I recently sent out a survey to my colleagues, asking them to evaluate my personal brand. I wanted to know what they thought of me and what words they would use to describe me.
One of the words that came up over and over was “organized”. Another phrase that showed up often was “on top of things.”
I can tell you that I was not always an organized person. And I used to be a terrible procrastinator.
I was the classic “bright-shiny-object” chaser who had a twenty different projects going at any one point, all of which I was behind on.
Then I got a piece of advice from a professional organizer that changed it all for me. Even though she was talking about how to keep my clothes closet from overflowing, the advice changed the way I look at my calendar and work projects.
She said, the secret to an organized closet is to never bring in anything new unless you first get rid of something old.
Your closet is likely already full of clothes and every hangar has something on it. If you buy a new shirt and don’t remove an old shirt, you are cramming more into the space than is manageable.
What you end up with is a closet so full that you wrestle with even the simple act of hanging up your clean clothes. From there, it becomes easier to just leave the recently washed items in the laundry basket or toss them on the chair or treadmill.
Your calendar is much like your clothes closet. There are only so many things you can cram into it. Your time is limited and there are only a finite number of things you can do in a day.
Yet most people have a calendar (and task list) that is overflowing with too many items. And the result is that their work spills out of the “work time closet” into their personal life, causing stress and frustration.
The secret to getting things done is prioritization and limitation.
Decide how many items will reasonably fit in your time closet and limit yourself to putting only the most valuable tasks on your list. Anything that doesn’t fit either gets handed off to someone else or it isn’t important enough to do.
Take a minute now to go through your time closet and evaluate what is in it. Do all of the things on your calendar really serve your highest vision of your business? Does each task move you significantly closer to your ultimate lifestyle?
If not, your job this week is to find a way to get rid of those unwanted and ill-fitting tasks. Hand them off to someone else or just delete them if they aren’t really valuable.
It can feel strange at first to just stop doing things you have done for years. But, just as clothes get old and no longer suit you, tasks outlive their usefulness as well.
Clean out your time closet and start being organized and on top of things in your own life.
If you need more help prioritizing and deciding what is most important, you can check out our 30-minute video on planning your whole year on one sheet of paper.
Laura Posey is Chief Instigator at Simple Success Plans. Her driving mission is to show entrepreneurs how to double their business while taking more time out of the company to make a difference in the world. She is an avid traveler and is always looking to connect with readers around the world.
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