Happy February! I wanted to share the simple system I use once a month to tidy up my head for a clean slate month.
How to start a monthly duty day. #productivity #creativepreneur
Enter Monthly Duty Days! Sweet Kat Schmoyer (a buddy and more recently student of mine who just knocked the PANTS off of her Creative@Heart conference launch after we spent about 3 weeks working on the messaging and sales page together!) passed the idea along to me at Bonnie Bahktiari’s Illume Retreat last April.
In essence, you block off one day at the start of a month — preferably the first — to bulldoze through those tasks that pile up (and tend to not get done otherwise!).
I held my February Duty Day the other morning, and thought I’d share how it goes! I also have a freebie printable checklist for you to grab, in case you want to start your own duty day!
Get your checklist!
1. Schedule it.
Nothing — ‘least for me! — happens unless it’s Sharpie-penned in my Simplified Planner. Oh, and preferably decked with stickers. I write it in my planner, but also go into GoogleCalendar and block the day off so no other meetings can interfere with it.
2. Set the clock!
It totally depends on your tasks and gameplan, but I can knock out my Duty Day in a morning. I used to literally do the whole day, and wrote EVERY inch of content/blog post/social media draft/email newsletter for my business on that date, too, but I’ve found Marketing Mondays work better for me!
In the first year I held Duty Days, they were baseball hat and yoga pants days. I still like to take the whole day for admin things — both home and work — because it makes me feel a little more centered at the start of a new month, but I’ll be honest: per usual, I struggle greatly with putting client work above everything else in my life. Eek! Recovering PR agency girl over here, but I’m getting there.
I knew you’d want to see my task list 🙂 so I thought I’d share! It’s a mish-mash of life, home/housekeeping, and business tasks, but the heart of it is to make sure you keep what’s important most important.
The first thing I do is sit down and tackle my Powersheets, so I can think for a hot-second about what worked — and didn’t work — the last month. I also use the monthly “Let It Go” workbook page religiously as a TOTAL brain dump: I love to get everything outta my head. It’s #hotmessexpress, but I feel SO much better after!!
Then, I dig into my task list! I keep mine on Trello, but you could keep it anywhere! The important thing is to just corral everything on one list. Here’s mine:
I think it’s pretty self-explanatory, but I outlined some of the weird ones below:
- Powersheets are the tool I use to set intentional goals each year and break them down by month and day. You can read more about them here.
- Books are planned in advance, only because I have book ADD … and I also have to remind myself to read books that stretch my mind sometimes — otherwise, I’ll dive into a steady diet of chick-lit! Here’s my reading plan for this year, so you can get an idea of how I do that.
- Nancy Ray’s Guide to Organizing Your Personal Photos is THE BEST tool if your iPhone photos and thought of making albums stresses you the heck out.
- Weekly fieldtrips don’t always happen, but I try to work from somewhere else — or just get inspiration from somewhere else — once a week.
- “KonMarie paperwork & digi files” basically means to take The Magic Art of Tidying Up book mindset to my desktop, Dropbox, and GoogleDrive. I get lazy about my desktop — sometimes “desktop zero” makes me feel like I have a little more whitespace in my life.
- Here’s a run-down on the AW monthly business tasks:
And that’s my duty day! The way I start my month sets the stage for MOST of my month, and this makes a world of difference in keeping me less stressed out, since whatever the month’s gonna bring needs to be approached with flexibility and preparedness!
Taking just a few hours to invest in a Duty Day saves me hours of nagging feelings down the road.
What monthly traditions do you have? Do you have a monthly prep work day?
Get your checklist!
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