Building a system for success

If you’re like me, your most common complaint is probably that there isn’t enough time in a day, and if there is, that you can’t remember everything that you want to do. 

In this article, I’m going to be talking about my system for Getting Things Done; what workflows I use, and what programs I use for capturing and recalling information. On any given day, I probably have 5-10 methods of collecting information and tasks that are coming into the system.

Note cards
Post-It notes
Phone – Calls
Phone – Voicemail
Email – Personal
Email – Education
Email – Office
Email – Viola Enterprises
Social Media – Facebook
Social Media – Twitter
Social Media – Linkedin

Of these, around half are digital, and the rest are either physical or virtual. So on a given day, how can I hope to keep track?

The first thing I try to do is to digitise everything. For this, I use a combination of;

Outlook – current projects
Evernote – reference materials
Dropbox – archived reference materials

For me, having two days of the week for processing all of this is essential. On a Friday, I spend most of my day at the office collecting all my notes, filing emails that have built up over the course of the week, and generally capturing all of my lessons and plans. The second day is a Sunday – I sit down for a few hours in the afternoon, put on Classic FM, and file all of my ‘life admin’ that’s built up. This includes all of the work for my personal business, Viola Enterprises, as well as clearing down my email, sorting out my personal finances, and planning my schedule for the coming week. 

This digitisation and electronic processing is the second part of my system – without which I struggle to keep track of responsibilities and issues that are upcoming and require my attention. In a typical week, I might attend 2 networking sessions, a Toastmaster’s event, spend 40+ hours a week at the office, and another 24 hours travelling. I’ll have a call list 10-12 people long, as well as half a dozen investment opportunities to review. Alongside this, I try to keep up with reading 4-500 pages a week, and spend at least 5-6 hours a week teaching myself a new skill or improving an existing one