I’m just dropping in with a temperature check as we are now in the last full week of January.
As we know January can be a tricky month and in my experience, it can either go one of two ways.
You felt good moving into the new year with intention (whatever that intention was) and felt a sense of fulfillment, contentment, or progress.
You struggled to feel a sense of newness and it felt tricky to energise and motivate yourself in the arbitrary tick-over from one year to another.
If you fancy taking your own temperature check, here are a few self-reflective questions that might help:
On a scale of 1-10, 1 being sluggish and 10 being buzzing like a bee, how would you rate your energy levels in January?
- What goals or intentions did you set at the beginning of the month?
- How far do you feel you have been able to honour those goals or intentions? (%)
- If less than 50%, what would have supported you?
- What wins however big or small have you achieved so far in January?
- How do you want to feel in February?
- What goals or intentions will help you increase your feelings of motivation and honouring your goals and intentions?
Even if you just answer question 5 it can be super useful.
So many things can play into how you feel in the first month of the year. Things that are out of our control can swoop in, throw us off, or we may be lacking in clarity about how to make this year count.
It’s times like these when my age-old time management system really helps. You will most likely have heard of it. I use the Eisenhower matrix with a little twist.
The Eisenhower Matrix
This tried and tested tool is incredibly useful for managing day-to-day tasks, enabling you to stay focused and productive. Here’s how it works:
When setting your daily task, decide on what falls under the following categories:
Urgent and Important: these are tasks that are urgent (need to be done in the next few hours) and important (of high value to your deadlines and productivity output.)
Mark these on your list as an A. They take priority over everything else.
Important but not urgent: these tasks are of high value to your output, but don’t have a pressing deadline that needs to be met in the next few hours. Decide when these tasks need to be completed, and mark them B on your list.
Urgent but not important: sometimes things just need to be done, even if you don’t deem them of high importance. In these situations, can someone else do them? Delegation of these types of tasks is key. And if you feel uncomfortable about delegating send me a message and I can give you some pointers!
These are also marked B on your list. Or A if they are particularly pressing. (The action here is to delegate.)
Not urgent or important: there will always be tasks that fall under both of these categories. Feel free to dump these off your list! Or get round to them when you have completed all other tasks.
These are marked C.
Curveballs: With the best will in the world, emergencies happen, fires need fighting and something will come in and disrupt your best layed plans. If an urgent and important task lands on your lap, this becomes an A*. Some other urgent and important tasks might need a star adding to them too.
If you already use this system or want to give it a go, hit reply and let me know!
I’ve literally been using it forever and it’s one of the only tools that stick.