Updated: Feb 12, 2019
I practice what I preach – organization is not just something I teach my clients, it’s also how I live my life and achieve my goals. My business is now 3.5 years old and while from the outside it might seem as though it was easy to get to the point I’m at, it was anything but. As any business owner will tell you, when you wear all the hats, there is a lot to do and staying organized is the only way to get where you want to go. I’m going to tell you how staying organized has helped me to achieve my dreams.
Organization has always come easy to me but there’s a big difference between organizing yourself and helping others to do the same. In addition, there’s a difference between doing what you love and creating a successful business doing it. At the end of the day, no matter what you do, you’re still a business owner and when you’re starting out – especially if you’re doing it on your own – there’s a lot to think about.
While my business was born in Los Angeles 3.5 years ago, I moved to NYC 1.5 years ago and had to basically start from scratch. To give you a taste of the tasks associated: client acquisition, advertising, networking, finances, social media, insurance, professional development, etc. And that’s all in addition to time spent working with clients. This is not meant to be a post about complaining, I love what I do and the fact that I’m a successful business owner makes me feel like Wonder Woman or Beyonce! On a good day I want to stand at the top of a mountain and shout a battle cry (too much?). However, on a bad day, I want to bang my head against the wall repeatedly.
What has kept me sane throughout this process is my to do list(s). There are many ways to create a to do list for yourself and I honestly believe that there’s no right way (look for a more extensive to do list post in the coming months!) Whatever you do to keep your thoughts in order needs to be tailored to you and it needs to be all in one place. If you choose to do it on your phone, wonderful, choose one app and stick with it – I’m a big fan of Evernote. If you choose to have your list in a notebook, also great, just make sure that you stick with that one notebook and don’t have notes here there and everywhere.
Although my method might not work for you – we are not the same person after all – I will tell you how I create my lists. I have an everyday to do list with four quadrants: upper left is personal not time sensitive, lower left is personal time sensitive, upper right is business not time sensitive and lower right is business time sensitive. Also in Evernote I have an overflow to do list for things I want to get done but can be done when I have the chance. I do this so that I don’t overwhelm my everyday to do list. During the day I cross off the things I’ve done and create a clean new list. The old list gets recycled, I don’t need to keep it. Some might say that it’s a waste of time creating the new list but for me, it’s a cathartic habit and it helps me to remember what needs to be done.
As you see in this photo, on a day like today when I have the entire day for administration, I decided to list my tasks in terms of priority. I might not finish them all but I’ll get as far as I can. First task – blog post, check! Whatever your dream, you can get there by figuring out the steps in between and listing them in terms of priority. The dream might be big but the steps are both small and important.