Is running your business a juggling act? Was your plan to start keeping track of your time better this year? If it was, you aren’t alone. Sadly thoughts & ideas hardly ever eventuate until you put them on paper.
One of the most challenging things you’ll learn in business is also one of the most difficult things you’ll learn in life – how to juggle it all. Whether you’re a full-time entrepreneur, a mum juggling a business & kids, or working for the man while growing your business on the side, there will always be more ‘to do’ each day than there is time to do it. Always! That doesn’t mean we don’t try to or that we aren’t getting things done, in fact it’s usually much the opposite. If you are like a lot of entrepreneurs and business-minded women you’re getting a lot done … but there’s always more! Most of us have a never ending to-do list.
We end up frazzled!
Getting things done.
Keeping on track.
They’re the hardest nuts to crack, don’t you think?
The good news is that humans have always been busy. It’s nothing new. Mark Twain once said that one should: “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day”. While I don’t think it’s necessary to go quite to that extreme, prioritizing is definitely important. By jotting down items that need to be done versus the ones that ‘it would be nice to complete’ you’ll find you get more of the important things done. (And who doesn’t want that?)
What Method Works for You?
Between life and work, our to-do lists alone can stretch on forever. Virtual reminders and lists seem to be an ever-present reminder that possibilities, as well as things we must do, can be infinite. You might even utilise multiple methods to keep your thoughts and schedule straight. Between productivity and scheduling solutions like Asana, Trello, Google Calendar, Notes & Keep (that list goes on too!) you may have your tasks spread out across a variety of platforms.
I know a writer (we’ll call her Sarah) who at any given time is juggling multiple deadlines for herself, the websites she writes for, and her copy-writing clients. Sarah used to have different online solutions co-ordinated with each client. Now she has switched back to using paper to-do lists and planners. She found that , on top of managing the different accounts, those digital to-do lists managing of all her deadlines got too overwhelming. That is when she discovered bullet journaling. Now she finds it is much more manageable for her to knock off bullet journal pages of bulleted points for each publishing outlet or client project.
#TOP TIP: If you find that you have too much going on, categorise your to-dos and focus on one area at a time.
Of course that’s easy to say, but when you have a lot to do is that it’s easy to fold under the pressure. (This is true even once you’ve categorised all the things on your plate.) You might be at the point where just switching to a different method of managing your time sounds overwhelming. (Especially if you’re converting from something like Trello or Asana and have become accustomed to all the bells and whistles.) That’s also because when you already feel overwhelmed it’s difficult to get anything started. We’ve all been there. You have that moment where you’re sitting and staring at the full page of things you need to complete, and looking at everything all at once can make it impossible to determine where to begin. You don’t know what’s important, because there’s JUST. SO. MUCH.
That’s why I like bullet journaling. Bullet journaling is a systematic approach combining wish lists, to do list, planning and priorities into a fully personalized list, journal, plan.
The downside is that you have to set up the framework – yep, that takes time (which you don’t have) so I’ve done the hard work for you in a downloadable pdf file which you can print as needed. I’ve taken everything back to the bare-bone origins of the bullet journal. I wanted to strip bullet journaling down to the skeleton so you can make it your own. You won’t find any haughty quotes here. You won’t find illustrations to distract from the real priority – the stuff you’re trying to accomplish. If you need your planner to be pretty you’re free to customize it using colour, doodles, post it notes – whatever makes sense for you.