the mornings that nothing else comes close to. I cannot imagine doing the amount of work, in as productive mood as I am in the very morning. You need to figure out when you’re most productive and start planning accordingly.
You’ll maybe need a few days, like I did, to get used to the planner and to understand how it feels to do something purposefully and then move on to the next task, even if the previous one has not been finished yet.
Trying to finish something when you have to move on to the next thing might lead to a painful roadblock, which will ruin the next couple of hours for you. I’m not sure how to explain it – but that’s how I see it as it happens.
Know Your Priorities
Not just the work priorities. You’ve got to involve your personal things into the planner as well, even if it’s only going for breakfast and lunch, don’t assume that going in free for all mode during the middle of the day is going to have a happy end result.
The day before, sit down with yourself and think over some tasks that need your urgent attention. This can be anything, for me it’s usually in-depth posts that are being created with a lot of images and other material – but will usually take up to 3-4 hours to finish.
I’m not the type who can do the exact same thing for that long, so I’ll try to finish it over the course of 2 to 3 days.
You also get burned out when you do the same tasks for too long, so try to prioritize everything accordingly. In the morning I give priority to my blog posts which are essential part of my growth strategy.
Having breakfast is a higher priority task than reading email, always remember to take good care of yourself, instead of putting others first.
Every Minute Counts
You should have a general feel and idea of how planning works. If you’re like me, someone who loves to work and always has got something to do – you’ll have no problem filling up the planner quicker than the ideas in your mind would like you to. I usually end up leaving, on average, at least 5 other things to the day after…
Start writing down your goals for the next day, and remember to try and fill up every single free line of that planner! It’s obvious that you’re going to get tired at some point, but try to include at least 2 short breaks during the whole working day (not including the lunch break) and you’ll find that days pass quickly and you achieve incredible amounts of work.
To give you a good example, I plan ahead when I will use a specific social network to engage with the community on it. It gives me the space and time I need to relax and unwind from the last time I visited the given social network and it then converts in my engagement being more productive and satisfactory.
Try Something New Every Day
Just don’t do it because I told you so. You know better what are your current priorities, but trying to include something new into the schedule can really work wonders. I try to include at least one new thing to experience every day, be it registering on a new site and exploring it – or trying to create different types of content.
In the end, all of it will account for extra work done.
You have to find out what are the things that relate to your work life and see how you can integrate them within your daily plans, without having them to take up too much of your time.
I try to never plan past 6PM, that’s when I roughly finish my working day. I start early, and I try to finish early too. I think that by the end of the busy work day, I’m more in a relaxed mood than I am in working mood. It’s of course different for all of us.
This small experience report will help you get started with being more organized, and having a sense of direction for each of your days. This post in no way concludes what it means to create a content or social media strategy, which in itself can take up a lot of your daily time.
We’ve got to learn to start small and then take it from there. I’m open to all suggestions and other personal views on the subject of organizing ones life to make it easier and more efficient.