You saw in my previous blog (Discipline #1 – The Capture Habit), how a simple process can dramatically decrease stress and overwhelm, and how almost by magic you can stop letting things slip through the cracks…
But there’s a step that absolutely needs to happen after you Capture … Discipline #2 – Organize.
Your brain needs to know, without a doubt, that what you’ve Captured will be slotted into the right place, so you can access it when you want it.
If you only Capture, you’ll just have an overwhelming list of random items. This will not help. You need a reliable place to put these items, organized into “areas” -- folders, drawers, buckets to secure the ideas you've Captured.
When you have your areas defined, you can easily take all your Captured items and slot them into the right place. Then you'll know exactly where to find things, and where to go when it’s time to work on a project.
Your areas in life or business will be unique to you. You can choose to focus on whatever areas you want, but here are a few simple examples:
- Personal: health, family, finances, hobbies.
- Business: members, team, sales/marketing, admin/finance.
Let’s suppose you've created the above areas. Now, when you're going about your day, you might capture items like the ones below. (The parentheses show how they're captured):
- Your significant other asks you to order something online. (Buy XX on Amazon)
- A coach, ZZ, texts you that he won’t be able to coach for 1 week next month because of a family trip. (ZZ Coach traveling Date-Date, talk about in team meeting)
- You see a conference coming up on something you love doing, and decide you’d like to go. (Go to YY conference in Jan)
- You get an email about a member who wants to come back. (Email back member VV about restarting membership) + (Text Admin Person MM to set up VV account in CRM system)
- You see on your calendar that in 1 week it’s your Mom’s birthday and you’d like to send her flowers. (Send Mom bday flowers)
- You get an email from your bookkeeper about reviewing last month's finances in QuickBooks. (Review last month QuickBooks)
- You have a gym event coming up, and you want to approve the t-shirt designs. (Approve t-shirt designs for QQ event)
- Mortgage interest rates have dropped, and you want to refinance your house. (Schedule call w mortgage broker)
- You want to launch a new set of ads for the business. (Launch new gym ads)
- You haven’t been sleeping well, and noticed that you’ve gained a few pounds of fat … so you decide to start dialing things in. (Dial in nutrition & training)
In your INBOX (the place you put captured items), you’d then have a list of items that look like this:
- Buy XX on Amazon
- ZZ Coach traveling Date-Date, talk about in team meeting
- Go to YY conference in Jan
- Email back member VV about restarting membership
- Text Admin Person MM to set up VV account in CRM system
- Send Mom bday flowers
- Review last month quickbooks
- Approve t-shirt designs for QQ event
- Schedule call w mortgage broker
- Launch new gym ads
- Dial in nutrition & training
So ... now what do you DO with this stuff? You put everything where it needs to go, in the right areas -- file/folder/bucket.
When you organize, always ask, “What needs to happen with this?”
For items that can be done in a short time, 5 or 10 minutes, consider batching them in a "QUICK LIST".
If the item is big, and not a single or simple action -- like “Launch new ads” -- you would delay looking at it until your Week Plan -- which is Discipline #3 - PLAN (the topic of the next blog).
But for now, let’s Organize these items, so they're more manageable:
*Buy XX on Amazon → Family (also QUICK)
*Schedule call w mortgage broker → Finance (also QUICK)
*Go to YY conference in Jan (this item is bigger, so it might become a project) → Hobbies → New Project: Jan YY Conference
*Send Mom bday flowers → Family (also QUICK)
*Dial in nutrition & training (this item is bigger, so it might become a project) → Health → New Project: Hit --% bodyfat
*ZZ Coach traveling Date-Date, talk about in team meeting → Team
*Email back member VV about restarting membership → Sales & Marketing (also QUICK)
*Text Admin Person MM to set up VV account in CRM system → Admin/finance (also QUICK)
*Review last month quickbooks → Admin/Finance
*Approve t-shirt designs for QQ event → Members (also QUICK)
*Launch new gym ads (this is a bigger item, so it might become a project) → Sales & Marketing → New Project: Launch new ads
Quick Items (these are taken from the areas above, so the items can be batched at once)
*Buy XX on Amazon (8 min)
*Schedule call w mortgage broker (5 min)
*Send Mom bday flowers (10 min)
*Email back member VV about restarting membership (5 min)
*Text Admin Person MM to set up VV account in CRM system (3 min)
*Approve t-shirt designs for QQ event (10 min)
Total Quick Item time: 41 minutes
You could schedule your QUICK Items for the following day, in a 45 minute block. You'll be done in less than an hour, closing a bunch of loops from different areas of your life. Without a system, this would take much more time -- if it got done at all.
But for important items that can’t be delayed, do them today. We’ll discuss the remaining items in the next blog.
Organizing should generally happen twice a day -- morning and afternoon/evening, when you start and end your day. A bit of time spent up front will save many hours and headaches, later. The ORGANIZE process is a discipline. You must do it every day or your Capture list will grow too large, and become daunting and overwhelming. Some things must be done every day: shower, brush your teeth, give your children hugs -- organize.
Throughout your day, and your night, Capture items that come to mind. This teaches your brain that you will not only look at items, but you will also Organize them into the right place, so you can find them when you need them.
Together these disciplines, of CAPTURE and ORGANIZE, lay an unbreakable foundation of security -- the cure for stress and overwhelm.
In the Next Blog we'll go over Part 1 of Discipline #3: Planning - Plan your Day.