I created this piece for a retreat at which I gave a workshop, all about managing/organizing our days to be what we want them to be about. Not the business, “should’s,” chores and obligations but whatever the “more” is that we want from our days. So while in retreat mode, I wanted to distill some of the most important learnings I’ve had, through client work and my own work.
These observations are distilled from 11 years as an organizer and organizing coach, my second career. Some would have been great to know when I was a manager but …. we learn when we are ready. So your questions could be: What “more” do you want? Which of these did you not already know or believe? Where would you start?
Part 2 of a 2 part blog. Part 1 was here.
- Create a “framework” to manage your days. Play with the structure/flexibility equation for your life to feel productive.
- Know how you keep yourself steady mentally and create a way to remind yourself of what works and how it feels. When a life crisis hits your usual “ebb and flow” or “balanced” life, this makes it easier to put some of this into your day, even very small bits of time.
- Learn and use your strengths, values, learning styles, and processing modalities (how you take in the world around you). When you do, it becomes easier and instinctive to keep things, thoughts and time as “creatively ordered” as fits you.
- Executive function capabilities and willpower “run out” towards the end of your day. Figure out how to replenish yours.
- Multi-tasking and frequently switching gears, science tells us, both tire out your brain’s executive functions faster. And it’s more difficult and precarious with ADHD. Experiment with blocks of time during your days and group similar things to do. Or by role, project, or skill set needed. Leverage your peak thinking, creative and other types of time. Think about rhythms of during your day.
- A fairly regular wake up time, no matter your situation, is foundational to managing your days, keeping it all together, and having enough energy after your work day (inside or outside the home) to have more of a life.
- Focus on the next (super) small step, not the whole plan, not the day nor the project. Let it unfold. Gain momentum with a small, easy step.
- When feeling stuck, physically move to a different spot in the room or go outside. Try on a different perspective. A different “hat.” Imagine what your mentor would do. Take yourself out of the situation. What are the possibilities? Be curious; curiosity has zero emotion and no judgment tied to it. It will move you forward.
- Figure out your own “letting go” strategies. Start small and easy. Build up to difficult or sentimental. True for letting go of things, of tasks, relationships, or making decisions. It’s similar to building up a new body muscle.
Last one: As you live with less stuff or with less swirling around of things to do in your head, you’ll feel a significant difference. And your tolerance for clutter of all types will decline. Expect to continue on a path of living with less in your space and in your mind.
Please return a few times to this post and the prior one to reflect on how these play out in your work and home life. It’ll be worth it.