The anticipation of a New Year is always so exciting! However, with it comes the realization of expectations already left unmet and hopeful ideas yet untried. I was fully expecting to have my blog re-design ready to unveil by the first of the year, but it is nowhere close to being complete. My studio newsletter was supposed to go out last weekend, but it barely made it to people’s inboxes this morning. New repertoire that I hoped to introduce at lessons this week remains undiscovered in my files or on the shelves of the music store. And the list goes on.
Sometimes (most of the time!) I feel like I can barely keep my head above water in the ongoing current of a life full of responsibilities and activities. And even two weeks of “break” does little to help me reduce the load of e-mails requiring responses, work my way through the pile of new materials awaiting review, finish out financial records for one year and get systems in place for the new year, make progress on projects I’ve committed to do for various people and organizations, and the list goes one! Can anyone else relate? 🙂
Nevertheless, time marches on and so must we! Instead of an official Monday Mailbag post today, I thought perhaps we could all share ideas of things we have done or are doing to start off the New Year to hopefully achieve greater efficiency, organization, or success in our various endeavors. For myself, I find that being able to organize things on paper aids me greatly in organizing my thoughts and systematizing my schedule. In the past I’ve tried outlining my responsibilities according to different roles, but this year I tried a different approach of outlining my responsibilities according to their frequency. I ended up with six categories:
- Daily Responsibilities
- Weekly Responsibilities
- Monthly Responsibilities
- Ongoing Responsibilities
- Short-term Commitments (along with the committed time frame)
- Project Plans (along with deadlines)
- Random Projects and Ideas (general things I’d like to incorporate into my life as the opportunity arises)
This system of preparing for the year has helped me feel much less overwhelmed and anxious (so far!) about how everything is going to be accomplished. At the same time, I try to keep at the forefront of my heart and mind the realization that “The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps” (Proverbs 16:9).
Have you come up with a good system that works for you in planning for greater efficiency, organization, or success in the year ahead? Feel free to share about it in the comments below! I’m sure many of us can benefit from a multitude of such ideas!