I LOVE reading books on organizing and productivity! Since I work mainly from home, it is super tempting to procrastinate or get distracted (Pintrest is my vice). This book is written by Claire Diaz-Oritz, who was an early employee of Twitter. I love the way this book was set up with a purpose, as opposed to just diving in with tips. Part one is based on deciding your goals, and the second part is based on organizing. I found I truly enjoyed this book, the length was perfect, the advice was really unique as well. Unique advice is sometimes hard to come by these days! Let’s dive into it:
This focuses on generating a word of the year for yourself, and how you want this word to represent yourself this year. This word is meant to be your guidance for your year, and to be a reference point for you to use throughout the year. I implemented this in my planner, and I chose the word “expansion.”
I selected this word because I really would love to see growth with my business, blog and social media. I felt expansion was also appropriate in a spiritual sense, to expand my chakra’s more, and to expand my knowledge of various interests I have, like taking a cake decorating class in the future!
She also offers a point of flexibility, that if you have lots of things you wish to accomplish, you can choose a word of for a season! She introduces that goals should be “SMART” and by this she means Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant and Timely. You can use this framework for various categories of your life, such as goals you want academically or spiritually.
Using a word of the year really helped me narrow down to specific goals, and her SMART system also is so helpful for using as a guide for goal making. That is something I have always struggled with, is finding a guide that can be a go-to tool to use with all goals.
I have always used timelines for goals, and usually give myself a due date for projects and things of that nature. However, she urges that it is beneficial to break it down and do something daily for that goal, and make sure you have a viable action plan. I feel action plans are very unique to each person, I find myself using Google Spreadsheets that way I always have access to it and can quickly edit and make changes.
Organize, she divides organizing into four parts:
- Limit your work to you best 20%: This was so amazing for me since I was dragging my days out and not reach full levels of productivity, and she offers a study that 80/20 rule/ 80% of our work is accomplished in 20% of our time. Also, I for one know I can waste 80% of my time. So to be running on all cylinders, focusing on that 20% will bring results.Something that helped me with this was using an internet blocker and setting a timer so I wouldn’t get distracted. I use the SelfControl App, which I will list below.
- Edit the time you spend on work: She suggests to focus on tracking your time, and offers a few tools on how to do this including: RescueTime, Moment (an app),Coach.me (an app). Once you complete this, it is time to maintain strict hours for yourself.
- Streamline: This focuses on being a morning person (the hardest thing for me) and developing a morning routine. I found my mornings to be very erratic, so I have worked on streamlining. Another part of this is batching the work that you do, and we close 40% of our time bouncing around different tasks in an attempt to multitask. I always would bounce around hour by hour with what I was doing, and to me, it felt productive but it also stressed me out. This batching method REALLY helped me, and has cut down my stress levels. I just batch certain things together, like doing readings for clients in a certain time-frame instead of spaced out and that has helped me stay focused.
- Stop working: Taking breaks! This is so helpful! This was about taking breaks, taking vacations and digital detoxes. I have definitely been doing this more. It’s so cold right now but I still make myself get up and go outside and walk around for a little bit. It’s cold but energizing! As far as taking vacations, batching my work has given me more time for self-care, so I consider that more of a stay-cation. The work I do can be draining at times, so for me to perform at my best for my clients it is really important for that self-care aspect to be taken care of. But I think this is important whether or not you engage in a spiritual-based business. In terms of digital detox, this is so important. We all get caught up in Facebook, Instagram, etc etc. It’s great to disconnect and I feel this helps you spiritually and emotionally. For me, I try to limit the use of technology after 9pm, and I have found my sleep patterns have improved so much!
Overall, this book offers really wonderful strategies to design your goals, design your day, and is backed up by studies to highlight the value of her suggestions. She also writes in a really personable way, that is super easy to connect with! If you are struggling with goals, or just enjoy books on this topic, it is totally worth it!
Design your Day: http://amzn.to/2jRZemW