If you are anything like me you have an overflowing calendar, a to-do list that never gets completed, tired eyes and sore muscles from running around, and a nagging feeling that I had an entire week where I did not stop moving once and yet I accomplished nothing! I know I am not alone because I hear it daily from my athletes. The conversation goes like this…
Me: How are you feeling?
Me: Really?! Tell me more about that.
Athlete: It was so busy with practice, school, 2 tests, homework, private lessons…
Me: What are 2 things you are celebrating this week?
Athlete: I don’t know
Me: It sounds like you did a lot this week, what did you accomplish that you are proud of?
Athlete: I’m not sure, I didn’t really have time think to think about it
Me: Well, think about your last practice… What went well?
Athlete: I was really distracted because I got a B on a test that day and still needed to find time to finish a project after practice
[Mental coach hat is fully in place and we dig in…]
Does this sound familiar to you? You are putting in 100% to get it all done and yet it does not seem to be enough. The time flies by with all of the responsibilities, appointments, and to-dos and you do your best but somehow feel stretched thin like you are just not doing enough and there is no way to catch up. You decide enough is enough and you buckle down to FINALLY knock some things out and yet all your brain does is wander to the 1000 other things you should be doing. I know the cycle all too well…
I have researched ENDLESSLY for solutions to the to-dos, goals, and dreams in my head that lead to overwhelm and get in the way of the level of performance I desire. The process of becoming mentally organized is a journey and having the right tools is essential! Today, I am excited to share with you my tips and tricks so you can get back to doing what you do best!
5 Tips for Becoming Mentally Organized
#1 Get it out of your mind and onto paper
- The reason we cannot focus
- Reduces anxiety because you can quiet the alarms
Why is it that the busier we are, the harder it is to get things done?! Well, as a perfectionist myself, my brain is constantly trying to keep me safe by never letting me forget anything. So, when I am working on something, alarms are going off in my head that other things are still outstanding. The solution is almost too simple to work but it does EVERY TIME… write things down!
By taking time to brain dump onto paper I can think clearly and get into action. This is how my mental organization process starts… by making a list of everything I need to do. This not only helps me quiet the noise at the moment but it allows me to push the panic away when I begin to feel like I am forgetting something. I am less anxious, more focused, and able to get into action!
#2 If it isn’t scheduled it will not get done
- Take time to create a weekly schedule
- Decide what is important to you and put it on the calendar
- Done is better than perfect
- Helps you make decisions (less people pleasing)
This one is probably bringing up a range of emotions for you as it does for most people. If you care about being productive and organized you probably enjoy having a plan but it is easy to let perfectionism keep you from creating one you feel good about. Remember, done is better than perfect. After you brainstorm all of the to-dos this process becomes a lot easier.
Take time to map out all of your have-to, want-to, need-to, and to-dos, and leave off the should-dos. Decide what is important to you and make sure it is blocked off on your calendar. It is too easy to fill our schedules with the things we should do and the priorities of others at the risk of our own goals and passions. Sitting down to create a schedule every week helps me feel less overwhelmed, trust that everything will get done because it has a place, prioritize my time, and make decisions about what is can realistically take on.
#3 Establish Routines
- Start and end your day off right
- Create habits so you do not have to think as hard
- Stack new habits on old ones
This has truly been a challenge for me as a business owner because I gained freedom with my schedule and fought structure so hard! Add to the mix babies and a husband and freedom to go to a coffee shop or target during the day and you can forget sticking to routines. But the truth is that creating habits has been the secret to supporting the level of high performance I desire. Fighting structure and operating according to fleeting feelings is a total waste of time and energy.
Creating habits and routines allows you to free up brain space for more important things like actually completing projects and producing quality work. It sets you up to perform your best and gives you peace of mind, knowing you are living in alignment with your values and priorities. If you do not already have one, take time to decide how you will start and end your day. A quote I love is “wake up with intention, go to bed with satisfaction” which to me means to prepare for success in the morning and celebrate and plan in the evening.
#4 Make the most of your time
- Master transitions
- Batch work
- Set a schedule and stick to it (integrity and confidence booster)
The reason you feel spread thin and cannot remember what you ate for lunch (you remembered to eat right?) let alone what you did 2 days ago is because you are reacting to and surviving your week. Going through the motions by waking up, getting ready, going to school (or work), heading to practice, doing homework, going to bed too late, and repeating is the default for way too many people. Instead of letting time slip by, make every minute count. I do not mean to fill every minute with tasks because that will cause you to burn out just as quickly. I mean set an intention for each activity and take time to reflect.
Before you walk in the door of the school or work, ask yourself why it is important to be focused and do well. What goals do you have? It only takes a few minutes and will dramatically change your level of presence and productivity. After each activity, reflect on what went well, what could have gone better, and what you need to take action on. Mastering the transitions between events will help you feel more present, accomplished, and connected.
#5 Prioritize yourself first
- Plan to make progress on goals
- Have fun
- Leave buffer room
If you are not taking care of yourself you will end up somewhere you never intended to be and not like what you see. For me, I found myself disconnected from my family and emotionally and physically exhausted from chasing someone else’s definition of success. The way I spent my time was not a reflection of what is important to me so I chose to shift. What about you? You said you wanted to achieve that thing… lift a certain weight, win a championship, learn a new skill, reach a certain level… but when?
If something is not on your calendar it is not a priority period. Being too busy, waiting for something to happen first, or postponing it for one day in the future is just an excuse at the expense of your dreams. If something is a priority and truly important to you, make time for it (even a few minutes a day or week). Take time for yourself, your passions, and your goals so you have the mental capacity and energy to do all the things you need to do. This is non-negotiable. How will you prioritize yourself this week? Schedule it.
Using these tips to become more mentally organized will allow you to be more present, prioritize and make progress on YOUR goals, allow you to be more productive, and produce higher quality work. Are you thinking, yes this all sounds great but where do I start? We have the perfect solution for you … Our Mental Organizer is now available and will walk you through this process with a customizable workbook and training series. As a gift, receive 50% off plus 1 BONUS training. All you need to do is click here to purchase and enter code ORGANIZED at checkout. Then, get READY to go to the next level of productivity and performance!
Mental Performance Coaching is one of the fastest and most effective ways to create lasting change in your performance.
If you want to learn more and see if Mental Coaching is right for you, I invite you to schedule a 30-minute no-cost Performance Check Session.
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