Stuck in a rut? Can’t seem to focus or get productive? Or do you have so much to do you don’t know where to start – so you don’t start. Do any of these scenarios sound familiar?
Let’s get back to basics: Process. Checklists, plans and templates are what you build when you want to organize your thoughts and your time to be sure you focus your attention on your high value actions. I focus on these tools because many people have no structure to the way they work; they live and work daily in a state of chaos; in reaction mode. This causes everyone to work longer and at much higher stress levels than necessary. Tools such as plans, templates and processes allow you the freedom to logically get work done and to have time to look ahead and enjoy the ride.
Here’s an easy way to build a process to form some structure for your work:
- You must have at least an idea as to what you need to accomplish. Write it down in as few words as possible.
- Start brainstorming all the things you need to do to accomplish your goal.
- Put the tasks in a logical order making sure each action is truly necessary.
- If the tasks are complex you may want to take an extra step and make note of the things you have to do to accomplish each task.
That’s it! Building a process really is that easy. The magic happens when you build a process into your schedule: does this process have to be repeated daily, weekly, or monthly? Make time for it. Remember, even though you’ve built a process, it can – and likely will – change. That’s okay. New information comes to light and hurdles are put in the way. Don’t let speed bumps sabotage your whole structure. Being sure of what needs to be done 70% of the time is better than feeling like you’re always fighting fires.
Even the most creative people need at least some structure and direction to accomplish their goals; it doesn’t have to be complicated.