If your life is not complex or your interaction with customers and projects and process were not already daunting then you probably would NOT already be reading this or visiting. But if it is or they are, then you get hit with the same deluge as many of us are inundated with. What to do and how and how much?
Be so advised, that I have an unusually good memory and rarely forget anything, but the idea is to offload stuff from the brain to a physical support structure, in a way which works, to increase or free capacity for key focus. Many folks cannot manage and if I am capable of distress or overwhelm with a fantastic memory, all I can say is warning! Here goes:
In today’s industrial world, we try to engage the world three ways–we write, we call, and we meet or go. Or the world comes to us, folks email, call, or attempt to see us, or if they see us, then do transactions.
Then mail, bills, records, accounts, due dates, budgets, password. Lets not even start. So I am not talking about perfection, but rather, the broad path of attempt. Quick suggestions and an outlook on various parts of endeavour:
Projects and task
Have physical file folders for projects. Write physical notes on scraps of paper, ideally 8 1/2″ x 11″. I had a paper running already on calling attorneys, who might need special projects on construction or securities litigation. Once I reached the administrator today of one firm, I could have running notes on one sheet.
But I took scissors and cut the paper, separating one from the other, stapling the half sheet to another half sheet so it was a full sheet. I love my scrap paper. This way, I know that prospect one is different–I ask, how to engage them? I was a senior broker at Morgan. Hardly beginner on cold calling. But law firms like medical firms are unusually secure, if not barricaded. When I try next, I am not pulling a paper, but a folder. That folder concretizes my intent to earn their business, in this case, a leader in Tacoma and does both types of law, and has a serious office in Seattle as well.
I called that same firm in Seattle. Different folder. Already emailed an attorney in real estate and construction litigation. My resolve is, as a project, to create a nice PDF summarizing my work on one sheet. Thats more like a project or follow up or deliverable than an engagement, but can help feed the latter as a follow up: ‘Did xyz get my brochure?’ Folders not just files on a pc or cells in a cellphone!
I do sit ups, since I get plenty of running and serious, darn near professional yard work–close friends who luxuriate at my near tweezer level work–but need the full body release. If I want to do 200 sits ups twice per week, and have recently been going six and seven days at a time, then when I LAST did 200 sit ups, what was it, Wednesday night, I will try to make up for it by planning the next 200 Sunday. Why only four days? because its been weeks of misses. Not this time. My notes with my timed tranches of fifty is in a folder, filed for this Sunday. This system can be easily called 43 Folders or Zero-In Box. I am not perfect but I try to manage the flood. Be so advised. These are two valuable links.
Tomorrow I visit a client site, for her project. She trusts me to keep my own hours, but I write when I arrive at the site, when I start, record my breaks to the minute, time finished, time off site. That way I know, ‘onsite 4:55, bill for four hours’ after breaks and set up, mobilization time. Its in the folder. When I leave tomorrow, grab it.
Called J about her website. Slow to call or write back. But she loved what I built. But friends first, so cannot and will not push her. And she paid me. But I care. Reviewed notes on suggested fixes, incase she calls. I do not have any obligation to be super prepared, but already did an outline and reviewed it. In folder. Hand written notes. Key is to help her. And being ready. Consummately ready as a pro.
Called attorney today, know through Facebook, as an activist. Asked him, who to maybe try to call at Tacoma City Council. He gave me two leads. Wrote them both. Wrote him an email to thank him. Fast. His main phone was in my dkSp CRM but his call back was from a new number. Not this, ‘what is your number again?’. But from my email, with MagicJack messaging me, wrote the cellphone to my notes, and then electronically, added it to my notes on him. Very basic, but capture the goods.
[Quick insert…… Got an email from town councilman already. Record his phone number to my notepad. Asked him best time to call. I do not as a rule call randomly. Structure a time.
Additionally, this same attorney is a family lawyer. Asked him his area. Did not seek or expect a referral as a social activist. My dear friend S who is quite ill, poor, and has a tough custody battle on her twelve year old and faces a potential exportation issue back to Australia, having done no harm… asked E. for referral. Called XYZ law firm, checked the phone, corrected the URL, called S, and emailed her the link, she seeking pro bono representation. A spiritual friend.]
I am serious about my food. Who isn’t. But as someone in serious recovery from a long depression, following the honest loss of my senior career on Wall Street, who CANNOT take antidepressants (and or do not work or bad side affects), food is my meds. And good food. Fresh food. I have my shopping list on my todo list.
Vary your food. I could say tons. One of my two closest friends are an MD with a specialty in homeopathy (as an MD in restorative health), and nutrition. Quickly. Starches. Rice one day, quinoa another, potatoes, then gluten free pasta. When you cook, make extra. Eat one part today, the second part in three or four days, and freeze the rest–in a jar. No plastic. Quinoa is a bit messy, but so good for you. Save even a little bit and toss it in your salad. Keep track. This one, for me at least, does NOT need to be written but it is still having a process. ‘Don’t eat the same thing every day. Vary your food’. DJ Zentner of CORE Health of Gig Harbor, WA.
Yes, you guessed it. A piece of paper. Mark it, spill on it, crumple it. But the mess of day to do. I just filed my Broadband bill, mark a task: Pay cable bill 12 Sept and filed it.
Day to day:
Got a haircut today, dragged the appointment from Google calendar from Wed to Fri, and go out five weeks and electronically make sure its there. Recurrent.
More on these in the next few days:
Write them down. Big. Little. Small. That goals sometimes are more like steps or tasks or projects, is a gigantic thing. Know the difference.
Compile a list. Knowing what you want, and what you value. Cum Franklin Covey.
Realize, beside having a main client with his own complexity–finance, estimates, legal, accounting, manufacturing, website, sales, contacts, customers, I have other customers, then, *ahem* serious tracking of financial markets in great detail, at a very sophisticated level, then running, yardwork, chess, serious food prep. Then work as an activist in events and organizational development, sometimes also on a serious basis. A place for everything, everything in a place. Repeat. I am not perfect. But the size of my concerns and palate is truly vast.
Quickly: Heard back from a world leading climatologist, I am doing promotions for. Wrote him about an awkward conflict. Rare for me. Told him brief story, asked, can we talk Sat or Sun? He wrote me back, scheduled for noon tomorrow. Gave me his cellphone again, since he is out of town. Send invite at Google Calender, added his inactive phone to my mobile. Left his email as marked unread, went back to do so, so when I wake tomorrow, will get reminder. I rarely forget but have a full day. Its like the keys and wallet at the door for a serious trip. Physically based constructs.
Weaving an electronic calendar, not to excess or deficiency in a way that works is a great skill. Right sizing. Tied to email, physical based lists, folder on projects on paper, key materials ready to go physically. My phone is charged. Long day ahead. A very fine man.]