You know that first conversation you have with someone? The one where they ask your name, you ask theirs, then one of you ask the inevitable ‘what do you do with yourself’? Whatever way you answer that question, we’re all busy people.
For me, that answer looks like this: I’m the Executive Assistant to Thankyou’s co-founder and Managing Director, Daniel Flynn. I also oversee our board meetings and business governance as Company Secretary. Outside of this, I’m a wife and a mum to four kids aged between 4 and 11. At that point in the conversation, I’m normally faced with wide eyes and the next question: how do you do it?
Life is busy or, as I like to look at it, abundantly full. Sporting activities, play dates, and anever-ending stream of dishes, clothes to be washed and food to be prepped. Seriously, I should have shares in Weetbix, Vegemite and Kleenex!
Whether your day to day looks like mine or not, we can all agree that there is always a lot of stuff to get done, every day. If you’re a ‘let’s wing it’ type person, or naturally organised and process-driven like me, here are 5 tips I’ve learned along the way to get stuff done:
Stop and Think
Take a moment out each day to think about what you need to get done the next day, so when tomorrow comes, you’re ready to go. The key here is being realistic. Sometimes it’s not feasible to get everything done that I’d like, so it’s a matter of saying no or putting it in the ‘yes, but later’ basket.
Write It Down
And not on the back of an envelope on the kitchen bench (guilty). Organising 7 or 8 schedules is a lot easier when relying on written lists instead of my brain.
I am married to a cruisy, take-it-as-it-comes kind of guy and a large part of my role at Thankyou is doing what I like to call diary tetris for our co-founder Daniel Flynn, moving the coloured calendar blocks of his meetings, plane rides, and desk time. If ever my planning gets a bit much for either of them, I remind them that organisation enables spontaneity. If you know what you need to do, you know exactly which tetris blocks you can shuffle if something spontaneously comes up.
Don’t Be a Hero
At some point growing up I took on the assumption that to be successful, I had to be able to do it ALL myself. That has changed! To keep on top of things, I have discovered that you have to ask for help. The saying that it takes a village to raise a child is SO TRUE. Whether you’re a sleep-deprived parent or drowning in tasks at work, ask for help.
Just Do It
Procrastination is easy. There will always be something that looks more fun. But some jobs and tasks would NEVER get done then. Just do it. Procrastination is bad for your brain and heart – no one feels good about not getting stuff done. It affects our self-esteem and belief in our ability, which only makes us less motivated. Nike was right when they said ‘just do it’. Once you know what you need to do, in a day, a week or a year, no more excuses – JUST DO IT.