Because letting something slip can cost you big
Henry David Thoreau once said, “Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.” Entrepreneur folks know firsthand what busy looks like. You’re often being pulled in a thousand different directions working on projects, completing tasks, delegating to others, following up with contacts, and sending emails. Lots of emails.
But this is a good thing. Often, busy means you’re making the right connections, things are falling into place, and all the moving parts and in sync. Busy isn’t bad, as long as you’re doing it right.
When life gets busy
I used to think I was a busy person, until I actually became a busy person. Really busy. What started as dabbling, turned into part-time copywriting and social media management in an office two days a week, training, presenting, and project management for a small business, freelance marketing and editing, and writing for so many hours a day, I lose count.
Did I mention I have a husband, and two young children at home?
Let’s just say I have many different assignments, projects, deadlines, and birthday parties that I have to remember. Somehow.
How I keep it all together
Believe it or not, I’m not a naturally organized person. In fact, my car is a testament to my roots. But being an entrepreneur, freelancer, and self-employed, the organization gene required mutation because without some sort of order nothing would succeed.
I wish I could say I came up with a revolutionary way to keep my life in order, or that I got to go to Target and purchase a pretty new organization system to hang on the wall in my office…but I didn’t.
Instead I utilize one tool that we all have on our phones, computers, and stuck to the refrigerator – a calendar.
The holy grail: Use a calendar
Utilizing a calendar religiously is my number one recommendation for busy people.
One of the first things I do when I wake up is consult my calendar to get a read on the day.
My calendar has become like my digital assistant; it’s a to do list, scheduler, and organizer all in one. Don’t simply schedule meetings or appointments, but schedule anything worth remembering.
Have an important deadline? Want to remember to post an article on social media? Have trouble getting the trash out on Thursday mornings? Add it to the calendar.
Create different calendars for different areas of your life and schedule away. Scheduling your important events, especially when you have a lot of them, will not only keep you sane but will help with your productivity.
Pencil in your life
I realize this invites the “over-scheduled life” outcries, but for me it has less to do with scheduling your life and more to do with remembering your commitments. Most work-from-homers, freelancers, or entrepreneurs are familiar with the dual freedom and responsibility that comes from being your own boss.
Having a handle on your deadlines, appointments, and commitments allows you to brace yourself when you know you’re going to have a busy week, and then determine the best way to approach each task.
And best of all, when you’re used to scheduling most of your professional life, it becomes second nature to remember to schedule in the fun things, too…just make sure those blocks of time have just as much weight as the others.