Getting all done with a smile on my face and laughter in my belly

Getting all done with a smile on my face and laughter in my belly

There are weeks where I just feel like I’ll never get it all completed.  And when I look over everything, it’s actually probably true, unless I stay up all night long and drink lots of Red Bull, which I don’t like any way and then I’ll crash and burn because the high of caffeine does some crazy stuff to me.

This used to drive me crazy, and sometimes it can get me temporarily frustrated or down or even feeling hopeless, but all in all I move on from those feelings pretty fast because my record shows that I get to what’s important and I don’t miss important deadlines.

How is this possible?  How do I keep up with a website remodel, a home remodel, client work and follow up, the networking group I run, the spiritual life I need, a little exercise and still cook dinner and put my kids to bed with a smile on my face and laughter in my belly?  Well as I’ve said I wasn’t always able to do that.  (And it’s still not always perfect.)

I can do this now, because I use a weekly review.  I take time each week to look over projects, tasks, appointments and prioritize what’s going to happen when.  I’ve based this on David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” method (AKA GTD).  I’ve altered it and made it my own (and I help clients do this too) so that even though I can’t get to every last possible thing, I at least know what there is to do, what I’ve even considered doing and from that place I can see what’s really important for each day and week.

It took me awhile to get in the swing of using this process and I still reference my step-by-step checklist I created each and every time, because as David Allen teaches, your brain is not to remember to dos, checklists and shopping list- it’s for higher level thinking.  For that reason, we write everything else down, freeing up our brain to fulfill it’s purpose.

Just like for myself, each time I help a client develop their own form of the weekly review, it starts off with bumps and it’s slow, but it is effective.  It helps you get what needs to be completed completed, and most importantly, it alleviates stress.  It’s a system that you can trust and a system that has your back.

If you’ve ever set up something like this, some time each week that you go over your calendar and check your tasks, tidy up your office, see what’s coming down the pipe this week, then you know initially this process could take all day. I recently had a client ask me how to contain this planning time so she could fit it in every week.  So as we reviewed her process I realized that the client was using it, not only for planning but also for doing and catching up, which is way too much to do in an hour or two.

If she had that challenge, I’m sure some of you reading this have as well, so I’d thought I’d share what I told her.

The weekly review helps you plan and keeps you caught up, but it’s not the time for accomplishing lots of tasks. It’s not the time for catching up- it’s the time to realized what you’ve got on your plate and to capture those “to dos” by writing them down, then making time in your schedule to complete them.  Whether it’s catching up on an over flowing email inbox or filing last months bills.  Those tasks get written down and scheduled so you can keep moving through your weekly review in a couple hours.

I hope this clarification helps you just as it did my client.

And if you’ve ever thought of creating a weekly review, I encourage you to do it.  You can read more about it from David Allen.  And if setting this up on your own is daunting or your stuck I’d love to help.  I have 1 client spot open in February and 3 for March.  It’s a chance to have me guide you in taking you business systems apart and then put them back together in a way that works for you, your brain and your life.  It’s customized and chocked full of individual time with me.  Set up a time to talk to me if your curious.