If you study the life of successful people in the world, their life consists of 80% routine and 20% spontaneous. This doesn’t apply to only the wealthy businessman, but to the famous artists, scientists, celebrities, singers, athletics etc. They live in an organized and structured life.
Artists or singers may seem to lack a structured or routine life, because they don’t have a 9-5 job. Now that’s not entirely true. The successful ones create structures in their life. They live in an organized and structured manner which enable them reach their dreams.
I started business thinking that I can have time freedom. Bad mindset.
I wanted to manage my time, to do whatever I liked at anytime, anywhere. Choosing to be my own boss allowed me to do it, wasn’t it? Experiencing true freedom in running my own business and reporting to no one. The beginning of one big mess.
Without any structure, my life gone spinning left, right, up and down. I didn’t have a plan to progress towards my goals. I didn’t have a daily tasks list. Many a times, I stared at the computer screen doing many other activities except building the business. I wanted to built my business, but I didn’t really have a plan. I would only complete those tasks that were urgent, other than that, I wasn’t really doing anything that is important.
Terrible way of running my business. Terrible mindset thinking that I could do whatever I wanted at anytime, anywhere. Terrible mistake about not organizing my life and not having a structure to bring me to success in a systematic way.
I would wake up every morning not knowing what to do for the day. Some days I could decide that I was going for a suntan. Some other days, it could be a movie day. I would wake up one day at 8am, another day at 10am. I was living a life of 80% spontaneous and 20% routine. The routine is probably sleeping, brushing teeth and meal time. Business moved forward very slowly. Actually did it ever move at all?
How Do I Start Organizing My Life
I observed that many of my peers were very far ahead of me and I wondered why. I wasn’t short of knowledge as I learned as much as I could from seminars and book, but I wasn’t moving ahead.
Oh no, my problem is huge. I had to find the gaps very quickly. After looking at the life of my peers who zoomed past me, the gaps became obvious. I was don’t really plan my life. Big dreams without a solid plan and an organized life is like hallucinating.
In another words, I procrastinated. If you would like to know how I overcome procrastination can join Procrastination Buster Workshop. You will learn processes and strategies to bust procrastination.
I needed a solution to close the gap quickly. I had to start planning my intended outcome and my action plans. There is a post about how to plan.
Form New Supportive Habit
The first thing to do is to decide my wake up time. Second thing was my working time. Third thing was creating a time table.
Wake up time – 7:30am
Working time – 9am – 6pm,
and every hour in my time table was filled with activities.
Excited with the new plan, the first week went on smoothly. Second week, things got shaky. Third week on, the plan fell apart. I no longer followed my time table. I failed.
The only consolation – I was still waking up at 7:30am. But instead of jumping onto the time table, I jumped onto movies, games and all sorts of distractions that can be found online.
So it didn’t work the first time. Many questions popped up.
- Where’s the gap?
- What didn’t work for me?
- What worked for me?
- How else can I make it work?
The wake up time works for me. The time table didn’t work. A new discovery was uncovered. I didn’t like to be boxed up into a time table. And some tasks took longer than what was expected. After much tweaking, a new solution was out.
A New Hope
Time table is out of the window. Replacing by a task list which you’ll read about in a while.
Now with the new ultimate planning tool on hand, major planning was done easily. But how many of you actually shelf your completed plan? Yup, we don’t see our plan again after we completed. A structure has to be constructed to prevent breaking down again.
My structure is to look at my plan every Monday morning before my week start. This supports me to fill the whole week with tasks. With this structure, I get to progress forward and achieve my weekly milestones.
But how many of you never fulfill your task lists. To overcome it, I wanted my task list as close to me as possible. I downloaded an app, astrid.com, a task management tool on my phone. I’ll put all my next-day tasks into the app every evening, so every morning I am able to move right into them with wasting too much time.
Astrid.com will send reminders when a task is not completed. The convenience part is when I completed one task, I pull out the phone which is with me all the time, strike off the completed tasks and move onto the next task.
This new habit is formed permanently.
Monday morning – check big plans, fill the week with tasks that achieve the weekly milestones.
Every evening – Key in the next-day tasks into phone.
After every tasks – check the next tasks.
With this new habit, my life turns from chaos into routine. Everyday is filled with meaningful tasks. Every evening is filled with a sense of achievement.
That’s how I organize my life. How do you organize yours?