I get a TON of work done everyday and I am SUPER committed to only doing what I love at least 90% of the time… here is how I how I live that wonderful life by NOT organizing my time!
- Why I Wrote This Post
- What A "Normal" Week Looks Like For Me
- What A "Normal" Work Day Looks Like For Me
- Let's Talk About Future Me
- Keeping Track of the Work That Is Already Done
- Only When Things Are Done, Not Planning To Do Things
- Reverse Time ManagementTM FAQs
- Reverse Time ManagementTM Wrapup
Why I Wrote This Post
I was just watching a video about how a gal batches her work. She had a Google spreadsheet and Trello boards with LOTS of different categories, tags and labels!
She was flipping back and forth, explaining how she had everything planned and scheduled out a month in advance and how she sat down every day to do precisely what she had planned.
And because I am organizing my office and craft room right now, I recognized that she sounded EXACTLY like the organization experts who show you how to put everything in boxes and give them labels.
That kind of structure just does not work for me on any level!
So in this post I am going to lay out how I get so much done and how I figured out how to get everything I need to get done, done!
What A “Normal” Week Looks Like For Me
I have a super structured weekly schedule because I am a Mom, Grandberry and an entrepreneur.
I think of my work week officially starting on Friday because that is the first full day of work available to me most weeks…
- Friday-Monday – Get most of my work done (a blog post a day, videos, etc.)
- Tuesday – Maybe a wee bit of work after I drop my Granddaughters off
- Wednesday – Newsletter Day! and visit my Mother In Law at the nursing home in the afternoon
- Thursday – Kinda like my “Monday”, get back into the work week and figure out what I am going to do starting my long time block
Now pesky things do happen ALL THE TIME! For example this Saturday we had a birthday party for my oldest Granddaughter so I lost a half a work day, and some weeks I “lose time” by having calls with my friends on Friday and Saturday mornings.
Oh, and often my kid needs to be picked up from some thing or other… I can't wait until he can drive himself around!
So while a blissful four days of work time would be nirvana, mostly my work has to fit in around all the normal duties of my life.
What A “Normal” Work Day Looks Like For Me
I am sure your “to do list” doesn't look anything like mine, but you might be able to appreciate the randomness of what I accomplish in a day shows up as!
- 6-6:30 Doom scroll on my phone in the bed
- 6:30-7:30 Shower, feed the dogs, put the dishes away from the night before and clean up any dishes my family made last night (how much are people supposed to eat in the middle of the night?!?!)
- 7:30 Start work
- Publish the blog post I had ready to go (thanks past me!), do the Pinterest scheduling (the pins were already made, thanks again past me) including keyword research and adding to boards
- Finish watching the end of the video I had playing while I was posting, clip fingernails while the last 7 minutes played (I fit in boring things when there are weird time openings)
- Remember I need one more video segment to finish a Youtube video… trot over to my craft room to film it, get the upload started
- Write this blog post because that video sparked an idea (it will be a draft ready for future me… she will be so happy!)
- 11:30 Have some lunch and play my phone game for 12 minutes while it warms up… break time!
- Download the video clip and get the video ready to go (take out screenshots for the blog post for future me)
- Start the blog post that video will be in, make some graphics but don't worry about the content… oh wait, might as well have ChatGPT transcribe it, put that in the draft blog post
- 3:30 Pick up my kid from a sleepover
- Now I am tired…. so I will make Pinterest pins for a couple of upcoming blog posts so future me will have a pleasant surprise!
- Download some graphics for a future freebie, super fun and the lowest energy task I have!
Totals for the day… 1 blog post complete, 2 future blog posts started, 1 video ready to go, 40 Pinterest pins made, 1 freebie started
Let's Talk About Future Me
I KNOW, it sounds like I am a responsible adult and that I just get everything done because of willpower for completing tasks or some such silly thing.
Nope… most of the time I am doing things that future me would be grateful for!
I have made “future me” an actual person in my mind that I like to do nice things for. She is so grateful when she finds out that she has less work to do that I am HAPPY to do little things for her that will make her life easier!
For example, doing screenshots of the video while I am recording it and am in “video mode” takes two seconds, but future me would have to stop what she is doing, find the video, take the screenshots and then get back to work.
I always try to figuratively “look around” when I am finishing a task and see if there is something else I can add on real quick to help future me out! It is how to break tasks down into the easiest doable part as I am working on the task at hand!
Keeping Track of the Work That Is Already Done
One thing that used to stop me from working ahead was that I had no idea what was already done and so it took more time to figure things out than to just start every day brand new like Groundhog day.
I have some great visual systems that I have developed to take care of this, maybe you can figure some out for your life too!
I use my calendar to do a bunch of the heavy lifting of my memory and executive functioning!
When I see AF Post (Artsy Fartsy Blog Post) I know that I have published and promoted a blog post. If I still had to promote it, it would say PROMOTE :: Blog post name.
While I try to get everything done at one time, mostly that is a pipe dream! I have to have a way to know what step I am in the process to be able to jump back in and do something when I have just a little bit of time or energy!
When I see DRAFT :: it means that there is a blog post draft in WordPress and I can just pop over there to see what all I still need to do finish it!
If I was super nice to myself at some point I will see that I did the keyword research for the Pinterest pins by checking the notes section!
I have another way of seeing what I have already done by adding letters to the file names.
Here are what the letters mean…
- X – the printable is ready but nothing else has happened
- P – the printable is ready and the Pinterest pins are done
- G – I downloaded the graphics but the printable isn't even started yet
By having these here I can easily see if I need to make more printables if I am feeling punky or if I am more down I can just make pins for something that is already done!
Only When Things Are Done, Not Planning To Do Things
Seeing all this, you might be wondering how this is different from the Trello and Google spreadsheet lady who was blathering on about labels and things!
Well, it is the exact opposite of what she is doing! She is planning her week out and giving herself tasks to do on certain days at certain times.
I am simply creating a record of what I ACTUALLY did!
Believe me, I have tried to schedule myself out before! I have made beautiful calendar entries noting what day I am going to do videos and when I am going to write blog posts and when I am going to schedule out Pinterest pins (those are the things I do the most!)
The problem with that is I am often not in the right head space to do whatever I told myself to do at that time…. sigh.
How would I know what I wanted to do on Thursday morning? What if I said I HAD to write blog posts but I didn't have a thought in my head? Should I just sit there procrastinating?
Instead I think about what I want to do all the time and just do that!
Reverse Time ManagementTM FAQs
I am sure you have a ton of questions about this amazing system… here are some answers!
Are You Some Kind Of “Organizing Expert”
I am NOT an organizing expert, just a gal committed to doing whatever the heck I want all day long! I spent so much time in the past listening to experts and failing that now I am committed to doing things backward… only recording what I actually did!
Do You Have To Use A Computer?
I am sure some of you are thinking, do you have to use a computer? I have a lovely printed planner that I like to use! I think you could totally do this with a “regular” planner. That said, I would probably do it in pencil or on sticky notes so you can move things around!
For example, it is the first part of the year so I will be publishing this post Tuesday to get it out during the New Years Resolution season and bumping the “start a landscaping business” out til next week.
Why Does This Work For ADHD?
I told my friend Tena D (who is an adult with ADHD) about this method of working and she said first that her main problem would be noting things that she had done… the nice thing is that even if you don't note it, SOMETHING still got done!
And second she said that this would solve the problem many people with ADHD have, which is that they don't want to be forced to do things. Well this is perfect for that! You get to do whatever you please, whenever you please! ADHD work tips have to be easy to work and this super easy!
What If You Are Not A “Finisher”
I think a big part of why this works so well is that I have lots of compassion for future me and what her state of mind will be when she gets a task that she HAS to finish that day.
Oftentimes I can get 90% of the work done for her and not have that finishing pressure on me so when I DO have to finish something it feels like it is a breeze rather than a chore!
Why Does This Cure Procrastination?
I only procrastinate when I feel like HAVE to do something that is going to be hard. With this system you are only doing things you like to do all day long!
If you feel like this won't work for you, maybe you aren't doing the right kind of work… we are entrepreneurs for goodness sake, we get to craft the EXACT business of our dreams!
That said, if you do find yourself still procrastinating, figure out how to outsource the parts you hate (maybe trade marketing services for accounting services with an organized friend).
How Does This Help With Mental Health?
I have chronic depression (I take medicine to help) and so I have low times and high times. When I am in a depressive state I may only be able to do the very easiest and fun things for weeks at a time.
What happens when I come out of it is that I have done something during that time AND I can have compassion for past me because even though she was not at top speed, she still helped move the ball forward a tiny bit!
What About Important Tasks That You HAVE To Do?
Like you I have some things I HAVE to do… taxes I am looking at you! So if I HAVE to get my taxes ready to go I (of course) wait until the day before I need them and then sit down and get them done.
It is not about not doing important things, instead it is about prioritizing tasks that I like to do in the small amounts of time that I have available!
Reverse Time ManagementTM Wrapup
I didn't really understand why this worked for me when so many time management strategies had failed before. I just knew that I was getting a TON of work done and it didn't feel so overwhelming all the time!
If you can't imagine doing this for your whole business life, just pick one day a week and give yourself permission to do whatever the heck you want all day long.
See what sparks joy in you for specific tasks and make a note of that. Then when you are procrastinating with your “real” work, give yourself permission to do the joyful work for an hour or two and then get back into the grind!
If you have any questions about this system, send me an email ([email protected]) and maybe I can help!
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