We received this message from Lori last month and got permission to share her kind words with our community. Her email went as follows:
“Hi! I am a 55 year old almost empty nester and a college professor (for the past 20+ years). I have read every book and tried every program out there to try to get a handle on my stuff, especially my college lesson plans and admin work.
I am a procrastinator, so I am always playing catch up with grading, lesson planning, etc. Until now.
I have only gone through Module 1-3 in the STEP program and I have finally found calm.
Yesterday at work, for the first time in forever, I was ahead of the game. I had that day’s lesson plans done and organized and ready to go, and I was working on next weeks. I knew where everything was and I could find everything in seconds. I actually said to myself – I feel so calm, what am I forgetting?
I have realized that one of my issues is that I never plan my time when I am actually at my desk at work. I know what has to get done that day, but I would go from one thing to another as they entered my mind, never actually having a plan. But yesterday was different. I planned my day with the “Create your day” template and everything went so smoothly.
I want to thank you for creating a plan that actually works and that can be done in baby steps. I use my morning time to just do 1 lesson a day.
Thank you and keep up the good work. I love listening to your podcasts on my drive to and from work.”
Thank you, Lori, for sharing your experience with the STEP program and your Command Central.
We wanted to highlight three skills that we’ve observed in our community members that are incredibly helpful when it comes to implementing a new system of organization:
(1) Learn how to hold details related to a project so they are available when you need them.
Have you ever felt a “pre-trip panic” where it seems like there are a million projects and tasks that need to be completed right before you go out of town/on vacation? More often than not, these projects and tasks aren’t actually urgent, but the thought of losing track of the details while we are gone seems stressful.
One of our community members shared that she was able to recognize that these projects didn’t actually need to be done right before a lengthy trip, and instead, added them to the correct places on her Project and Next Action Lists. All the details and support materials could be safely stored–ready to be utilized once the trip was over.
Our daughter, Alia, shared this experience on the podcast:
“My husband and I are getting ready to move out of state next summer, and the thought of a large move started to cause me a lot of stress. Instead of letting the looming projects and tasks weigh me down, I created a holding place for them on my Next in Line Projects List. Whenever someone shares a recommendation related to moving or a new idea pops into my head, I simply add them to my ‘Summer 2024 Move’ project tab in Asana. I set a calendar event with my husband in January to sit down and break down these projects into next actions and create a timeline that we can work from. It feels so freeing to know that this HUGE project (actually multiple projects) is safe and I don’t need to worry about it one bit right now. I can enjoy the holidays and focus on my family/friends during this season.”
(2) Learn how to prioritize projects when new ones start coming in.
Have you ever created a nice list of projects and thought, “Wow! I am so excited to complete these projects during the month and I am going to do x, y, and z to make it happen.” and then a few days or weeks later, life “happens” and all of those plans go out the door?
You’re not alone here! We all have things that pop up in our life–negatice or positive–that need our immediate attention and efforts. We’ve seen this in our own home when we had an unexpected refrigerator leak that ruined part of our flooring. One of our Four Weeks to Finished community members recently shared a similar sentiment when plans to prepare her basement had to be put on hold due to urgent needs in the home. It initially felt discouraging, but she utilized her Someday and Next in Line Projects Lists and was able to identify the projects and tasks that were not urgent and could be put on hold.
When we give ourselves permission to take things off of our lists, we are freeing up mental and emotional space/energy for the events and items in our lives that need us most. When we know that our projects, routines, and tasks are safe in our Command Centrals, we can feel at peace and fully present in our everyday situations.
(3) Make a path forward when we are facing a mountain of backlog.
Whether it’s 50,000 emails that need sorting/processing, 10 years worth of paperwork that needs to be dealt with, a garage of others’ belongings that need to be sorted and decluttered, or even a backup of uncompleted projects and tasks that resulted after an illness–we’ve all experienced some kind of backlog in our lives.
That mountain of “to-do’s” can sometimes feel overwhelming, but when we know how to address this kind of situation, our minds can feel calm and we can create a clear path forward.
This is one of the most incredible aspects of the STEP Command Central–there is a place for doing a “mindsweep” and getting all of the items out of our heads and subsequent places for projects, one-time tasks, routines, and next actions that are identified from the mindsweep.
Alia and I both shared instances in our lives where we were dealing with health challenges, busy schedules, or interruptions to our day-to-day schedules, but we were able to work through the backlog and identify what was most urgent and needed our attention soonest.
It is totally possible to address backlog with minimal stress and resistance, and the components of a STEP Command Central can help us do just that!
Want to learn about our STEP program and build your Command Central? Get started at LearnDoBecome.com/STEP
And if you have a student who you’d like to inspire and equip with knowledge on how to organize and get things done, please sign up for our free training at LearnDoBecome.com/EmpowerStudents
Our ARISE membership – an amazing gathering place for community members that are using their Command Centrals to refine relationships, health, finances, individual purpose, and more. We focus on a new topic each month, and this is an amazing opportunity to receive coaching and support from Team LearnDoBecome. You can sign up for a free, 7-day trial here.