Okay, the workspace is all set up and now it’s time to get down to the real business of starting the business. But what do you do when the days start getting warm and sunny and suddenly your friends are calling you to get together? Or you have more projects than you can handle and you’re having trouble prioritizing? Or maybe you’re finding that you’re just not getting as much done on a daily basis as you would hope.
That’s when you need to pay attention to your daily rhythms. Maybe you notice that staying up late to get things done is burning you out after a while, or that getting up earlier in the morning helps you take care of things that you normally couldn’t.
It’s all about paying attention to what does and does not work for you so you can learn from your mistakes and find a way to set yourself up for success.
Every Sunday night, I write out a list of things I need to get done that week. Then I pick things from the list and fill them out in my planner before each day so that when I wake up I have a clear mission, and I won’t forget about what I’m supposed to be doing. I cross things out as I finish each task, and at the end of the week I highlight all of the things I didn’t cross off and consider them when I make my list for the next week.
Often I will find that it will be the same things that aren’t crossed off the list throughout the week – for me it was little things that I somehow got out of the habit of doing like reading before I went to bed, or there will be situations where I simply did not have enough time to get to something that had been a big priority. That’s when I need to think about what caused that situation and re-evaluate.
It could be as simple as choosing a different order of doing things or making things you don’t enjoy doing a little more pleasant.
For instance, I put on music while I do dishes to make sure that they get done before the end of every day and I’ve actually started to look forward to having those few minutes to myself now. I’ve also found that working for one-hour or half-hour blocks of time and predetermining breaks to work on something in between helps me work on big projects for longer periods of time without getting stressed out – and I end up getting a few other things done in the process! As each week goes by, you may just find that things are rolling along a lot more smoothly just by taking those few extra minutes to evaluate your schedule each week.
I know it might seem kind of tedious to methodically organize your life like this if you’re not used to it (and there will definitely be those days that you’ll just want to ditch the list and live your life), but the more you’re able to form better habits, the easier and more natural it will be for you to be as productive as you need to be to make major strides toward your goals. You’re never going to have a perfectly designed life, but you can try to anticipate and avoid the pitfalls that hold you back by attempting to become fully aware of how they’re caused.