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how do you do schedules?

making-a-living-column-headerCalendars. Reminders. Alerts. There are so many ways to stay on schedule and up to date with our day-to-day and week-to-week and yet, even with alerts, and paper calendars backed up by electronic calendars and reminders—sometimes we still find we’ve dropped the ball on something important. Mabel believes that the core issue in staying organized is about finding the method that works best for you and committing to it. Read on and hear how some of these folks have figured out their best methods:

Do you have a go-to move to keep a disciplined schedule for your work?
What are your favorite organizational tools/helpers?

My method for getting things done is to give myself a loose framework, and know what I can and can’t compromise on.  For example, I’ll designate certain days to work on certain things, but because I know that it’s going to cause me overwhelm to rigidly stick to that, I’ll make changes as needed if a more pressing priority arises.  To decide what to focus on, I’ll usually look at what’s on my plate and then pull out a 3 x 3″ sticky-note—I’ll write down items on that sticky note and have those as my agenda items for the day.

I keep things very simple on the organizational tools front. Too many apps become too much to manage. I use a paper calendar (I’ve tried going digital several times, but it never gels for me) and Voxer for communicating with friends or my mastermind peeps. I also pre-schedule some of my social media using HootSuite.

Kate Swoboda, aka Kate Courageous, is an author, speaker, and life coach at YourCourageousLife.com

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I work based upon: timeliness of targeted promise, available segments of time, current bliss and inclination.  I organize my pending tasks like a menu and I pick and choose the night before.  I use an itsy bitsy list that only holds ten things.  It’s not overwhelming and it keeps me from the “shallow, interesting, but not significant” tasks.

Music helps me track short projects.  Books on disk helps me stay with long, repetitive tasks.

I use technology to: give me a first and second alert/reminder regarding promises and due dates; time me to assure my butt stays in a chair or at my bench for a committed period of time; if I’m too tired to think well, or create with joy, I take a power nap.  THAT truly is an organizational tool.  Honest.

Mary Anne Radmacher’s work goes to work around the world.  Products available at: appliedinsight.net

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Everything goes on my calendar IMMEDIATELY. That means every appointment, every task, every moving part of my launches and business.  When it’s on the calendar in front of my face, it gets done.  My current favorite tool is Evernote.  It allows me to access everything wherever I am and stay on top of my business.

Theresa Reed (aka The Tarot Lady) is an intuitive Tarot reader, teacher, mentor and yogi on a mission to take Tarot from hippie to hip.

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Google Cal changed the way I work completely! I block out my days so I can stay time efficient, and every day it serves as my to-do list at a glance.  The structure keeps me focused, but it’s flexible enough that I can just drag blocks around if I feel like working on a different project as the day progresses. Love it!

Caroline Winegeart is a brand designer focused on helping soulful creatives become the best, most vibrant version of themselves.

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This may seem counter productive, but I work best under pressure, so I procrastinate!  What is actually happening the weeks before a deadline, I am constantly working in my head.  Then when I approach the canvas, keyboard or camera, I already know exactly what I want to produce.

And a Chalkboard. The one in the kitchen where I see it every single day, a hundred times a day!  Lists and journals seem practical, but out of sight, out of mind.  I rely on the written word on my wall in my face every single day!

Deb Taylor is a photographer, blogger, artist living in sunny Florida.

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I like to spend time really spelling out my work flow before I dive in to my project.  Right now I am loving visual tools that give me the full picture at once.  I have a production timeline mapped out on a white board where I can see the full picture divided by weekly tasks.  I can add in specifics as they emerge within the bigger picture.  I build in “unexpected” time so my timeline feels realistically aligned with my real work rhythm.  Having things spelled out keeps me on track and helps to prevent me from jumping ship into other tasks that aren’t aligned with my primary goal.  It also relaxes me since I know as long as I keep getting aligned with my timeline, I’m on the right track!

Dr. Rhea Zimmerman Komarek is a chiropractor and transformational media producer. lovebombthemovie.com

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Discipline has always been a real struggle of mine, in my personal and professional life.  Over the years I have done things like design my own day planners, calendars and checklists.  I’ve hired coaches, consultants, meditated, lit candles, incense and beautiful crystals, chanted, looked myself in the mirror and encouraged myself and if there is a self-help book about habits, discipline or mindset, I have not only read it, but highlighted it, almost memorized it and slept with it under my pillow for extra absorption power.  After all of this, for me, it comes down to this: Show Up & Receive.

I need to switch things up to keep myself interested and on task and learning that about myself made a world of difference. Having a morning routine, that I try not to miss, helps a lot. I recently combined all of the tricks and tips that work for me and complied them into a workbook called Make It Happen. It’ll be published in February of 2015 and I’m really excited, I hope it helps as many people as much as it helps me.

Kari Chapin has each one of her fingers in a different entrepreneurial pie. Learn more at karichapin.com

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Do you have a story to share about how you organize yourself so that you can stay on track? Please share your stories here in the comments or on the Mabel Facebook page.

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AND please submit questions that you’d like to see the Mabel Community answer  in this Making a Living • Creating a Life column to:   info@mabelmag.com, subject line: Mabel Community Question


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