Do You Own your Life or Does your Life Own You?
Some mornings on my way to work, I’ll spend time listening to the radio or even singing without the music (It’s amazing - I sound much better with the brakes of a diesel truck screeching next to me). However, most of the time, I consider my upcoming day. What does my calendar look like? Where are my priorities? Which conference room needs to be set up for which meeting? Did I make lunch reservations or order in? Accounts payable? Emails? Recruiting projects? The list goes on… In that window every morning, I dedicate that time to finding peace and organizing my thoughts.
According to Rashelle Isip, founder of The Order Expert (an organization centered on time management and productivity),the first step to organizing your thoughts is to collect them: “Putting all your thoughts into one space looks like writing them down, whether it be paper, phone or computer screen.”
Here are a couple of tips that Isip encourages practicing:
- Get Practical -
Sticky notes on a wall: Write one thought per note, sort notes into groups.
Index cards: Put your main thought above the red line, then below it, list out related thoughts.
Develop a list: List all your thoughts for the moment - one thought per line, go back and sort.
- Get Creative -
Handwrite a letter: Avoid using cell phone notes or a computer - just plain paper and pen. Pretend you are writing to a friend and let it all out. Take as much time as you need.
Make a collage: See your thoughts and ideas through images using magazines, newspapers, glue, poster boards or paper, etc.
Make a timeline: Organize your thoughts on a timeline or calendar to give you perspectives. The idea is to organize your thoughts by what comes first, what comes second, etc.
- Get Thoughtful -
Turn your brain off: (I know… I know… Is this really possible?!) Let your mind work on something without thinking. Tidy your desk, do easy filing, put business cards in a spreadsheet. Allow your mind to sort things out as you work.
Sit quietly and meditate: Calm the mind and body.
- Get Physical –
Get moving!: Get your heart pumping! Exercising will give your mind a change of pace. Give your mind a break and allow your subconscious to work on your puzzle in the background.
Talk it out: Talk it over with a friend to help get some things off your chest and out of your head. A friend may even help you identify patterns you may be missing and help to clarify and reinforce what you may be thinking.
There are o.bviously thousands of ways to get organized, maintain a clear head, and check off your list. We do these things without realizing every day. But the point to take home today is that when we do things consciously and deliberately, we begin to play offense instead of defense. We begin to actively start things, instead of constantly trying to catch up or sloppily finish things. We feel better. And more than anything else, we remind our life who is the real master in this relationship. Takes these ideas seriously and start to watch your world change around you.