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Helping launch startups while efficiently running two of my own, of course in between the mom duties and keeping the household in order, searching for new clients, doing existing client work and also working towards future goals… well, I have to be organized, or I will not be able to keep up.
Now that I have been using my Bullet Journal for a little over a year, I can proudly say that weekly and daily planning has become an essential part of my #bossmama life! Here are a few of tried and tested Tips to Help You Organize Your Life Like a BOSS!
1—Use a diary, notebook, calendar or Bullet Journal
Who doesn’t like some extra help? Guess what, this time-tested method of life goal tracking and list-making is going to get you high up in the #planning and #organization department! Those of you, who already use a diary, notebook or a Bullet Journal will wholeheartedly agree that these simple little old-school tools help you to get more done, keep you focused towards your goals and give your productivity a massive boost! Let’s face it, even with using a ton of digital apps but there’s something special about writing your plans and goals down in a notebook. Writing down gives you a sense of accomplishment and a weird satisfaction. Nowadays, Bullet Journals are a great way for tracking simple routine things like what you ate in a day, how much water you drank, or if you took your vitamins. Honestly, I seem to be more dedicated to these small daily rituals when I make use of my #BuJo and especially, daily trackers!
I find them incredibly useful when you have to remember so many things, like all women do (Duh!). When you really need to focus on your work but your mind keeps circling back to whether you forgot to take your contraceptive pill or did you drink your 8 glasses of water? This only distracts you from your #dailyfocus! Personally, I beat myself up about forgetting to wash my face before going to bed or forgetting to take my vitamins! Well, this bugs me a lot! Try using trackers and let me know how it goes in the comments below!
I was so excited to share some nifty Bullet Journal tips with you all, that I designed a set of trackers for you, grab these for free, here!
Here’s a beautiful bit of inspiration, below we have a pretty “mood tracker”, photo by Estee Janssens, Unsplash.
2—Define your goals and priorities then have the self discipline to stick to them
It feels great to spend time planning, but procrastination is a real thing! It creeps up on us. Be conscious of it. Prioritize urgent deadlines and deliverables ahead of your less urgent ones (yip, that’s controlling your tendency for procrastination right there). You heard me! If you want to be a #boss, you need to control this. How? By getting your priorities in order and defining which ones need to be dealt with first. You can get a lot more done, in a lot less time even with all the quarantine distractions! Weigh up your priorities- schedule the urgent ones ahead of your less urgent ones. Sometimes, when you stop every 5 minutes to do whatever pops into your head thinking it’s important, like “let me just go check that Online Shopping site to see if my order has arrived, it will only take 5 mins, let me just have a quick look.”. Yeah that’s true, but ask yourself, will it REALLY take only 5 minutes or will you end up scrolling endless products and continue to shop more online for the next hour? The best way is to plan your urgent and more important priorities at the beginning of your busy day, and try to leave the other not so urgent stuff for later. I am sure your special order will arrive at the same time no matter how many times you check the tracking order.
3—Go digital, there’s an app for everything
Even with the charm of a pen and paper, we have to embrace the digital world. I use Google Calendar to note all of my client meetings, appointments and reminders, my bullet journal to track water intake and vitamins, but I write my to-do’s (like my career goals, and work project deadlines and objectives) in my daily list and my daily list is actually a Trello Board! What’s that? Well, it’s a great app, you should check it out, here. Fret not, digital tools are always there to help you, and that whatever you need to do from tracking sleep, to appointments and bookings, remember – you are just an app away from it!
4—Time blocking method
Simply put, Time Blocking is the process of planning in advance, prioritizing and dedicating specific time blocks for specific tasks. This form of scheduling allows you to anticipate when you will get a certain task done. It’s an essential part of project management. Doing this requires a lot of planning and dedication, being determined to meet those blocked ‘scheduled’ time goals that you have set for yourself, like I will finish task X in Y time. Stephen Altrogge from Zapier in his article on methods to schedule certain tasks, > highlights the importance of distinguishing between proactive blocks and reactive blocks. He says that proactive blocks are for getting important tasks done, like your to-do’s, whereas the reactive blocks are more flexible and dedicated times to allow for interruptions, urgent emails and impromptu meetings or requests. You can read more about it here.
5—Give yourself deadlines
This probably is my secret weapon. I thrive under pressure and deadlines make me deliver better results in a way that I would not be able to achieve with tasks that linger for long periods of time. Have you ever thought, “Oh, I need to do this and that, but it’s okay, I have a lot of time to do it!” then you blink, and it’s the day before the deadline and now it’s last-minute-dot-com to try and get it done! Well, case in point, you can go ahead and start adding this into your #boss routine: Giving yourself personal deadlines is a secret weapon for success. Plus, it can be applied to #momlife (big time!) imagine that annoying laundry basket and pledge to yourself: “I aim to fold all those clothes by the end of Sunday night!”. Yes, I literally tell myself this and yip, there I am folding clothes while watching Netflix on a Saturday night, because I told myself that I will have this done! Be sure to give this a try and let me know how it goes in the comments. 😊
6—Tick it off and mark completed tasks as Done – Yay!
This small process of ticking off your completed tasks, helps to break down your big tasks into smaller, manageable milestones. The moment you actually “tick” something off the list– oh yeah… well, that’s the good stuff, the feeling of achievement, accomplishment (hurray🎉). We all go about our days doing so much that sometimes it’s really easy to forget that just yesterday you made a really impressive sales pitch to a new client! That a week ago, you deliverable to your client in record time, well within the deadline, in turn helping them gain market share! That at home, your baby learned how to tie their shoelaces because of that little nursery rhyme that you taught them💓! It’s these small victories that make being a boss, mother and entrepreneur, well tough at times but totally rewarding! In these tricky times of social distancing and the constant coronavirus fear where it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the global crisis, why not list down your personal achievements in a diary? You can write lists like: “What made me HAPPY today!” or “What have I achieved this week?” and I bet you that it will bring you some satisfaction even if it is small, it is still nice, positive and heart-warming.
Give yourself this praise and know that you are doing an amazing job mama! You have to now homeschool your kids, handle (remote work stress), home stress, and it’s normal to feel like you are barely able to keep your head above water… FOCUS on the positive little moments mamabear!
Yes, I really do this and it keeps me positive. Sometimes when I just need to block the world out, I stop for a minute and reflect on these small accomplishments and write little notes in my planner. When I see the days ahead get daunting, and I start to feel anxious. It this time when I try to plan out the tasks that will lead me into to achieving great goals for my personal growth and career success, it’s these little positive moments that remind me, Hey! I’m doing OK! We’re all just trying our best.
7—No-one is perfect, just do your best
You know what stopped me from starting a Bullet Journal for years? I was too afraid that it was not going to be perfectly amazing with calligraphy and beautiful designs! Sounds familiar?
Are you one of those people who keep staring at a blank page just afraid to start something because you don’t want to make a mistake or start something that wasn’t “perfect”? OMG, I was like this…but then “life” hit me hard. I became a mother and I could not keep up with tracking newborn feeding, changing nappies, pooping times! Lol! It was so stressful! Everyone asking me what time I fed her, what time did I change her? Did she poop!? OMG so many poop questions LOL, I actually scribbled some random list in a special notebook that I was “saving” and that, for me, was the start of my very first bullet journal.
Closing thoughts, favorite products and some inspiration
So take this from me, the creative perfectionist, you don’t have to make it amazing and perfect like all those incredible Youtubers and Instagram influencers you follow. Let them rock it with their perfect calligraphic handwriting calligraphy and the gorgeous journals. Yours doesn’t need to be the same. It is a personal choice. Do what makes you happy and productive, even if it’s just scribbling.For example, I love to follow this Instagram feed by _coffeeandsarcasm_ for incredible BuJo inspiration. Mine, on the contrary, has messy handwriting, things crossed out and stickers stuck-on to cover-up mistakes! I am naturally a perfectionist in my work, like a lot of graphic designers out there are. But you know what, there is a time and a place to present your perfect work and for me that is my client work— everything I send to a client has to be my personal standard of top class, because I aim to please my clients) so they get to see my “perfectionist” side. My personal diary / BuJo on the other hand, are for my eyes only. It does not need to be perfect, it needs to be functional and should help me be a better #bossmama.
It’s really not the end of the world if you make a mistake, buy a cheap notebook as a test, and if you make a mistake, who cares!! Cross something out, change the info, get some pretty washi tape or cute little productivity boosting stickers (like you can look here to order my art via Sticker App.
Your bullet journal can be a masterpiece or it can be like mine, functional and literally there to help me get tasks done, but not necessarily perfect or pretty .
Don’t get me wrong, I love pretty. And sometimes I can’t help but think “Oh no, this page spread is ruined because I wrote the wrong thing here or it isn’t as pretty and perfect, let me tear the page out and start again. NO! Now, I quickly get over that. Now, my diary is practical, useful and my go-to planner for the week. I check back daily to see how I have managed to tick things off the list, helping me keep up my motivation and this I believe makes for being a great boss-mama.
COMMENT BELOW: What have you achieved during the quarantine and lockdown so far? I’ll start: I have achieved building and launching the #bossmama_mindset brand! YES! and even though it is only just the beginning and I barely have followers, I believe that I am fulfilling my purpose.
Thank you, for reading my top 7 TIPS to Organizing Your Week and being more productive as a #boss and #mama with a fresh, positive and motivated mindset!
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