Yo, ! Today’s lesson is brought to you by Strength Faction coach, Mike Connelly. Word up!
, you would think that having a head of such gargantuan size would indicate that it is easy for me to store information up there. It’s not. I’ve always had a hard time keeping my shit together. I could blame it on the portion of my life that I stewed my brain in only the cheapest of alcohols and recreational drugs or the fact that my athletic career left me on the surplus side of the amount of concussions one should sustain in a lifetime. Or maybe it’s just something that is not easy for any of us and if we are going to do it we have to work at it. Well, I’ve acquired some skills in the past year that have brought my organizational skills and consequently my work/life balance to the next level!
Here are 3 actions and tools that I use to keep my personal and business life on track:
The Day Planner
I hosted Todd’s Barbell and Beyond seminar at Rebell a little over a year ago. It was the first time that I had met Todd in person and I remember thinking two things immediately after returning to my house after picking him up from the airport:
Dude is not as big as I thought he would be.
What kind of meathead has a day planner?
I thought it was weird that this coach that I admired so much was not as big as I thought he was. Even weirder was the fact that as soon as we got back to my house he pulled out this tiny (see the connection here) day planner and started checking his tasks for the weekend. I always thought that day planners were for my mom and shit.
One thing was apparent after hanging out with Todd that weekend. He definitely wasn’t as big as I thought he was from his videos on Facebook. Well, maybe two. He also was one of the more organized fellas I had ever met because he knocked out a whole bunch of work and made it look effortless. And that, my friends, is what sold me on the importance of getting my shit together because I too had a shit-ton of work to do. And after years of grinding to get through my to-do lists I was ready to start making it look easy!
You ever hear the story of why Steve Jobs wore the same thing every day? It’s because he was a fucking weirdo. Just kidding… for the most part. He said he did to conserve brain power. The thought is that every time we have to think about something we are taxing our brain power so if we can cut down on thinking about menial things then we will have more power to think about the important stuff.
Well, my day planner is now my “same outfit”. I don’t have to dig through the cavernous depths of my oversized melon to figure out what the hell I have to get done each week. All I have to do is open up my little buddy and read my own words. Easy peasy! It makes life much easier when you don’t have to struggle just to remember the things that you have to do. It sounds like it’s no big deal, and that’s what kept me from jumping on board for so long, but the impact that a consistent and handy to-do list saves a ton of time, keeps you on task, and ensures that you get done what needs getting done.
The Brain Dump
A day planner is great but having one and not having a system to fill it is like having a duck with no leaf blower, know what I’m sayin’? Me neither!
My early attempts to get on board with a day planner fell short because I just kept that sonofabitch in my backpack and expected to just be more organized. Well, it turns out that if you don’t put shit in there when you open it up to see what your week looks like you will just be looking at a blank page. That is no help at all.
Enter the Brain Dump!
You ever have a hard time falling asleep on Sunday? I used to frequently. No matter how tired I was I would just lay in bed staring at my ceiling. I never really figured out why until I started getting organized. You see, when I started getting all my thoughts and tasks on paper each Sunday afternoon I noticed that I would sleep much better. It turns out that stress was keeping me up all those Sunday nights.
Now, every Sunday morning while I drink my morning whisk…. I mean coffee, I take 10 minutes to fill my day planner with all of my to-dos for the week. I reference last week’s tasks, completed tasks, current tasks, and action steps to fill in the upcoming week’s page. It’s fucking simple!
Where a year ago I couldn’t imagine relying on a book or keeping up with it, after implementing this simple ritual I could not imagine not doing it. The ease with which I keep my shit together now and how much easier it has made my life is immeasurable!
For all you business owners out there, here’s how you can use this concept for your team. At Rebell we have meetings every Tuesday. To ensure that our meetings are productive and an efficient use of time I send out an agenda the Friday before to my team. In the agenda I list topics of discussion, which team member is going to lead the discussion, and how much time they have for said talk. That last one is real important for staying on schedule with meetings because it is easy to start rambling when you get to talking about things. Time limits and sticking to them will make your meetings much more productive. You can learn a shit ton more about that by reading Traction or Get a Grip.
Speaking of meetings, it turns out that talking to people about shit makes it easier to organize stuff too. The Rebell team meetings are a great example. In our first 4 years of existence we had more trouble keeping on task and there was only two of us. Now there’s 5 of us and keeping our shit together has never been easier because we are all on the same page.
How do we do it?
Well, the meetings are our bedrock. This is where we figure out what needs to be done, who’s going to do it, and how they are going to do it. It’s a source of accountability as each week we give each other progress reports on our action steps. Before you know it, you’re taking things off the list because they are done. That shit feels good!
Outside of our meetings we have easy access to quick communication through an app that we use called GroupMe. This app is like text messaging as it can be done on your phone and shows your entire thread history. So why not just start a text thread? Great question you magnificent bastard! You can text. There’s nothing wrong with that. I just like GroupMe because when I go on to that app all I see is my team communication. My business stuff isn’t mixed in with my wife’s text asking if I want pepper steak for dinner. There’s no clutter. Fuck clutter.
There it is. Three simple things that will help you get organized so you can get shit done and spend more time doing the shit that makes you happy.
Have a day planner or some sort of place to keep your thoughts and tasks orderly and readily available to you.
Fill that motherfucker up on a regular basis so you’re not carrying all that stress around in your head.
Communicate with your team/clients so that you are on the same page and know what to expect from each other.
Go forth and set the world on fire in a neat and orderly fashion!