Before we get started with today’s post, I need to explain that it is WAY easier to teach some children how to “adult” than others. We’ve only done this once, so far, and Alia, our 19-year-old daughter, pretty much came ready to be out on her own. In fact, when she was four years old, I took her to the supermarket while Eric stayed home with the other two (ages two and one), and she said, “Isn’t it great to be out without the kids?”
But the goal of this podcast isn’t to try to “show off” our adult–or to make it sound like it’s SO easy to teach these kinds of things.
We’re simply hoping that some of the things Alia has learned and applied in her life (and some of the things that I totally missed as a young adult) will be helpful to you and your family.
We want you to listen to the podcast–by clicking the audio player at the top of this page–to get the best feel for what we’re sharing, but if you simply need to skim, here are the basics that we discussed!
At LearnDoBecome, we help people to create STEP Command Centrals. (STEP stands for Steps to Everyday Productivity.) A Command Central is a seamless system that holds all the papers, tasks projects, ideas, etc. that typically sit in “piles” or clutter your mind.
In our discussion, we highlight some of the specific ways having a STEP Command Central in place can help make “adulting” and managing the details of your life less stressful! Here are just a few of the things we shared:
Alia’s STEP Win
I (April) wish I could have written something like this when I was Alia’s age…. Here’s the post Alia shared recently in our STEP Mastery Facebook group:
STEP Win!! 🎉
I created a Next Action to stop by a study abroad office at my college because I needed to get a few questions answered in person (and they hadn’t been answering my emails–they probably weren’t at zero 😉). I made time in my schedule and had a great visit with the people in charge. Here’s where this turns into kind of a crazy current/future project:
I’m going to be spending the next 18 months in Ukraine for a church mission and I will need my parents to help me apply for the study abroad next July to ensure my spot in 2021 (I’ll have very limited internet/computer time). I was able to break this up into several smaller Current Projects and Next Actions to make sure everything gets taken care of! Here are just a few that I’ve planned out:
– Create a Current Project to complete the application essays in advance
– Create a Next Action to sit down with my parents and explain the whole process to them and figure out their involvement while I’m gone
– Create calendar triggers to remind me and my parents about important application dates and deadlines
– Put all the physical materials in my mom’s Tickler or Someday folders so she can access them (also a Next Action to discuss this with her)
– Create a shared note in Evernote and include application links, PDFs, contact information, etc for my parents to access
I am so grateful for STEP because not only has it helped me see large, daunting projects as simple steps and Next Actions, but it allows me to have full confidence that my parents will be able to help me with (and won’t forget about) these key steps that I won’t be able to do on my own. (For any parents out there, your children are also so thankful for STEP because they know for sure that they can count on you!! No more lost papers or forgotten projects!!)
Oh, I was so grateful to see all this making an impact….
Having a system to handle incoming tasks and papers builds trust in relationships.
I love that Alia mentions how valuable it is to be able to count on people when you are delegating tasks.
The truth is, I wasn’t always like this! We used to have stacks on stacks of papers. Our desk was full of piles, coupons, and field trip reminders, and other papers covered the fridge. When we had company, we would move the piles–and then later wonder, “Where did that pile go?”
But now, as Alia prepares for this study abroad, she knows that each paper and each task that is related to her application will have a safe “home” and will be set up to trigger action at just at the right time.
You can maintain a clear mind, even when there is a lot going on.
Using her calendar, Current Projects List, and Next Actions List, Alia has reduced the stress related to finishing finals, packing visiting friends, and managing all the “stuff.”
The best part? Each of these tools–the calendar, Current Projects List, Next Actions List–are just basic parts of a system that you, too, can create and use to manage your responsibilities. (Just check out the links below–we have some great resources that teach you how!)
We are working on organizing our 25,000 STEP Command Central Challenge–and already have had several photos come in! So exciting! Alia’s STEP for Students program helps students learn how to build a STEP Command Central–and those also count!
So if you have a teenager or student who is interested in getting a system in place so that they can manage their projects, tasks, and more–come check out the STEP for Students program here! (There’s a great free download & 5-minute video that teaches how to set up simple file folders to hold the papers you won’t be needing for several months!)
If you haven’t yet taken the free class that Eric and I teach, How to Stop Drowning in Piles, we would love to have you join us! We will go into more depth on identifying your own Current Projects, and breaking them down into Next Actions, and then organizing them by context–so that you can start moving forward on the things that matter most. Come sign up here!
This is what Keli shared on one of our Facebook announcements for the class…. (Thanks, Keli!!!!)