There is always so much going on in our lives every day, it's hard to keep up with ourselves sometimes! However, 'clarity is power'as they say, so having clarity on what you are doing in your day when time is limited in starting a side business and there are a hundred and one things to do every day besides!
Getting clarity on what you are planning can take the guesswork (and the faffing around!) out of what you should do or could do with your precious spare time. It's a good idea to do this on a Friday or Sunday evening to get a good run at the upcoming week, and to review what worked and didn't work on the previous week.
Enter the good old Braindump! I love this exercise as it is a great way to declutter the mind and create a bit of mental space when you get it all down on a blank page! But what do you include in a brain dump, what makes it so effective?
The easiest place to start is with a blank page, writing your plans down on a page in your own handwriting makes the task more real and more achievable - it helps you connect more with the task or project that you want to achieve. The next thing to do is to grab your pen and start writing down all the tasks, projects and ideas you have in your head that you keep meaning to get around to. Don't filter anything at this stage, just write it all down as you think of it. It can be small tasks like getting your car washed, to more extensive projects like designing your new website for your business. If you are artistic you might want to draw or mind map your ideas, or just plain bullet pointing your list will do.
This list can be left on your office desk while you work on a Thursday or Friday so you can add tasks to it as you think of them. Sometimes it good to sleep on it and allow the brain to process all the things that need to get done, you can add more to it the next day once you have had time to remember all the projects that you need or want to get done.
The brain dump is exactly that - a dump of all the things that need to come out of your head and on to paper.
You can be as messy as you like at this stage, draw or write things out, mind map or bullet point it, have fun with this - you can make pretty, colourful, neat lists later with colour pens if you are into colour coding - I love using colours to make my brain dumping a little more interesting!
After the brain dump is complete, categorise your tasks into 4 areas:
DO IT! This is the list of takss that can be done on a short space of time that are not too time consuming or taxingtaxing on the brain and can be done in 10 to 30 minutes. It's a good idea to get these done first, so that you have a few things to tick of that to-do list, and it gives you the motivation to keep going and get all the tasks completed.
DUMP IT! These are all the things that you have put on the long finger forever - one of those 'some day' projects that never gets done, like learning to play the guitar, or learning a new language for your big trip abroad nect year, or that DIY project that never seems to be completed! These things can be done at a later time, but need to be struck off the list for now, you can always come back to them...some day!
DATE IT! For all the other projects or tasks on your list, set a date for completion, even if it's a rough estimate. It gives you a goal to reach in terms of completing the task, and makes it a
DELEGATE IT! Do you know someone who can help with some of these tasks and projects? Could your friend help you to design your website, or a family member help you tackle that messy DIY project so you can have more space in your spare room to start your business from?
Now you have your full to-do list, at least for the foreseeable! It can be as short or long term as you need it to be. I like to write this one out on a Friday or Sunday evening and then break down the tasks into daily tasks that I can tackle the following week. It is a great way to bring clarity to a muddled mind!
Another thing to do to declutter the brain is to take a big project and brain dump all the parts of the project that need to be done, breaking it down makes it more manageable and less overwhelming to deal with. Then you can estimate the time frame for the project based on the smaller tasks and start taking action!
There is a brain dump workbook in the Resource Library, just sign up for it on my Freebies Page to get the password - there are lots of handy workbooks and resources there, including a weekly productivity planner that could also help you get the week on track and get planning for your business! Enjoy!