Have you ever felt disorganized, overwhelmed, and unsure of how you are going to accomplish everything in your week?
Utilizing a visualization strategy can help. They allow us to see a detailed, bigger picture. Visualizations can also improve our awareness, ways we problem solve, and builds our consistency to follow through on plans and tasks.
- Write your plan, tasks, and or schedule down in a planner or on a calendar.
- Personally, I use an annual planner. I use it for planning and tracking personal, business, and race training details.
- My husband and I use a white board calendar and Google calendar to help us stay organized, and on the same page, as well.
- Journal or jot down the details of your plan, tasks, and or schedule.
- What you are going to do.
- When you are going to do them.
- Where you’re going to do them.
- Example: I’m going to work on my assignment at the dinner table while I wait for my laundry to dry.
- Example: After dinner, I am going to go on a walk and practice mindfulness. When I get home, I’m going to lay out my clothes for tomorrow and take a hot shower.
- You can organize this for each day of the week.
- Example: Monday: I’m going to… ; Tuesday: After dinner… ; Wednesday: …
- Visualize with details. Be specific.
- The specific details help us know what, when, and where, which increases the likelihood that you will follow through with your intentions and priorities.
- This activity helps you to better figure out (problem solve) how your to-do’s fit into your week.
- In the long-term, it helps with building consistency and following through.
- After completing each day, use something to mark it off, like a highlighter, colored marker, or sticker.
- This can be a fun visual to see what you’ve accomplished.
- I like to do this for my race training, it is satisfying to see all of the hard work that I poured into preparing for a race.
- How rewarding would it be to see the majority of your tasks marked off or highlighted in bright colors?
- Reflect on your accomplishments for the week, even the small ones.
- Avoid minimizing your accomplishments.
- Be honest with yourself about your level of effort, while understanding that your level of energy or fatigue can increase and decrease depending on what you’re going through in life and for how long. There will be highs and lows. Work hard, but know when to be kind to yourself.
Runners and endurance athletes, did you know that you can use visualization as a tool while you train for a race or to get yourself across the finish line? Learn here!
The Eisenhower Matrix
Even though the focus of this article is about visualizing your week, many people use the Eisenhower Matrix to help them prioritize their to-do’s. You can use this strategy for both personal and business.
There are four quadrants for prioritizing tasks by importance and urgency:
- Do First
- First, focus on important tasks to be done the same day.
- Important, but not-so-urgent stuff.
- What’s urgent, but less important.
- Delegate to others.
- Some people struggle with delegating because it involves (1) asking for help and (2) allowing someone else to take control over something. There can be a lot of hesitancy and anxiety here.
- Don’t Do
- What’s neither urgent nor important.
- Don’t do at all.
- If someone is struggling with perfectionism or procrastination, they may work on tasks that are not-so-urgent, less important, and ones that are neither urgent or important, avoiding the Do First tasks. Be mindful, so you don’t get caught in this cycle. If you get caught in the cycle, make a change right away.
Tips when using the Eisenhower Matrix:
- Writing down tasks on a to-do list frees your mind.
- Always question what is worth doing first.
- Try to limit the number of tasks per quadrant.
- No more than eight tasks.
- Before adding another one, complete the most important one first.
- Remember, it is not about collecting tasks, but finishing them.
- Maintain just one list for both business and personal tasks. Tasks regarding friends, family, and yourself should be included.
- Do not let you or others distract you.
- Don’t let others define your priority.
- Plan in the morning, then take action.
- At the end, enjoy the feeling and benefits of completion.
- Try not to procrastinate too much.
- Avoid over-managing your to-do’s.
- Avoid over-thinking tasks.
- If you’re experiencing anxiety, manage the emotion and keep going.
Are you stuck on building better habits?
Here are a few recommendations that I have for getting unstuck:
- Take smaller steps than you think to get things moving. Visit my article 1% Better Habits and Goals for more insight.
- I’m a fan of James Clear’s book Atomic Habits. I do recommend reading it and taking notes as you go. I sticky noted key points in my book.
- There is also a workbook that follows along the book. The workbook isn’t by James Clear, it is by Robin Reads. Check it out on Amazon. I personally own this workbook and like a handful of things about it. The print is big and easy to read, there are chapter summaries, charts, and questions to ask yourself as you work through things.
- On James Clear’s website, you can provide your email to receive a free resource. * I haven’t done this, so I can’t provide my thoughts or opinion, but I wanted to share that it is there. *
- How To Build Awesome Habits: James Clear | Rich Roll Podcast The episode is 02:09:25 long.
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