Sometimes, these podcasts are a little like Storytime with Lisa. You’ve heard about My Depression Story. You’ve followed along with the fictitious Angela and Molly, and the real-life Dawn. You can play these podcasts while you’re doing laundry, or driving your kids around, or (my personal favorite) organizing your home.
Other times, you’ve got to listen to the episode three and four times with notebook in hand.
This, my friends, is one of those times. Grab something to write with, because by the end of this episode, you might feel a little like you’ve been drinking from a fire hose!
I have a ton of specific, how-to steps to share with you in this week’s podcast about how to use your Friday Workbox to its maximum efficiency. The Workboxes all come with comprehensive Playbooks that go into great detail about each Workbox, plus a private Facebook group and live Q&A sessions with me. Once you buy one, you have lots of avenues for help and guidance toward success in your work.
But if you’re unsure about which Workbox to purchase in the first place, this is the podcast episode for you.
When I first designed The Sunday Basket, I wanted it to be universal. Every woman, every dwelling. But it didn’t take long for me to realize that I needed organization in the other huge part of my life–my work!
That should cover everyone! You all fit into one box, and you know exactly which box that is, right?
I personally have, at some point in my life, had all of these roles. And sometimes (like now), they overlap!
And I know they do for you, too.
What is Your Work?
You may think that because you don’t earn an income, that you don’t have a job. And you’d be wrong!
I define your work as whatever you spend the majority of your time doing when you aren’t taking care of household tasks.
If you are a stay-at-home-mom who does not hold another job or hobby, if you spend your entire day working on household tasks, you WORK! But, your needs are fully covered by The Sunday Basket, and the only time you would need a Friday Box is if you took on a large scale duty like homeschool co-op, room parent, PTO, etc. For that, just purchase an additional Sunday Basket and use the process I outline here.
But for everybody else, think about your passions and your unique talents. When you aren’t at home, what are you doing? That’s your work. Many of you will fall into one of the six categories of Workboxes that we have.
What is a Workbox?
We designed specific Friday Boxes that are accompanied by a Playbook. The Playbook not only tells you how to use your Friday Box, but also gives you a detailed roadmap for how to be successful and productive in that field of work. It truly is a playbook! The Playbook is what differentiates your Friday Box from another one, because it outlines how to use the slash pockets to fit your unique role.
A Workbox functions much like The Sunday Basket does–it corrals your papers and organizes your to dos, so that you know where everything is when you need it. You go through the box and the pockets each week, just like you do your Sunday Basket, and you touch every single piece of paper. Instead of asking yourself if the item can wait until next Sunday, you ask yourself if it needs to get done the next week. If it does, out comes your calendar and your list of Top Three, and you schedule it in.
Going through this box every Friday afternoon is essential. Why Friday? It’s the last day of the workweek. Why Friday afternoon? Well, what do you feel like doing on Friday afternoon at your job? I love my job, obsessively even, and I don’t work on Friday afternoons. I’m reachable, sure, and sometimes I check my email and messages, but my brain is thinking about the relaxation and family time that comes with the weekend.
When you focus on what happened this week and what will happen next week, you will save yourself a ton of time and stress the following week. Monday morning is no longer stressful, because you’ve got your plan in place.
How to Work Your Workbox
Step 1: Gather all of your paper and to dos
Just like your Sunday Basket, get into the habit of tossing all of your papers into the box as they come in. Every time you get an idea, an assignment, or a project, write it on an index card and toss it in–as long as it isn’t immediately urgent.
You don’t even need to sort your papers as they come in! Don’t give them a second thought–just toss them in the box and let Friday You sort it all out. The less in your brain, the more bandwidth you have to focus on the projects you are dealing with in the current week!
Step 2: It’s Friday afternoon! Touch each piece of paper and sort it.
Your rainbow slash pockets function just like your Sunday Basket–you can either use them to hold your important tasks for the week, sort them by day, or whatever method works for your job. The slash pockets don’t come labeled, so the world is your oyster!
The color blocked slash pockets are part of your workflow. First, sort your pink slash pockets. Pink is anything new: new products, new projects, new assignments, new ideas, new leads. The items in this category are not a fully fleshed out plan–yet! For Corporate, that might mean something mentioned to you at a meeting, or an idea you’re getting ready to pitch to your boss, or something not currently in your workflow that you might need to take over. For an entrepreneur, your pink pockets will probably be stuffed, because you are the idea person! All the thousands of ideas you have before breakfast–they all go in this section. This goes back to what I talked about last week. Once you write these ideas down, they are now a tangible thing, and you are more likely to get them done! For the direct seller, these are your leads. A trade show, a social media collaboration, a home party, someone you met at a networking event–those are all leads and you need to keep track of them!
Purple is next–the color of royalty! Purple is the bread and butter of what you do; where you spend 80% of your time. For Corporate, this is your current projects, your current customers, your current accounts, your current quotes. For entrepreneurs, this is what you sell. What is your product or products? How many arms of your business to you have, and how many income streams? They each need a pocket. For direct sellers, this is also your product, keeping in mind that for many of you, sometimes your product is the company structure itself. You may have a pocket for your jewelry line, but you also need one for your VIP customers, collaborations, and other services, because they provide an income for you, too.
Blue covers the often overlooked, but often critical aspect of structure. For Corporate, that’s easy; it’s your corporation! What do you need to know about your company? This may include meetings, team contacts, annual reviews, or conventions. You may also have handbooks and contracts to keep in there, too. For entrepreneurs, this is your personal growth. If you’re smart, you’ll put a good chunk of effort into your own education and development, because a company can only advance as far as its CEO does. For direct sellers and franchisees, this is the company you represent. Any updates, meetings, conventions, downline, and anything else you need to know about that company.
Green is either going to be your favorite or the one you dread, but it’s so critical! These are your repetitive or administrative tasks that must get done. Don’t despair, though, because green is the easiest to hire out once you reach that level in your work! For Corporate, your green slash pockets will hold your expense reports, sales reports, mileage, inventory, supplies, or anything else you do every week. For entrepreneurs, did you laugh when I said “repetitive?” As if you do anything the same each week! Your green slash pockets are your books, and you can’t keep putting them off. It’s not the most glamorous part of owning a business, but it is what keeps your business in business. Receipts, tax forms, expenses, supplies, and purchase orders all go in this section as well. For direct sellers, this is also your finance section. Did you know that most people in direct sales actually don’t make much (if any) income, once their expenses are deducted? You need to watch the funds coming in and the funds going out if you don’t want to be part of that statistic. This is the difference between the direct sellers at the top of the company and those that struggle to stay in the black.
Step 3: Open up your calendar.
Now that you know what you need to do, it’s time to schedule it! This is where you will save SO much time. No matter what work you do, you need to have set days and set hours when you do it, otherwise, it will always get pushed to the side. This is a lot easier with a corporate job, because your hours are inherently protected (unless you work from home, that is!). Entrepreneurs and direct sellers, of course, have the gift of more flexibility. Even so, you need a schedule. Look at the following week and make those Top Three lists and your hourly schedule.
A hugely important part of this last step is the follow up. Don’t forget to schedule your follow up! If you don’t want to be sending Friday afternoon emails, schedule those emails to automatically send on Monday morning, but write them now. Alternately, you can set aside time the next week to follow up on things, but be specific. What meetings did you have this week? What action items came out of those meetings? What customers did you deal with this week? Do they need to hear from you next week? What social media campaigns did you run, and how did they go? What did you learn? The follow up is the money maker of any business, and it’s important that you are consistent with it.
Phew! Are you exhausted? It sounds overwhelming, but once you put in the initial work, I know that your Friday Box will keep you organized and productive in your work.
At Organize 365, our mission is not only to help you get your home and paper organized but to go beyond that–to give you the tools you need to give yourself the freedom to do what you are uniquely created to do. With your Friday Workbox, we hope you do just that!
If you tried any of my suggestions, I’d love to see them! Follow me on Instagram and join the Facebook group for more great organizing tips, then share your photos with me by tagging me @organize365 or using #organize365!