Friday, January 10, 2014


30 Days of Hustle by Jon Acuff:  Days 1 - 10

So far, so good - I'm being intentional with my time, although I've let a few hours of wasted time slip thru my fingers.  :(  Haven't done a lick of exercise since January 1st and have eaten my weight in chocolate since coming back to work.  HOWEVER, I'm chipping away at my main goal, which is my "Hustle" quest and my focus for the month of January.

A quick recap of the exercises Jon Acuff has us do and what my participation is in them so far:

Day One:  What's my 30 Days of Hustle goal?  To organize my papers - my "brain dump" - and get that mental chaos under control.

Day Two:  Why do I want to do this?  The clutter in my brain, and of my file piles, and on my desk is inhibiting me from doing other things...

  • first off, I need to be able to find what I need for what I want to work on, right?  
  • Secondly, I need the space freed up to make room for what I'm trying to accomplish @ the moment.  
  • Third, the chaos is distracting.  
  • Fourth, it's my freakin' job, for gosh-sakes!  'Nuff sed.

Day Three:  How am I going to do this?  By tackling one piece at a time in a 3-step process.

  1. Step One:  gather all papers together from the general paper clutter collection points - desk top, kitchen counter, top of the filing cabinet, catch-all cupboard in the main living area and sort all piles are gone (I have a box for each category), except for the "immediate action items" (aka "IA")
  2. Step Two:  IA items completed first (note:  this is a never ending process, because there is always something that needs to be acted on, but if you fall behind on this task, you could be treading in very dangerous waters - not returning calls, forgetting to mail a birthday card, missing an insurance payment, losing track of a reimbursement check - etc, so getting it under control & establishing a system for maintaining that control is an absolute MUST!).  
  3. Step Three:  Category by category, box by box, paper by paper, going thru one by one until 100% completely filed and cataloged, with a defined maintenance program and process routine schedule!  

Day Four:  Make it FUN!  Ugh, how???  Add in an element that makes it enjoyable.  My fun element is to turn on HGTV while I work.  I never have time to watch this network, yet I find many of their programs inspirational & motivating.  By having the TV on this channel "keeping me company," I not only have visual stimulation, but I will probably end up with an idea or 2 that I'll want to implement somewhere along the way.  :)

Day Five:  When will I work on this (be specific)?  The first 30 minutes of every work day will be spent reviewing & organizing my to-do-list and formulating a plan of action to complete the day's goals.  I commit to a working lunch hour for the month of January where I will set aside 30-45 minutes of this time towards my Hustle Goal.  I commit each weeknight evening, between 6:30p - 7:30p towards working on this, and will use the time between 7:30p - 8p to manage my emails & take notes for what needs to be tackled the following day.  Weekends, I commit to a 2 hour block of time, 8a - 10a, both Saturday & Sunday, doing the same.  

Day Six:  Where will I work?  At my desk, which is really an antique kitchen table because I prefer a large worksurface (and since I tend to pile - hence my current dilemma! - I need the spread-out-able room).  I will stand, not sit, for the sorting process.  When it's time to tackle any IA items that come up from my most recent sort, I will spend the last 15 minutes sitting at the dining room table completing those items (or adding them to a specific time on the calendar to be completed - ex: scheduling a long-overdue doctor's appt would need to be made during the doctor's office hours).

Day Seven:  Identify who you will be accountable throughout the process.  Ha, Acuff said this would be easy, but it's not.  I can't think of anyone I want to be accountable to about this & don't ask me why.  I guess I'll make this blog my accountability partner...  if I think of anyone else, I'll update this.

Day Eight:  Envision the Future!  Make a dream board, write an article for a magazine as if I've accomplished the goal, take real pictures and map it all out...  OK, fun exercise but I don't have time for this!  OK, OK, I'll make the time & will share in an upcoming journal entry.

Day Nine:  Minimize the Goal by 50% - the idea behind this is that it will makes it less intimidating if you see the halfway point of accomplishment as a measure of success.  Hmmm...  so, if I only get to the point of managing my IA tasks and sorting all the papers into their respective categories - and then maintaining that part of the process, but never actually re-sorting & purging the boxes themselves, then I'll have accomplished 75% of the overall goal (since my goal is a 3-parter, I'm having trouble with the 50% marker), I should celebrate!  Well, ok, I know I can reach that level, at a minimum, by January 30th.

Day Ten:  Know (and admit) the triggers.  Yikes, I don't like this one, especially since I know one of my triggers is the television...  Well, ya see how this works is, you honestly identify those things that make you fall off the wagon.  For my Hustle Goal, the television is a MAJOR distraction - depending on the show (Matlock, Murder She Wrote, Perry Mason, Mystery Woman, Columbo, Jesse Stone, Lifetime TV movies, reality TV programs or ANY hilarious sitcom, such as King of Queens, Friends, Frasier), I will end up WATCHING the TV & not working.  This is also the case with news or a documentary.  So, I know those are my triggers & not to turn the channel to them...  HGTV is different.  Unless its a competition show, such as Design Star, or a Sarah Richardson program (must sit transfixed whenever she's on), I can work thru those with little distractions - often just the reveal catches my attention and if I think I want to revisit it in detail, I'll hit the "record" button before the show ends & can go back later when I have more time.  So, even tho TV is a distraction trigger for me, I'm sticking with my Day Four Fun Element on that one.  Other triggers are magazines (definitely a part of my paper clutter so a necessary evil), email, Facebook, text messages, interesting news items on my home page, food, boredom, phone calls, the dogs, the cat, my son's stomach & his social needs ("will you take me to..." requests, or his impromptu decisions to spend time with Mom, therefore invading my work space, commandeering the television, usually to a sporting event, talking incessantly, moving things, rough-housing with the dogs causing my piles spread hither & yon!), Pinterest, home housekeeping requirements, my husband's curiosity with how I'm spending my time...  WOW!  I have ALOT of triggers!  I get it - this is why people invest the money in an off-site office for their home based business.  OH MY!

So, there you have it:  Days One - Ten.  I have some assignments to complete (damn vision board and establishing some family boundaries) but otherwise, I'm engaging in this program and chipping away at my physical & mental clutter.  #feelinggood


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