Oyster Crackers and PrioritiesApr 22, 2021
My BFF Lisa has been organizing a benefit every year for the last ten years. And I’ve been around lending support where I can since the beginning. I arrived the first year, and with all she had to do in the final hours before kick-off, she was running around making little bags of oyster crackers to sell while talking about the high-end baskets she had to put together for the auction. She was in busy mode, spinning and talking about all of the things she had to do, but she was cherry-picking tasks and not prioritizing the important stuff. She felt that all of the things she had decided to do when she was envisioning the benefit early on were still necessary. In her mind, even though she had limited time, all of those tasks still had to be completed.
She was overwhelmed by the thought of all she had to do and lost focus on the big picture, and wasn’t prioritizing the most important things. So I sat down with her and made a list of all things that needed to be completed for the benefit to happen and things that were “nice to have” if we had time, and we were able to move forward more purposefully.
Over the years, she has created a well-oiled machine. She plans the tasks, delegates, has a timeline in place and knows what needs to happen for a successful benefit. (We even make oyster crackers sometimes, but just for snacking.) It probably took three or four years to refine the process, prioritize all the tasks, and put efficiencies in place, but each year it gets better and more manageable.
I hear people say that planning takes too much time, and the time they spend planning could be spent completing a task. I would offer that if you spend the time on the front end, the efficiencies that you gain will continually make up for the time you spent planning.
After a few weeks of regular planning, you will start to develop routines and habits that help you level up your life. It took us four years to get the benefit down to a fine science; what if it took you six to eight weeks to get your life in order. Imagine making progress and organizing your life daily by taking small steps to level up. By putting systems in place, you can get to a space of calm and clarity sooner than you think. And it doesn’t’ have to be complicated. You just have to start.
When your calendar is organized, and you know what your next step needs to be, your mind is not cluttered with trying to remember menial, routine things, and you can spend that mental energy on more important things. This work truly touches every aspect of your life; it is not just about planning meetings, carpools, laundry, etc.; it is about making the space to create the life you desire.
If you are looking for a place to start, do my free time audit to see where you are really spending your time and how to clean up the time sucks. And stay tuned for an announcement about a workshop that I’m offering to teach you techniques to prioritize, plan and calendar your life so you maximize your productivity AND still have free time for the things you love.
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