65. Systems I’m using that work
December 6, 2019
Hey, are you wondering how well you’re doing with your bookkeeping? Maybe you’re at a total loss of where to begin. Maybe you’re not sure how well you’re actually doing. You just need to know the next steps to take.
During a bookkeeping strength assessment, I work with business owners one on one for about 30 minutes and identify what their next step needs to be. I’ll lead the conversation by asking some open-ended questions and then ask ten laser focused questions so I can pinpoint exactly what you should do next and how strong you are with your bookkeeping. Business owners find this to be the boost of confidence they need to tackle their bookkeeping head on.
To get on my calendar for a free session, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or message me on Instagram @lydia.miller.mba. Now on with the show.
Welcome back to the podcast!
Throughout the month of December, I’m sharing ways that I have prepared for 2020 and systems and processes that I put in place in 2019 that make me feel really good about how productive that I can be in 2020. Now, this is December 6. My due date for my first baby was the 1st. I’m recording this ahead of time so I have no idea if I’m already holding my newborn or if I’m still waiting, but you do since you’re listening to this on December 6. It’s kind of futuristic and weird.
In 2019, I really focused on finding things that work for me and ignoring things that don’t, even if it works for everyone else. So for some people, certain types of technology work great for them and it was a struggle for me to use. I really decided to let go of those things and to only focus on systems that keep me productive.
That’s what I want to talk about today. Three systems and products that have made me the most productive I’ve ever been in my business.
1. Powersheets by Lara Casey with Cultivate what Matters
2. The Simplified Planner by Emily Ley with Simplified
3. The Sunday Basket by Lisa Woodruff with Organize 365
I’ve used these separately before in various times of my life, but it wasn’t until I used all three of them together that I really found progress.
So, in 2018, I used my simplified planner religiously and I still do. I’ve used this paper planner since 2016 and I’ve always loved a paper planner, but this one is by far my favorite. The design really is simple, the covers are beautiful and I love the daily version because it gives me lots of space for to do lists and such. I tried to switch to a google calendar after hearing about other people using it and being more productive, but I just couldn’t get used to it and my brain wants to write reminders down instead of typing them into the computer. So, the paper planner stays.
The problem that I found with just using the paper planner is that I still didn’t have a place to write down my goals and I wasn’t accomplishing as much as I thought that I would. So, in 2017 or 2018 I bought the 6 month version of powersheets. I don’t think that I used them much, and I definitely did not use them consistently. In 2018, I bought the 2019 powersheets and decided that I was going to accomplish my goals and I set out to actually use them. My friend Shaela and I have been meeting once a week all year in 2019 to go over our progress and hold each other accountable to using our powersheets and getting our goals done. 100%, this is why powersheets worked so well for me this year. Without her I never would have used them to their full potential!
I’ve loved using them and tracking my progress on paper and really being able to look back and see just how far I’ve come on bad days when I feel like I’m behind or like I’m not getting anywhere. Just the difference between January and now is astounding. We are going to continue meeting in 2020 with both of our new babies in our arms.
But, I still wasn’t as productive as I would like to be and my powersheets just didn’t fit all of the things rolling around in my head. I got a lot accomplished, but I was still wasting time and wondering what I should be working on. I love PS because you can write down your big goals and break them down, but I was still finding myself frustrated that I wasn’t completing things on the list and I wasn’t sure how to keep track of more details. I tried using the simplified planner for this, but I just kept re-writing lists or being unsure of when to put things on my calendar and the systems together just weren’t creating the result that I was looking for.
I’ve been following Lisa Woodruff with Organize 365 for probably 4 years now. I found her through a podcast on opening up a home organization business and I think I’ve listened to all of her Organize365 podcast episodes through at least twice. She has a system called the Sunday Basket that manages your household paper and to dos. I am pretty sure that I put a Sunday basket together before, but it didn’t stick because I didn’t use the official system or set it up the right way or decide that I was going to be consistent with it. Until now. In September I ordered the official Sunday Basket in white and set it up how she teaches. She had two training videos on this and an entire podcast on how to manage your Sunday Basket.
Let me tell you. That was the fuel on the fire. I already had been organized with my simplified planner of dates and deadlines and such, but I wasn’t getting it done. Powersheets helped me to narrow my focus and write out my specific goals that I wanted to accomplish and track them and the Sunday basket gave me a place to put down all of the action items that I wanted to do, file them and get back to focused work instead of worrying when I was going to get around to all the things in my head.
For example, part of the Sunday Basket system is having 3×5 cards in your reach and every time something pops into your head of something you want to do or finish or an errand or just all of the things that we as women keep in our head to write it down and drop it in the Sunday basket if it can wait until Sunday.
The first week that I had my Sunday Basket, I went to target and bought 300 blank 3×5 cards and went through 150. Seriously. 150. I don’t know if that’s normal or not, but I was amazed with how many things I was holding onto in my brain. There were a few duplicates in the cards, but for the most part, it was just little things that added up to being overwhelmed and not productive because I was so worried about all the things I couldn’t focus on my goals. I did somewhat of a Sunday Basket intensive that week after getting it set up. You’re only supposed to go through your cards once a week, but I went through them every day and filed them in the slash pockets that they belonged in because it was getting crazy and I didn’t want to give up on Sunday.
This is what made me more productive. I chose the things to focus on in my business and life and I was finally making amazing traction on my goals and being super productive.
All of these systems are great on their own, but I’ve found that by using all three I am the most productive version of myself. For example, I have never been this far ahead in podcasting. It’s the end of September and I’ve accomplished almost all of my October goals, and I’m secretly hoping to get them all done that I can before October 1 so that I can create new goals and work through my November and December powersheets in October to get as much done before the baby gets here as possible. But, we’ll see how that goes.
I think that is one of the biggest wins that I had in 2019 is becoming really really consistent with those three systems and letting them work in their strengths to help me become super productive.
If you’ve never heard of those before, I have linked them in the blog post for you to check out the creators and order them if you’d like. I’m not an affiliate of any of them and this isn’t sponsored, I’m just a girl who loves them!
Next week I’ll be talking about why I moved back to QuickBooks Desktop.
Until then I’ll be hopefully snuggling a newborn and enjoying this new season of life.
I’d be honored to work with you. To get started, email me at email@example.com with the problem you’re having and we can discuss the best way to get to a solution in a bookkeeping strength assessment call.
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I would love to connect with you. You can find me on Instagram @lydia.miller.mba and always by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
So until next time, go, make it happen.