If you’re new to the concept of our “STEP Command Central,” the basic idea is that you’re going to create a system that organizes your papers, tasks, projects, goals, emails, etc. into three main categories: Daily, Weekly, and As Needed.
The STEP (Steps to Everyday Productivity) System is based on David Allen’s system in Getting Things Done®, but we make it a little simpler, more visual, and particularly functional if you are balancing a family with professional or volunteer work.
Here are some frequently-asked questions about how many Command Centrals you need. (Watch the video below, or keep scrolling for a written summary!)
If I have a partner or spouse, do we share a Command Central, or should we each have our own?
Okay, the answer is yes and no. You definitely need a place that is “just yours.” You need to know where YOU need to be and what YOU need to be doing, etc., but some of this can be done collaboratively with your partner or spouse.
For example, Eric and I each have our own Google calendar (mine is green, his is blue), but we share our calendars with one another so we can clearly see who has what going on and when we’re available for meetings, get-togethers, family activities, etc.
Regarding the “Next Actions” list, we each have our own. I keep my personal one in my planner as a little bookmark—and then I keep professional Next Actions list inside Asana (a free app!).
We also have our own email accounts, our own Weekly Reviews, and our own filing systems. (We do have a shared fire-safe file box and a few shared files for things like insurance, taxes, etc., but for the most part, we don’t touch each others’ file systems…we simply divide up who is in charge of what, and we manage the related files.)
What if I have a business or professional work that is separate from the tasks I do at home? Do I need a Command Central at home AND at work?
Great question—it kind of depends.
If you have an external office (or a classroom–if you are a teacher, for example), you’ll still want to have ONE calendar and ONE Next Actions list—because you have one body, and you can only be in one place at a time.
But you may have a totally separate filing cabinet or support materials at work—as long as you never (or rarely) need to access those files or materials at any other time. Essentially, it would be very simple—and functional—to have a duplicate of each of the “As Needed” resources at your workspace.
For the Weekly Review (where you sit down and plan routines, projects, and all the details of the week ahead), it’s helpful to have parallel work/personal lists, but you want to keep them in one place so you can access all the information you need while you are doing your ONE Weekly Review.
For example, let’s say that during your Weekly Review, you are looking at your routines for the week. You may want to have one list of professional routines—and then another list of personal routines. It’s so easy to create digital lists (mine are in Asana), so you can edit and review on the go—or from any location.
Going back to the calendar, while Eric and I each have our personal calendars for meetings, appointments, etc., LearnDoBecome also has its own calendar system (that we can turn on or off on our Google calendar, as needed). This calendar tracks team meetings, community events, team member vacation schedules, video and podcast releases, and anything else that the whole team may need to see.
As long as you know—when you get up in the morning—that your calendar is accurate, focused, and simple, you’ll have a good sense for what needs to happen each day, and you’ll feel SO much more empowered when it comes to making decisions, completing your work, and having the bandwidth to be present for your family.
The Main Point:
Your life is unique. You might be working in little bits and snatches throughout the day, you might have hours of focused work at an office each day, or you might be working alongside a team.
The key is for your brain to feel calm because you know that your system is totally organized. And the way you know you’ve achieved an optimal Command Central is when your brain IS calm, when you can be 100% present, and when you’re not thinking about things in the past you haven’t completed—or worrying about things in the future that you want to complete. If you go to bed feeling peaceful and content, knowing you did (or renegotiated) what you needed to do that day—and feeling excited for the next day because you have a seamless system supporting you, that is the “serenity” we’re talking about all the time around here. (It’s going to change your life!)
“Connect” at LearnDoBecome! Find out about our podcast and YouTube channel, our free Community Facebook group, and wonderful programs where we can serve you at a deeper level.
My 2-Minute Franklin Planner Tour (in case you want to get something like the one I use!)
A Fun Community Feature:
Carlee posted these photos in our STEP Mastery Facebook group this week, and our whole community was incredibly inspired!! She had a goal for her system to “run quietly in the background,” supporting her as she lived her life. Now it’s built and bringing joy to her day-to-day activities because it is organized in a way that works with her activities and gifts. We hope these photos (shared with permission) inspire you, as well!