Creating a Work Plan

by Lisa Woodruff

Sep 3, 2021 | Episode 438 | 38:17

Throughout September, I will be teaching you how to proactively plan your work, control your work situations, and make decisions about what your work is going to look like, now and in the future.

It is time to plan our work. I have always been a non-traditional worker, so we use a very broad definition of work at Organize 365®. I want you to make a plan for your work and make thoughtful decisions about how to manage this part of your life. 

No one will ever get everything on their to-do list done. Getting a system in place to manage your to-dos will allow you to optimize your work and have more time for your life. 

What is work?

Work is whatever you are doing for the majority of your Monday to Friday hours. Your priority for the majority of the week in this season of life is your work. It can be volunteering, caregiving, working a traditional job, or being an entrepreneur. It can also include being a stay at home parent, or a homeschooling parent. 

There are many different kinds of work. Work is a mindset about how you approach your activities, and may or may not be related to what you do to earn an income. 

Where do you work?

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed where we work. Because of our new experiences, now we all can discuss in-person work, remote work, and hybrid work. Where each of us works will likely continue to change over the coming months and years. I started Organize 365® at my kitchen table, moved into a corner of my bedroom, briefly used a spare bedroom, had an office in a loft space at home, and then finally moved to the Organize 365® office. 

No matter what kind of work you do, you need to consciously decide where you will do your work. Many homes do not have a dedicated home office. Some work requires working in different locations on different days. However, establishing where you work is vital to effectively getting your work done. 

No matter where you do your work, you need a consistent place to capture your work papers, ideas, and to-do items. For your household, the Sunday Basket® handles all of your home paperwork. At work, the solution is the Friday Workbox

What hours do you work?

I love working. I love creating impact through my work. I have never been successful setting work hours for myself, but I have learned to set non-work hours so that I have time and energy for my home and family. I set aside Sunday as a  day when I do not do work, and I lavish my attention on my family. This is my approach, but yours may be different.

You may be in a season where your focus and priorities are on parts of your life outside of work. In those times, you may need to fit your work hours into firm boundaries. In this situation, determine when you will start and stop your work day. Be clear about what can be flexible and what cannot change. Try different approaches to your work hours and determine what is best for you at this time.

Where will your work supplies be put away?

No matter what your work situation is, you need to have a place where you can put all the parts of your work away. This is especially important if you are working from home or working from multiple mobile locations. Just like in kindergarten, at the end of the day, your workspace needs to be clean.

The Friday Workbox is designed to hold all of your active work papers, and to keep them organized so that you make consistent progress towards your work goals. When you have your Friday Workbox, a computer, and a phone, you can work anywhere. This is a system that is easy to grab, ready for you to easily access your work and take action, and safe for storing your work when you are done for the day. 

As more people are working and schooling from home, it can be hard to be done working for the day especially if our work is out in the open. Putting everything into the Friday Workbox (including the laptop) and putting it away, allows your work space to return to the other functional purpose. Putting away things we are not actively using improves the family enjoyment of our spaces. 

I am a multi-faceted, multi-passionate person. I know many of you are too. Over time, I have found that having a separate box to store the pieces of a project or job helps me to organize my brain. Prior to using boxes to store my projects, I had multiple unfinished projects in the open around my home. It was overwhelming, and I did not make as much progress as I thought I would by keeping these things visible. 

At the end of each work session, develop a transition routine. Check your email one last time. Close your computer. Drop any notes for action items or reminders in your Friday Workbox. Put your papers back in the Friday Workbox. Put your Friday Workbox away and enjoy your non-working time with the others in your home. 

If you need more help getting your Friday Workbox system started or optimized, we now have Certified Organizers who are specialists in the Friday Workbox System. They are specially trained to help you as an individual, or can help you get the Friday Workbox installed in your workplace. For more information, please check out our directory.