Look around your work space right now. Is it clean with inviting horizontal work spaces? Or are there piles of mail, magazines, and to-do reminders stacked up on all your available surfaces?
If the later is your reality, you MUST make time to eradicate the clutter. Clutter is only a project not completed. When your mind sees all this clutter it starts trying to “solve” all these problems at once. This causes serious ADD – you’ll start multi-tasking like crazy and at the end of the day what did you actually cross off the list? Anything? Were you even working on what you needed to be working on or did you just stumble in and start racing around putting out fires?
I LOVE David Allen’s GTD (Getting Things Done) system to processing all the incoming information and keeping the deck clear. Here’s the concept in a few paragraphs:
1) Pick each item up and ask yourself – What is this? Is it reference material I need to file away? Is an action required? Do I WANT to take that action? If you need to do something with it, and it will take less than 5 minutes to do that action, do it now. If it will take longer, file into a folder called “Next Actions”. If you’re not sure you want to take action on it, but don’t want to trash it, put it in a “Someday Maybe” folder. Move through your piles.
2) As you are going through your piles you might find you are also remembering things you need to do at the same time. Have a blank sheet of paper out and just “brain dump” all the things that come to mind onto the paper. You’ll process that last.
Depending on how deeply you are disorganized this process could take a few hours or a few days. BELIEVE ME it is necessary if you want to create momentum and start achieving MASSIVE goals. It took me several years to make this all a habit, but as I got better at maintaining my file systems (I use both digital and paper) I found I was able to concentrate on one project at a time and get it completed before moving on to another project. It feels sooo good to do this!
Finally the lynch pin of the process is to do a “weekly review” this is where you go through your next actions files as well as your someday maybe files. You’ll look over what you need to get done and assign tasks to each of the upcoming days. In the someday maybe file you will flip through to see if anything has changed in status. Maybe now you’re ready to plan that trip to Brazil, and it needs to go into the Next Actions file. That flier to purchase the new suite of enterprise software no longer interests you and you can pitch the flier.
When we don’t complete projects all the way, putting things back in their place; our brain tries to process everything it sees when you walk into the room. Literally slowing down your momentum.
Now that you are able to give your mind and eyes clean horizontal spaces to look at. Subconsciously you will start planning great things!
Your mind is designed to have ideas, not hold them – David Allen.
You will be amazed the new and creative ideas that come to you when you are no longer burdened to work within hundreds of to-do notes, and papers. You will know you are working on what needs to be worked on, not worrying about weather or not you forgot to do something. This is momentum.
Harness the momentum
Now that the deck is clear, your email inbox is empty, lets harness that power and roll through a big project. You should feel energized just looking at your newly created space. You are so amazing! Give yourself a pat on the back for getting to this point! Celebrate, you took the first step towards a new you.
Momentum is mass in motion, and it only applies to something already in motion. We too, are able to harness the power of momentum and tackle a big project that you have been dreading. Take out a clean pad of paper and start to plot out what needs to happen for that project to go from idea to reality. Open that textbook and start studying, or start drawing out what you want your life to look like in 10 years.
What is the first step in that project? Schedule, call on it, or just DO IT!! Happy planning!
What projects are you working on? Need an accountability partner? Sign up on my facebook page to get in a group to help you stay on track and encourage you!!
I used to think that it was just dreaming to think I could sit down and stay focused on a single task or project for several hours. I even told myself that I have ADD, and I couldn’t expect to achieve this kind of productivity or focus. I was wrong, I’m so glad I realized that the myth of multi-tasking is just that – a myth.