This post comes from feedback that I received from a new reader. This reader mentioned briefly that they get derailed at the office because so many things come up. Granted, there’s still a lot to find out from this short conversation but I could relate to her because I’ve been there myself for far too long.
My mind immediately started to rattle off so many ideas to help. Here are 5 actionable tips that I can give right away to anybody that’s currently struggling with getting derailed or sidetracked at the office:
Have you ever thought of an idea and then said: “I’ll get started on this when I have time to really focus on it.” Or perhaps you had an ok start but you ended up telling yourself, “Looks ok, but it needs more work. I’ll work more on it later.” Well, that’s been me for too long.
For example, this post came as an idea that I save on Dec 6, 2016, and was in my drafts folder for six months before completing it. Yikes! But why? I could list a series of impediments but ultimately here are my two main reasons. Let me know if you can relate.
One of the main things I’m learning this year is how one time decisions and creating routines can make or break you. I recently heard a podcast from Craig Groeschel which explained the power of making a decision one time. Although I was already applying this to my morning routine, I didn’t notice that I’ve been shaving off about an hour every day from my mornings. I just knew that I needed to set a couple things up so that I wouldn’t have to make too many decision during the initial morning grogginess.
Below are just a few of the routines that I have come to set up for work:
Habit started in 2014
- I drink the same morning shake at work for breakfast. This eliminated the need to think about breakfast or starting work on an empty stomach.
If you’re a paper person that can’t seem to embrace electronic planners and task managers, embrace it. Test it out a paper note-taking system for a set period of time instead of fighting to adopt your electronic routine. There couldn’t be a better time than year-end to do a personal challenge and work out the kinks during this holiday season and perhaps even get caught up on those stale tasks.
Last week I asked an online Facebook Group that I’m a part of, if they kept digital or paper calendars. A few folks that said both but the majority said paper. It may have been a small sample size but it encouraged me to embrace what I had been fighting all this year.
In the spirit of reflection and change, I created my “Action Notebook.” It’s a letter size blend between a Passion Planner and a Bullet Journal. If you don’t already have a paper note-capturing system, see if this may be for you or could inspire you to create your own.
The Notebook. I used a disc-bound notebook because I felt that would be the most flexible in case I wanted small changes along the way. I already one notebook with lined paper and hole puncher that we’re not in used. OfficeDepot a great disc-bound system with hard cover options. At the time of this writing, they even have a limited-edition white hard-cover notebook on sale. However, you don’t have to buy a whole new binder system. You can also do this with any empty planner binder or a general mini-three ring binder.
We went to a birthday party. I lost my phone. Sound familiar? There was no booze in this story. *WHAT?*
I want to share with you a great benefit to having an android and a google account. Now, if you haven’t lost your phone lately, you probably wouldn’t run into this solution. You may have used an app from your computer that you installed on your phone.
Notebooks. I have a sea of notebooks I’ve tried out. Not with any particular rhyme or reason. Some I bought because I didn’t have one right before a meeting, or because it was cute, or professional, European, it was part of a system… You get it. And as useful that they were at the time, I didn’t have a plan.
*Reader asks* Why you need a plan for a notebook?
Good question. The notes that I take… are not meant to collect dust after the fact. I want to get more out of what I write if I’m going to take the time to record it.
*Begin to speak to the notebooks on one side of the coffee table* “I’ve been thinking… I want to make this work…” *slow close up on the notebooks and violin music, ever so lightly, commences*
If you already have a system for your handwritten notes, come back for the nest post instead and congrats because you’re on a great track. For the rest, read on.
How many times have you promised yourself during the first week of any given month, “OK, this month I will start and finish a book?” *Raises hand* Guilty. I would borrow the book from the library and let it collect dust. Or I would buy the book, dive into it that Saturday, only to leave the book somewhere on my bed and then find it 6 months later under the bed.
The book you don’t read won’t help. – Jim Rohn
It wasn’t until I got around a great group of folks that were also actively reading that my discipline grew. Not only did I grow more in knowledge but it helped me start a good habit and encouraged me to structure my day better so that I could have time to read. I strongly encourage you to start building a non-fiction list of business and self-improvement best sellers. If you want any ideas, check out my list here. These types of books will begin to expand your thinking and encourages you to think a little differently.
Here’s a couple of quotes that persuade us into being more objective about reading.
Leaders are readers.
The book you don’t read won’t help. –Jim Rohn
It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it. –Oscar Wilde
Regardless of what non-fiction you are reading, here’s how I study a book so that I can get the best out of it.
As I was wrapping up the first quarter at my work, I couldn’t help but notice how overwhelmed I was feeling the last few days. Well, once I looked down between my monitor and keyboard it was clear why.
Man covered in yellow notes
A puddle of colorful sticky notes, going in different directions had developed. Constant interruptions, little tasks here and there I thought I could do “quickly later” had piled up. Luckily, after taking a step back, not only did I implement new simple techniques, but was able to improve only ones already in place.
If you ever wanted to have a buddy to help you wake up early, this is the book for you. In his book, Jeff Sanders creates a clear blueprint that you can follow to reset your life.The book itself is designed to be “actionable,” so look at it like a workbook. He writes this book exactly like how you would hear him in his podcast, The 5 am Miracle.
By the end of the book, you should see what you can change; even if you don’t have a single person around you that wants to wake up early, you can still build anchor habits, such as waking up early to change your life.