In addition to writing resumes, one of the things I’m very good at is helping clients (and friends) get organized.
In this climate of self-isolation, on top of working from home while caring for kids on March Break and trying to simply deal with the current state of Life As We Know It (for now), it might feel like staying on top of even the simplest tasks has become too much.
Or it may very well be that you simply don’t know where to start. As the reality of the situation sets in, and more of life’s “things” are being added to an already full plate, people are experiencing what I call “productivity paralysis”—AKA The Overwhelm.
I’m not immune to this, either. When my anxiety mounts I can feel myself shutting down—to the point where it feels easier to just ignore everything than tackle the tasks at-hand.
Luckily for me (and for you), when things start to feel out of control, I’ve come up with an easy method of clearing through the clutter and getting sh*t done.
I dubbed it the GUIDE system, and it’s been a huge lifesaver when I start falling off the organizational wagon (like right now).
Simply sign up & download. Easy peasy!
Now, as any productivity expert will tell you, the key to getting things done is breaking a goal or task into smaller, manageable parts. And using my GUIDE can help you do it.
For example, if your goal is to get through the pile of writing on your desk, for example, you’ve got to attack each piece strategically. So your breakdown might look something like this:
First, set a GOAL
Knowing your target will help keep you focused.
I’ve got to get started on (and finish) writing four articles.
Determine which elements are URGENT and which are IMPORTANT
Whatever’s urgent needs to be tackled first. It’s a no-brainer. Anything else that follows should be completed in order from greatest to least importance.
One article due by 2pm (urgent). It’s 9:32 am. I can cut back lunch by half and hour to meet the deadline. The other two are smaller service articles due (important), and I can knock them out once I get this big piece out of the way. This last article isn’t needed until Friday (less important).
DELEGATE to make things flow faster
If you can call in reinforcements, then do. Getting help serves to lessen anxiety and lighten a load. If you can’t get back up, then you might have to repeat the steps above a few times until you’ve got breathing room.
Oh, shoot. I have a supplementary interview scheduled for that first article. Erin said she can help out if I’m pressed for time. I’ve got my questions ready. I’ll ask her to do the interview for me.
Set your END time or date
If you’re procrastinator like me, sometimes actionable steps simply aren’t enough. Establishing a firm, drop-dead date often helps me move things along to completion.
My editor said she needs #2 and #3 by 8PM, so I’ll need to work this evening to get these finished.
Still need a push? Use The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins. “When you feel yourself hesitate before doing something that you know you should do, count 5-4-3-2-1-GO and move towards action. There is a window that exists between the moment you have an instinct to change and your mind killing it. It’s a 5-second window.”
I should also note that the key to productivity success is preparation, so before you get down to brass tacks, you’ll also have to consider what your needs are beforehand.
If it’s purging a closet, you’re going to need garbage bags and storage bins. If it’s writing your articles, your notes and supplementary sources (photos, names, data) should all be ready.
And Bang! There you have it. Sometimes a little bit of prep and a written GUIDE can help take you from cluttered to completion in a few easy steps.
Want to put the GUIDE to work for yourself? Awesome. I’ve got it for download right here, including step-by-step instructions on how to use it. Simply sign up and it’s yours! I’m excited for you to try it. Let me know how it goes!
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