As an INFJ who is very much ‘feelings’ driven, I have always found it hard to get into a routine and stay organised and disciplined.

I usually go do whatever I feel excited about doing over the course of the day, so productivity is usually not a problem, but staying focused on what is important is.

Because of this, a lot of my productivity can get wasted. Too much energy goes into procrastination and Twitter.

Staying focused on the important things has always been a challenge for me, though I tend to stick with, and finish projects I start.

We’re all told to write down goals. I too think it’s important to have things to aim for. Otherwise we become fragile wandering creatures at the mercy of the dips and nudges of life’s unfolding.

The thing is, with goals often being set so far in the future, it’s too easy to lose sight of what’s important.

I might get all excited when I write fresh goals down after a coffee, but they can easily be forgotten when more pressing every day concerns rear into view.

This is why I’ve always proposed – and make use of myself – an important tool to complement longer term goal setting: a weekly checklist.

This is a list I keep that includes everything I want to get done by the end of every week.

Such as:

By the end of the week I will have ensured:-

  • Publish 2 x blog posts
  • Write 1000 words daily (14,000 total)
  • 20 x tweets sent per day (140 total)
  • 2 x Instagram shares every day (14 total)
  • 3 x Red Lemon Club newsletters shared
  • Get a response from 7 people in my contacts list
  • 1 x podcast recorded and shared

You’ll notice that these items are all actual results. The weekly checklist encourages action to be taken and shipped.

My weekly checklist remains very similar each week because they consist of the same results that I aim to hammer out week after week.

The weekly checklist encourages accumulated results, which is what success is really broken down into.

Success is the manifestation of positive results accumulated.

It is down to you to identify what makes a result ‘positive’. A positive result needs to add to your growth and the growth of those around you.

These results are in line with whatever my longer term goals are, so that I bring the urgency of what needs to be done over a longer period, to the present day.

What’s good is that my goals are right there on the very same page as my checklist, that I look at every morning.

My weekly checklist helps me promote my brands better and gain more clients. It helps me focus on what needs to be done each and every day when I plan the day ahead.

It helps me hit my goals over time and not lose sight of where I’m going.

I have a document that I am in the habit of opening every day that shows:

  • My top 5 goals for this year
  • My weekly checklist

That’s pretty much it for staying organised in my life, beyond a to-do list that I use to inform my daily plan, which I write every morning, though I’m aware it’s better to do so in the evening before.

For those of you who hate getting too technical with staying organised, just focus on your weekly checklist at the minimum. Look at it every day. Tweak it if necessary over time so that you are moving towards your goals.

Focus on results and doing similar things every day and every week to get those results.

Success is the manifestation of positive results accumulated.

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Posted by Alex Mathers

Alex is a project starter, sometimes finisher, writer and illustrator. He started Red Lemon Club in 2009 with the aim of helping talented creative people leave their mark.

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4 Comments

  1. Goodness me I love Red Lemon Club articles! Just wondering – how do you actually lay out your checklist/goals etc? Do you have some sort of a physical planner that you use, or more of a digital situation? If so, do you have any luscious Red Lemon Club-esque templates we could take a peek at? 🙂

    Reply

    1. Thanks! Right now I put them in a document online that I refer to and update when I need to. I put the goals in there too. Working on some Red Lemon Planners!!

      Reply

      1. Fab! I’ll be the first in line when they happen! Cheers for the reply 🙂

        Reply

  2. Really good idea Alex, I’ve been using Evernote checklists for other things and as a fellow INFJ I also need to give my creativity structure. I resisted organisation and planning for a long time, but things like Cal Newports ‘Deep work’ really resonated with me and I realised that I needed to be conscious of how I get things done.

    Reply