Don’t Create with Your Mind Full
This is one of the biggest needs I see among today’s business-women—how to keep track of everything while giving attention to what matters most. So let’s dive deeper …
First you need a digital to-do list so you can “never leave home without it” and so you’ll be able to share it with your assistant. (My paper planner is for journaling and inspiration.) If you don’t already have one, my middle-of-the-road recommendation is Toodledo.
Use the quick setup guide below to streamline your tool configuration!
Energy Context Keeps You Engaged
Traditional time management systems use “context” to mean where you’re sitting. Group all your computer-related tasks. Group all your phone-related tasks. But some phone calls are mundane, and some require you to have all your wits about you! (And practically everything happens at the computer.)
This is one of the key features of Purposetivity. We collect tasks together by the quality of engagement or the kind of energy they require! Then when you’re in a creative mood, you can see at a glance which activities are aligned and most on purpose. Or when you’re whipped at the end of the day, you can see if there’s one more mindless thing you can have off the plate before tomorrow.
The energy levels I use are:
- Active: Physical. Cleaning, moving, exercise, yard
- Calm: Quiet. Contemplation, difficult conversations, catching up on audios
- Clarity: Mental (left brain). Details, precision, education
- Connecting: Heart. Welcoming, receptive
- Creative: All of me. Writing, inventing, designing
- Mindless: None. Insurance calls, making appointment
Invent or adapt as it suits YOU!
Dump in Everything You Can Find
You may be able to export from tools you currently use and import to your new tool, especially if you are moving from desktop to cloud. This really helps when you have separate lists on your computer and in an app on your phone.
OK, your next step is to do a full brain dump into the tasks. As you do this, make sure at least the immediate things are marked as priority 1. In the future, prioritize and categorize as you go. You’ll thank yourself!
Day 1: Every scrap of paper and napkin you have actionable tasks written on.
Day 2: Go through each project area and see if any other activities come to the surface. Is it complete?
Day 3: Look around your office and note what you’ve been meaning to get done.
Day 4: Walk around your house with a notepad.Consider each member of your family and close friends. What have you been meaning to take care of?
Day 5: What are the repeated tasks you do every week? Every month? By season (for example, winterizing)? Add those in and use the tool’s repeat function if it has one.
Ideas that are not actionable can go in Evernote. These would be things like “wish list” or “gift ideas.”
Now You Can Stop Rotating Through Them in Your Mind!
Just because all your tasks are now in the computer doesn’t mean they’re getting done! Those scraps of paper on your desk (and everywhere else) reminded you to do stuff when you saw them. To make your automated process work, YOU have to go look at your to-do list.
Ready for the configuration instructions?