From the desk of Karen Lombardo, Owner Put Another Way, LLC.
Every December, I take some time to review the year. Not for my accountant or my attorney, but for me. What did I accomplish, and what was left still sitting unattended?
Well, 2020 was what it was, and it is behind us. We have all experienced things we never thought we would, and the sense of loss and sadness permeated our lives in ways we did not know were possible. But there was also success, camaraderie, community, and hope.
In 2020, I started a new business, My Little Love Note. The My Little Love Note’s purpose is to capture someone’s (romantic) feelings and express them in their own words and voice. Now I have two businesses to run, and managing them takes diligence and organization. Allow me to share some thoughts I have had about cleaning up and organizing my new-found work life.
5 Things You Can Do to Clean Up and Organize Your Work Life:
Purchase and use a planner.
Yes, “a” planner, no more post-it-notes on your computer, discard those scraps of paper lying around. Get a planner. Google it; there are loads of them. I understand the technology that we all crave and view as the Holy Grail of increased productivity and organization. I, too, use my Outlook Calendar and iPhone to alert me about key appointments, when it is time to drink water or to get ready for a kickboxing class. I also use a paper planner to track goals, my key to-do’s, and to revel in the joy of checking the box off as I complete a task. Try it.
Streamline your day.
You have your new planner. Now, what do you do? Look at your day, just today. Where can you adjust your activities to increase productivity? Do you block time to do this first thing in the morning? I look at my events for the day and where I may need extra time. I hold that time. It is okay to be selfish in this respect. Your clients, employees, and family will be the beneficiaries of your actions.
Schedule time wisely.
You have the planner. You have streamlined your day. Now we turn to schedule time. Using a calendar app such as Calendly has helped me tremendously in scheduling time. I offer time slots to clients and prospects in blocks of time that I know will be productive to both of us. Using a service like this also permits you to make available time when you determine it will work best in your workflow.
Mid-day review AKA wait a minute Mr. Postman.
I drink an absurd amount of coffee every day. I love coffee, and I taper off about mid-day. That signals me to stop and wait a minute. What have I accomplished today? How many times have I hit snooze, and what evil lurks ahead. Perform a quick gut-check and answer these questions. If necessary, reschedule events and appointments due in the afternoon to complete the morning tasks. It is a balancing act- you can do it.
Unsubscribe from unnecessary emails.
Time is valuable in the workday and taking even 5 minutes to scroll through and swipe delete on unwanted emails is a waste of time. Unsubscribe from emails that you often delete unread. Why keep them? Seeing the email display telling you that you have 107 emails is stressful and triggers us to distraction if we do not look at those unread emails. So, don’t wait any longer. Go ahead and unsubscribe. Move to junk. Block unwanted senders. Now you know that your email inbox is a little more relevant than it was yesterday.
Enjoy something for yourself.
You have taken care of your clients and employees. Do something for yourself. Go for a 15-minute walk, or sit someplace away from your desk and have lunch. Read a chapter in your favorite book. An organized and content person has a better shot at success every day better than flying by the seat of your pants. Please understand me. This pandemic has sent my peers and me flying quite a few times. I check in with my support squad, and I’m on the way back to being on track.
Tap into those that support you.
Do you have a squad? If not, start one. It is a fact that peer support can enhance focus and productivity when there is a network to assist you during challenging times. Well, I say it is a fact; I would not have made it through 2020 without them. Don’t know how to start a squad? Email me, and I will be your first member.
Happy New Year. Let’s do this.
Karen Lombardo is the founder of Put Another Way LLC in Schenectady, NY. Karen has been designing websites and delivering copywriting services for more than a decade. The company culture is relaxed, our office mate is an old Pug named Izzy, and our philosophy is to listen first, create later.