I’m trying a new approach this year, to get “the big stuff” done. You know, those projects you keep postponing month after month, even though you know they are incredibly important and will make a huge impact on your business. I’ve been scared to take on those projects, because I know what a huge time commitment it will be.
But lately I’ve started to think that time probably isn’t the issue. If I could just find a way to work smarter, and do less unnecessary tasks, I could actually fit in quite a lot in one week.
We had a couple of days with stunning, almost spring-like weather last week. I’ve photographed this particular road countless of times since we moved here, but I’ll never get enough of the way the sun’s gleaming through the trees <3
Last week I wrote about what I’m doing to kick-start 2017. Implementing “focus weeks” was one of my strategies. It basically means that I set one main focus for the week ahead and making that my main priority.
I’ve found that having lots of small, recurring tasks easily stresses me out and makes me feel like I’m working all the time, yet I never seem to get anything of importance done. So instead of trying to cross off as many things as possible on my to-do list, I set aside all minor undertakings and focus on the profound ones. And by profound I mean the task that will have the greatest impact on my growth/development/well being, not necessarily the most difficult or time consuming one.
And having lived through my first focus week with a clear, assigned task to be finished by Friday (my 2016 book-keeping), I must say it’s working surprisingly well! Not only have I finished the task, I’ve also come up with heaps of recipe ideas, photographed a handful of them, been active on my social media channels (which can be a full time occupation in itself), wrote blog posts, gone for plenty of walks and still had time to chill and watch movies/read in the evenings. And I didn’t even have to work in the weekend! Well, except for writing this post then ;-) It is as if the discipline and motivation has spread to other areas as well.
This immediate success makes me super pumped to continue exploring this way of working throughout the winter and spring, with discipline and curiosity.
During one of my walks I went off path for a bit to revisit this favorite little house of mine. It sits just by the sea, next to a fisherman’s shred. No one seems to be using it now during winter. In fact, it doesn’t look like anyone’s set their fot there in years. Imagine turning this place into a solitary writer’s lair or an atelier! Dream come true <3
It’s quite amazing how hard and effective one can work if there’s a clear goal at the end of it. Perhaps the goal is the rewarding feeling of “closing” a task or a project on Friday afternoon and officially signing out for the weekend. Or it might be seeing the finished result of some piece of art you created. Many times it is probably the relief of finally fixing something that’s been bugging/worrying you for ages (like book-keeping, or cleaning & sorting out the mess in the utensils drawer. Yes, I did that too last week).
Whatever it is, I think it’s key to formulate that goal for yourself. Why it’s important to finish the task by the end of the week, and what it will gain you. If it’s a task that will take longer than a week, then divide the project into sub deadlines to be reach by each week. Just make sure you have a specified end deadline as well :-)
Another key thing that I so cleverly have anticipated ;-) is to not expect this system to run on smoothly week after week, but rather foresee (and schedule!) periods of low motivation. You will need rest and time to regroup in between the projects. There’s no need to be highly effective all the time. If I can get 4-5 big tasks/projects done before the summer, I’m super happy.
Next week, I’m getting started with my blog makeover. This is something I’ve wanted to do for over a year. I’ve been hesitant to getting started partly because of my poor technical skills, but also because it’s not something I can just get done in a day. I know it will take weeks of prioritizing, which also means low activity in other areas.
But, now I feel confident to get started, and I even look forward to playing around with this new design! This will be my focus for the next two weeks. My goal for Friday is to have my new theme installed, my design tweaks done and my new graphic profile developed and coded into the theme. This does however not mean that the new blog will go live on Friday. The actual launch I’ve set to a later date. More about that when we are closing in :-)
Are you also trying out focus weeks, or some other productivity method? I would love to hear how you tackle things like fear of getting started or procrastination!
To Do, week 3
- Today I’m working half day with the blog design. The rest of the day I (unfortunately) have to run some much delayed errands (I basically haven’t been in town since Tuesday last week so, grocery shopping is essential).
- On Tuesday Hannah & I are spending the morning doing a “planned freak-out”. So many things have changed in our lives the last 6 months, and we haven’t taken the time to process them. The idea of a planned freak-out I got from Katie’s awesome podcast WANTcast – the women against negative talk podcast. You can check out the planned freak-out episode here. The rest of the day (and evening), I’ll be working with the blog design again.
- Wednesday is my recipe testing and photo shoot day, as per usual. Not sure yet what it will be, as I have a million ideas I’m trying to decide between. Perhaps some kind of random buddha bowl where I can cram it all in? ;D
- Thursday is big blog post writing day. I have 2 blog posts and one Cashew Kitchen Letter I wanna write and schedule. We’ll see if I can meet that goal, hehe…
- Friday is solely dedicated to blog design. Here I’ll be working my ass off to meet by deadline! Then: collapse in front of a movie of something.
- On Saturday Hannah & I are celebrating our 2 year anniversary!! <3 Not sure yet what fun thing we’ll be up to. Perhaps a hike?
- Sunday is family time, as we are all gathering at my grandparents house for dinner :-) I truly hope that I don’t have to fit any work in this weekend. I realize my ambitions for this week are quite spectacular, and that makes me a teeny bit nervous. But I can always take some shortcuts if I need to :-)
If you listen to the planned freak out episode, let me know what you think of the idea will you? And I promise I’ll write something about how it played out for us.
Wishing you an inspiring and dedicated work week!
Until next time,
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