Joy first. Work second.

My banker (at Bank of America – but I still love her) was trying to find my contact info on-line to get info about tickets to a show I was in. She googled me and saw the number of organizations I am involved with – and suggested I post something about getting things done.

So I admit it: I am an organizational freak and long-time follower of guru David Allen. David’s #1 rule: You can do anything, but you can’t do everything. I push the edges of this because I like to get a lot done. But every Sunday I look at my week to decide: What has to be done this week. What would l like to get done this week. And what would I like to get done – sometime soon. And yes, I still write all of that down in a planner (with a pen – on paper).

My #2 favorite advice is from Seth Godin: Don’t let email and social media drive your day. Decide what has to get done and do it. Fit the email and social in around the edges.

My #3 favorite advice comes from Buddhist philosopher, Leo Babuta. And that is to do the things first in the morning that you most want to get done but don’t have to get done. And trust that you’ll still do the stuff that has to get done. This advice allowed me to finish writing a novel that I’d been working on for years. I now write most mornings for two hours before getting to my real job. Joy first. Work second.

This week I read something new about keeping organized. An author suggested prioritizing my list by how much money was involved with each item. I tried this for two days – but found there were only a few things that I could link directly to possible income. Now those tasks are done and I am back to my old ways.

How do you keep organized??

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Janie Downey
Co-founder Catalog University


  • Josh Rhyne

    Solid post Janie! Seth Godin is the man! Also, when you posted his quote about email and social media driving you, I instantly thought about Tim Ferriss and the Four Hour Workweek, he’s all about that too!