4.24.2007

Here's a really great post from Chris Brogan, advice on how to organize your life. I found it enlightening, so I thought I'd pass it on...

WAKE UP

I’ve chosen today to be the day I wake up. (again.) Life has a tricky habit of leading you when you let it. The problem is upkeep and maintenance. Precious few of us are wired to seek to do the work to keep things preserved. I’m not much different.

Wake Up

The first step in doing something about your life is waking up and realizing what parts of life are living you, instead of the other way around. Accept and absorb the reality that is your life. Look at the things you’re doing well, and look at where you’ve left some threads undone.

Answer this question repeatedly about all aspects of your life: What needs doing?

Build in Small Boxes

There will be lots of things that need doing. It HAS to be that way. Nearly none of us keep everything put together all the time. Things slip. Is it fitness? Is it finances? Is it your commitment to time? Figure out what needs fixing, and then list it all out. But do it in small boxes.

By this, I mean that it’s harder to look at everything in a big fat list. If you’ve got 40 pounds to lose, four credit cards of debt to fix, twenty projects that need doing, it’s going to crush you as soon as you start listing it out. Instead, chunk it up. Make snack sizes. Do this in bite sized bits. And then check off boxes as you succeed. Close lots of little projects. Small victories before large victories.

Disable Excuses

Lots of what we do in the name of not performing maintenance on our lives is done in the name of excuses. I’m pretty fit; I can skip my workout today. Sure, you can skip an occasional workout, but when you suddenly realize you’ve not gone to the gym or run or whatever you do for exercise in months (years?), it’s time to re-examine your logic.

Close all those gaps. Kill excuses. Not enough time to eat well? BULL! That’s a habit you’ve formed. And you can get back to better habits.

Just look for the holes, and plug them one-by-one. Remember, it’s easier to adopt better habits than to escape bad habits. Work towards a new goal instead of telling yourself to stop something you don’t want to keep doing. Instead of losing weight, make your goal to wear size 34 jeans, or to run 5 miles in under an hour.

I could write for hours on goal-setting techniques. It’s up to you, if you want more on that. Just comment and I’ll continue that thread.

Learn to Say No

The one thing most of us do to screw up our lives is forget to say no. For many reasons, that all seem sound at the time, we take on lots of ideas and projects and creative ventures and chores that consume too much of our time for us to be useful.

Learn to say no gracefully. “Hey, that sounds like an amazing project, but my plate’s over-the-top. I know Matthew’s doing work like that, though. Shall I give him your email address?” Don’t be mean about it. Oh, and learn to say no to yourself. If you’re wondering where all your time goes, say no to several of the things you’re doing now that SEEM like a good idea.

Set Check-Ins

If you don’t check up on your goals and the things you know you need to better focus on, you won’t check your progress, so you won’t realize if you’re on track or utterly off course. Without some sense of what you want to accomplish (set specific goals that have some form of tangible outcome), how will you know you’ve moved the needle.

You’re the CEO

One trick to getting more done in life is to promote yourself to CEO of your life. Should the CEO be playing an hour of Nintendo Wii, watching 2 hours of TV, and Twittering for a half hour? I doubt it. Ask yourself as a CEO how to run Your Life, Incorporated to the best of its potential. Sure, give yourself playtime, but consider HOW MUCH play time you deserve.

Stay Awake

Keep your creativity engine flowing. You need to think about alternate roads to your successful path. Think about other ways to view your life’s problems and challenges. Think about how you’d reboot your life, if you were given the option. Is there really only one way to the finish line? I doubt it.

One example: I used to tell people I was a writer. And I rarely wrote. Now that I do what I do for a living, I write thousands and thousands of words a day. I tried something new. I re-thought my problem. And now, I’m making money writing.

And You? What do YOU think?

How else can you help me and your community here on chrisbrogan.com wake up? Share your thoughts and feelings on this with me, please?

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