How to stop things from falling through the cracks
Every day just like you, I'm trying to figure out all the things to make sure that everything gets done so that my business and my life can go smoothly. I'm going to share about how to stop things from falling through the cracks.
With so many things on your plate, you need systems to help you remember it all. And let me tell you, when I was trying to remember all things, I wasn't going to bed. I wasn't sleeping well. And I was constantly distracted. My brain was trying to keep me remembering all the things that it was worried that I was going to forget.
I tried post-it notes. And used to have post-it notes all over the place. So I came up with a system that works very well for me. And I hope that it works for you too.
How to create a system to stop things from falling through the cracks
There's a couple of different ways that you can create a system. I highly recommend something electronic. Because when you create something electronically, you will have reminders that pop up. You can use whatever system you want. But I'm going to recommend a couple. Just make sure that whatever you pick is electronic so you can set up recurring things.
Using a digital calendar to help stop things from falling through the cracks
Setting up recurring events helps remind you when things are going to happen. For example, you want a reminder for your mom's birthday. So when you create this event in your calendar you can set it up to be recurring every year on that specific date. That way you will have it in your calendar every year, without having to remember to add it at the beginning of the year.
When I do this I set up three reminders. One on the actual birthday day. And then I create a recurring reminder at the beginning of the month to buy birthday cards. The other reminder is a week before the actual birthday that will remind me to mail out the birthday card.
This might sound like a lot of work. But once you do the brain dump and you set it up, it's set up forever. You can do this with anything that needs a recurring reminder. It's so helpful if your system is available on your phone. That way you can set up reminders on your phone as you remember them.
I set up reminders for bill payments, changing air filters, setting up doctor appointments, health checkups, vet visits, insurance renewals, among others.
Use your digital calendar for reminders for your work with clients
I even use this for my work with clients. I set up what day of the month I'll work on their stuff. Quarterly, end-of-year, engagement letter, among other things. The more I can get out of my brain onto my digital calendar the better it is for me. So anything I don't want to have to remember, I add it.
The more you do this, and the more brain space you clear out, the more productive you'll be at the things you need to get done. The more time you will have to do the creative things that you want to do. Or the self-care things that you need to do. And so I believe that this is vitally important to get all of this junk that is not serving your brain.
If all this stuff is out in a place that you trust, your brain can relax. Because it's not going to keep on thinking that you won't remember. And it won't keep trying to remind you about things.
Systems that help so things do not fall through the cracks
So let's talk about some systems. Systems change all the time. I'm going to share a couple of systems that I've personally used. But there are lots more out there. I'm a big fan of keeping everything in one place. So whatever system you use, I would just use that one system.
You can still your electronic calendar like Google Calendar with Google tasks. That's a super simple way to do it. But things can get kind of cluttered in there if everything is on your calendar. I prefer to use something like Trello or Asana.
Trello and Asana
Trello is a project management tool. It's mostly board-driven. It's designed for you to be able to move things through stages. But some people like that visual view. , I am a list person. So I like Asana. And both of these tools are free, which is pretty awesome.
Asana is a list-based tool. Which will allow you to create lists. You can create groups, categorize things, tag things, set due dates, and reminders. I used the Asana for a long time before we grew our team.
If you do have a team and you need some more complicated setups, you can use ClickUp. There is also a tool called Monday, which I've never used. But it's similar to ClickUp.
Asana or Trello can be used for larger groups. But they're great for individuals. ClickUp and Monday are really for multi-person organizations.
I would not recommend you use a spreadsheet or document, because those will not give you reminders. And you will not be able to make things recurring. For the system to work for you, you need those two elements: reminders and recurring. That will help you keep things automated. Your upkeep will be low and if things are in your system, you'll use it.
Key components needed to help things not fall through the cracks
To wrap up, if you want to stop things from falling through the cracks, you need to create a system for holding all of the things. And it has to be a system that your brain trusts so that your brain will allow you to offload that mental weight into the system.
The key components that you need for this system are:
- You need something electronic, that allows for you to check it on multiple devices, your computer, and your phone.
- You want reminders so that it pushes you to get things done.
- And you also want it to have the ability to make things recurring. So it will automatically recreate the task at the next frequency you need it. Whether that is tomorrow or two years from now.
If you have any questions you can comment below, fill out the AskKristin.net form (where your answer could become another podcast episode or live on Facebook), or join us in the Small Biz Mama Facebook group.