Staying organised in business and life
Everyday life can get busy. A normal day should be organised, to avoid chaos. Here are some ways to organise your day.
This planning guide is based on a layout by Canva. My choice of colours ensures a stylish look for the day planner. Here are some ways in which I stay organised in the day.
Follow long term goals
Actively pursue steps towards personal and professional goals. Are you doing anything today for your career or business aspirations? Will your day support the lifestyle you aim towards? Know what you want. Focus on what's needed.
If a planned activity doesn't support your goals? Why do it? Goal-oriented planning sounds obvious. But distractions happen. Friends ask for favours, hoping you will sacrifice extra time. Communities want you to volunteer you time, but you could donate a bit of money or physical resources instead. Business maintenance can become unnecessarily detailed, unless strategically planned to achieve results. Plan your day based on your goals and purpose. We have limited time in each day. Use your time wisely.
Prioritise Urgent Tasks
What's urgently needed sooner? Which tasks have the greatest impact and consequence?
Don't procrastinate. I know it's tempting. If a deadline is late or approaching soon, that's most important for the day. Encourage the entire family to prioritise. We talk about urgency for work tasks, but prioritisation will also keep family life organised. Is there a birthday coming up in the next few days? Do the gift shopping immediately. Will a holiday start soon? Pack those bags with enthusiasm. Look at the upcoming week or month. Whatever is coming up on the calendar, do it now.
Know your own personal priorities. Do you work 9-5 and clock off right on 5pm? Do you continue working late into the night, until an office project reaches perfection? That's fine. Allow time for that. If you value social connections more than climbing a corporate ladder, consciously choose to allow more time for family or friends once essential work is done. Select a focus for the day and don't let anything else get in the way.
Fun extra non-urgent activities can still happen. They just won't be first. Hobbies can become escapes from the wildness of each day. Relaxation time is important, but in moderation. I'm was recently binge-watching Full House on Netflix. I could have sat there for hours, seeing episode after episode. But everything else needs to be done first. My approach is to complete obligations during the day, hopefully concluding any work soon after dinner, then time off for the rest of the night. Urgent priorities must come first in a successfully planned day. Then we can treat ourselves afterwards.
Wellness is the one exception. Listen to your body. When my health dominates my day, I listen to physical needs. I recently experienced extreme tiredness for weeks. That fatigue was a message that said I had to rest. Other urgent matters just might not happen if my body can't handle the load. And that's ok. We can only achieve goals after nurturing wellness first.
Schedule your day around urgent priorities. Balance urgency alongside wellness if needed.
Write a To-Do-List
Identify precise actions that can be achieved in a day. For the ultimate schedule, allow time for unofficial parts of activities. Tasks could require travel, preparation, informal networking and other hidden activities. Know how much time something really takes, not the official schedule.
Are you reaching a deadline for a performance? Preparation is needed for a public speech, project pitch, product launch and so on. Preparation could involve rehearsal, warming up, styling an outfit or checking equipment. Provide more time for yourself to fully prepare and then shine in your public appearances.
If you need to attend an event, calculate a generous amount of travel time. I have under-estimated travel times in the past. A hurried journey to an event can feel overwhelming. It gets in the way of enjoying the occasion. That's why it's important to provide buffer times for travel and preparation.
Right now as I write this article, my to-do-list has a variety of private and branded tasks. A scattering of medical appointments were my most important calendar items in the past couple of weeks. Then I'm now creating branded content. Online brand communications really can be done anytime, unless super urgent. General purpose social media and web site content can be made at a convenient time and scheduled to be published later. The to-do-list should be specific actions based on urgent or important priorities.
Plan Daily and Weekly Meals
The week can be easier when we're proactively organising meals in advance. There's so much else happening in the week. So during each day, why not have meals ready to save time. I went through a phase of saying right on 6pm, 'What should we have for dinner tonight?' I would then rummage through the kitchen and throw together anything resembling food. There's an easy way to stay more organised with food. Take a few minutes on the weekend to plan each day. I like storing long-life ingredients a week or month in advance. We try freezing meats and vegetables when possible. Ideally, there might just be a few fresh ingredients to pick up on the day. Greater freedom of time can be achieved when meal preparation is more efficient.
We're All Different
Everyone can stay organised in different ways. These are just some of the options for planning the day. I believe each individual can build a powerful routine. When tasks are more efficient, there may be more time in the day for self-care and relaxation.