Jill of All Trades

Jack of all trades, master of none? More like Jill of all trades, master of some.

 

There’s no doubt about it, I’m juggling a lot of things lately. No two days are ever the same around here. But being busy and being challenged are two of my favorite things so it’s all good.

 

Case in point, on June 1 I woke up and realized our family trip to Japan to celebrate Enagic’s 40th anniversary was just a few short weeks away. That thought put the fear of God into me — so much to do, so little time.  I’m a fan of list making — there’s nothing more satisfying than checking off something you’ve completed on your to-do list — so I got on the computer and put together a list of the top 166 things I wanted to accomplish before we left. (Actually it started closer to 180 but unless there was some way to squeeze 40 hours into a 24-day, there was no way in heck I’d ever complete them all and in the whole scheme of life, not everything was that important anyhow.)

 

I’ve made more lists than I can count through the years but I did something with this list that made it the most effective one yet. I prioritized it so the most important things were at the top of the list. Every time I started a project on the list, it was highlighted in yellow, when the project was completed, the highlight color was changed to lime green.

 

The results? Pretty darn good, if I do say so myself. Seventeen days into this, 133 items are done, 19 are in progress and 13 haven’t been attempted yet. If I wrapped this up today and didn’t complete one more thing, I’d still say it was a success.

 

Here’s some of the things that made it to the finished list… write four stories for The Business News, do five Kangen water demos, write two stories for The Compass, take several photos to go along with my stories, create four ads/flyers, contact, connect and follow up with dozens of people, add new contacts to my e-mail list, set up interviews for July, invite folks to my upcoming water demos, do four exit interviews with the students from Burundi who are attending school in the U.S. and heading home for the summer, do a home visit with a family who will be hosting a student from Burundi this fall (part of my work on the board of The Burundi Education Fund), send in seven orders for Enagic water ionizers, buy yen for the trip, update our budget on Microsoft Money, type notes from the three books I recently finished, update the computer, go through my daughter’s things from college and donate items to charity and bring things to the resale shop, pick up trash in the neighborhood, run two outdoor 5Ks to prepare for our next race on July 4, put in five afternoons of work in the research and development department a local paper product company, and proofread a 329-page course manual for a private college in my area.

 

Now that I finished writing this post, I can check that off my list. I may spend the 14-hour plane ride from LAX to Japan sleeping. Either that or starting my list of things to do in the month of July…

 

 

Following through on New Year’s Resolutions

Cleanliness is next to Godliness

Cleanliness is next to Godliness

It’s the last day of March, the end of the first quarter of the year, and the ideal day to evaluate how my New Year’s Resolutions are going. Since my life is only getting more complicated as time goes along, my major resolution this year was to bring more structure to my workdays. I work from home and can set my own schedule and since I’m not generally a morning person, my workday would usually start around 9:00.  I was determined to set that back to 8:00 for 2014. So I’ve got the first part of my day fairly scheduled. We get up at 6:00, make the bed, get the workout gear on, drink a quart of Kangen water, check the i-Phone for texts and new e-mails, rebound/walk/run for up to 30 minutes, drink another quart of Kangen water (half a gallon in before 7:15 a.m.), then shower.

If all works out as planned, I’ve got the house to myself by 7:30 and  I’m in the recliner by 8:00 reading a book (usually personal development or sales training). One of my top 10 goals for 2014 is to read 50 books. I knew if I didn’t schedule this in, it wasn’t going to happen. So my workday starts off with 30 minutes of reading. This week I’m finishing up Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill. Next week it will be The Sandler Rules. We’ve got hundreds of books to choose from so who knows what it will be the week after.

After that it’s off to my office (the 10 step commute). I start working through the list of things that need to be accomplished. Every evening before I go to bed I write down 50 things I intend to do the following day. It sounds like a lot but some things are as simple as sending an e-mail or text, booking plane flights or making a quick phone call. The list always starts out with my morning rituals including writing out my top 10 goals for 2014, visualizing my perfect customer, or studying my dream board. Some days I work methodically down the rest of the list, other days I pick the easiest things and do them first to create some momentum.

There’s seriously something so satisfying about marking something off the list when it’s completed. I’ve got this great set of highlighters and my best days are when the majority of the items are highlighted by the end of the day (which can be anywhere from 5:00 until midnight). Before I turn off the office lights for the night, I put everything back into place (as shown in the picture) so I can start out fresh the next day. My days may sound long but there’s a lot of laughter and some down time thrown in, so it never gets old. I  love what I do for a living (writing/marketing/connecting with people). No two days are ever the same and my schedule is really flexible, which is super important for me.

I’m usually pretty wiped out by the time we go to bed and I dream about work a lot but I can’t wait to get out of bed in the morning and hit the ground running. I’m loving this stage in my life!