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  • Organization for Creatives: 4 Tools of the Trade (4 of 5)

    I want to to be very short and to the point with unveiling 4 Tools of the Trade to revolutionizing your organization and eventually your life and craft.

    1. You: One of my mentors has told me on numerous occasions, "your greatest asset is you." That is to say that nothing in your life is more valuable than your passions, skills, and time at work. You have tools. Leverage them in everything you do to get yourself where you want to be.

    2. Not-To-Do List: Almost every human creature in America has written a to-do list before but very few have written a not-to-do list. So much our time is wasted on things that are unnecessary or things we hate doing. Make an ongoing list of things you want to stop doing. Don't just randomly stop one day - especially without your supervisors permission if they are business tasks you are required to do. But talk with your superiors, explain why you feel this is pointless/inefficient, offer a solution at the right time and in the right way and you just may be able to cross the first item off of your not-to-do list.

    3. Evernote: Evernote is an app I use for organization (available on all iOS, Android, Mac & PC). It isn't the sexiest design you will ever see but it allows me to store everything in my life in a very organized way. There is also a desktop client to work seamlessly from the office or on the road. No more double typing and note taking. You can record audio and snap pictures then send any notes, pics, or sound clips to collaborators on any of your projects. There are tons of note taking and to-do apps out there like Wunderlist, Wunderkit, ActionMethod, AnyList, and Weave are a few I have downloaded. Whatever works for you and, most importantly, whatever you will actually work on is what you should use. It's time to use those to-do list for more than shopping and errands.

    4. Mentors: Assemble a team of mentors for specific areas in your life that you want to continually improve in. Meet with them from anywhere between one and four times a month. Most of these relationships will probably have to be more short-term due to schedules and depending on frequency. You can chat on the phone on the drive home on Thursdays, have a late Wednesday night video chat, simply follow a blog or podcast or read their book. Technology has released information and knowledge for our generation. If you aren't leveraging all that is out there in some way you will probably be left behind in your field. A mentor can be a great sounding board but please don't talk the whole time. You are there to learn from them. You have two ears and one mouth. Remember this when meeting with a mentor.

    Use these powerful tools to turn what was once a monotonous, inefficient, uninspired routine into a dynamic and life-giving schedule.

    If you haven't yet read days one through three in this blog series please go back and read each one to catch the entire understanding of this method of organizing.