When it comes to running my business, my process is always in flux.
For one thing, the sort of tasks I need to focus on changes every day, as does my concentration, my mental state, any other stresses going on in the world outside my office.
The part that always stays the same: every single day, there are things that need to get done, and there are things that can be set aside for a while.
This is true across the board, whether you’re an entrepreneur, a parent, a student, or a kid who needs to decide whether they want to finish their video game or binge watch the entire MCU.
And it can be overwhelming to stand at the start of your day, knowing that your to-do list is now onto its third page, and you still don’t have any idea how to start this project that’s due in three days.
One thing I have learned–the one part of my process that tends to stick around, because when I fall out of the habit my stress levels start climbing–is to take the time you need out of every day to prepare your battle plan.
I don’t care if it’s a to-do list, a schedule, an actual strategic map written in blood on your bathroom wall*, but if you’re the sort of person who finds you tend to run into your tasks with your war cry ready only to find yourself quickly torn down under the panic of having too much to do and no time to do it, take the time to stop and breathe.
For me, that routine starts with my bullet journal, a habit I formed thanks to my friend Kate, who has turned her journal into a work of art (as have many people, as you discover when you fall into the rabbit hole on Instagram and Pinterest).
Every single morning, the first thing I do is sit down and make the list of tasks I want to accomplish during the day, in both my personal and business life. I keep a daily spread, a weekly spread, and a monthly spread, each on designed to keep me en route to my goals, which, hopefully, brings my whole business forward.
It doesn’t have to be in the morning, though.
Depending on my schedule, I’ve made use of lunch breaks during the dayjob, or as a way to wind down at the end of the day, planning my tomorrow so I didn’t keep myself awake at night trying to figure out what I needed to get done.
Since I’ve started this routine again and stuck with it consistently, I’ve noticed a huge change in my outlook on the day, my time management, my sense of balance between personal and professional, and just general mental well being.
But again, this might change. I could go from bullet journaling to drawing maps on the wall, but the change is part of the process right?
What are your methods to stay on top of things/stay within a reasonable level of sanity? Post-it notes on the mirror? Pen and paper in your purse/backpack? A good pen and the back of your hand? Let me know in the comments below!
*please don’t do this. It would be difficult to maintain every day and would very quickly start to smell