Archive for Mind Clutter

Overcoming Procrastination Roadblocks

If you’ve identified yourself as a person who procrastinates it’s time to overcome your personal roadblocks and stop the excuses. There is a saying that failing to plan is planning to fail. And it is very true.

Whether you believe that statement or not it doesn’t really matter, if you don’t plan for success based on your own personality and way of doing things, you can’t succeed. If you cannot accept your part in being a disorganized procrastinator, you’ll be stuck forever.

Sometimes disorganization or procrastination is situational. In severe cases it’s chronic.

Whether you’re chronically disorganized or situationally disorganized, the fix is the same. Develop a plan, and then follow it.

Ironically, doing this will rid you of both disorganization and procrastination, which just seem to feed off each other.

Fixing Bad Habits and Creating New Good Ones

The best way to fix a bad habit is to replace it with a good habit. But first, you need to identify the bad habits that you want to change.

Write a list either on paper or in Evernote or Word on your computer, whatever works best for you. Next put them in order of smallest problem to biggest issues.

Start with one of the small habits first, to get that taste of victory.  Small successes help us stay motivated. The “bigger” habits may take more than one try to get under control, but get started.

I use this system in my crafting life.  I love to cross stitch and I love to start huge projects, but then I feel bad for all those other projects that I have tossed aside, so I will pull out a quick project that I can finish in 1 day and then I can go back to enjoying the big monster project.  You can do the same with your bad habits.

Compartmentalize the Habit

Try to find out when you commit an offense and take action in the moment.  For instance, if you check your email multiple times each day, that may be a bad, time sucking habit.  Would you more efficient to check your email at the start and end of your day?  That’s right; don’t just think you can quit cold turkey, designate specific times when you will deal with the behavior. Set a reminder in your phone to check your email at the designated times, and then check, and then get back to your more productive work.

I would say that most of us, should strongly consider the same system for dealing with social media.  We all know that social media can be a real time sucker.  You go in to make a post and 2 hours later you’re watching another cat video.  Set a timer for no more than 30 minutes and stick to it.  You can always come back to social media after you have completed the real items on your to-do list.

Let me know if I can help you with your procrastination roadblocks in the comments below or by using the contact form.

Brainstorm to DeClutter Your Brain

Want to know what’s really holding you back from reaching your business goals?

CLUTTER!

But, I’m not talking just about those piles of paper on your desk or stacks of business cards you have been collecting – although these are problems too.  In this case, though, we’re talking about the clutter in your head.  You know that endless list of things that scrolls through your brain constantly, that distracts you whenever you sit down and try to focus.

This is the clutter that’s holding you back, and truthfully, we all have this problem.  And now the Good News – it’s easier to clean up the clutter in our brains than it is to clean up those piles of paper or that stack of business cards.  To accomplish this amazing feat we are going to Brainstorm and get it all out in the light of day.

Here we go:

  1. Set aside at least 1 hour of time.  Quiet, uninterrupted time.  No distractions – internal or external.  No possible interuptions from the kids, the phone, the computer – nothing.
  2. Now choose your brainstorming tool of choice – but not a mind map here – we want a nice linear process first.  I like color and love Post-it Notes, they are bright and easy to move around as I change my mind :).  You can use Evernote, a spiral notebook, index cards and make sure if you are writing you have plenty of pens and/or pencils (No getting up once you commit).
  3. Now start writing.  Write down everything that’s on your mind.  Ideas for your business.  Tasks that need completing.  This is your to-do list on steroids.  No task is to big or too small, but don’t get too caught up in the details.  An example, if you need to write blog posts, instead of listing every topic you want to cover, write down “Create Blog Posting Calendar/Schedule” then you can brainstorm topic ideas at a better time, when you can actually act upon them.
  4. Categorize to Organize.  Now you have all this stuff written down, now we have to make sense of it all.  This can be the hardest part.  Organize tasks by project, then prioritize their importance.  Now my projects may not look anything like your projects, but they all have steps and some steps have to be done in a certain order, others don’t.  You know your business better than anyone else, be logical and fill in any blanks that may be missing as you go along.
  5. Now you need a system to keep these tasks on track.  You need to set deadlines and add them to a calendar system with reminders and alerts, or a project management software system if you are working with other team members.  Now you have to use the system you choose.  I used to love day planners, I would buy them and fill them all in and never use, they didn’t fit my lifestyle.  The system itself is only useful if you use it.  Day Planners were a great product, just not for my needs at the time.  If you find you aren’t using the system you set up – try a different system – this is the most important step – the follow through.

Now you may find that you get bogged down again in the future, so you can just repeat this brainstorming process.  I would even recommend schueduling a brainstroming session at least every 3 months, to keep you on track.

I would love to hear what you discover in your own brainstorming session in the comments below.