My name is Catie Menke. I am a 32 year old South Dakota native now living in Phoenix for the last 6 years. As we all sit down and make our goals for the New Year, I implore you to consider the power of organization, which I am glad to talk to you about today.
Growing up, my first example of what organization looked like came from my mom. We could attribute the coordination of our family to her. My brother and I were both involved in multiple activities in and out of school. From practices to rehearsals, she invested in a good plan, and she always seemed prepared. How she was able to keep track and flawlessly execute all of our schedules is still a mystery.
In elementary school and middle school, I would describe my room as a place for decoration and creative exploration. I loved keeping sentimental gifts and displaying my latest design projects. My love for creating was very evident and my idea of organization complimented my free spirit.
Once I got to high school and was able to drive, I took over the onus of my schedule and organization. I used a written planner to remember homework, activities and events. Despite this tool, I still struggled with time management – I would always underestimate the time it took to get ready and drive somewhere, so I typically arrived to everything about 30 minutes late. Honestly, to this day, my friends would be shocked if I made it somewhere before them.
As I began navigating college, I quickly realized I wouldn’t be given any grace when it came to showing up late. Being a collegiate athlete meant you respect everyone’s time and give your all during that time. This has served me well through my professional dance career, and now with starting my own business.
My biggest worry when I was starting my business was the thought of putting something out into the world that might not work or be appreciated. When starting something new, without success guaranteed, it can be really scary, regardless of who you are. But when I changed my focus to how I can serve my community, the fear shifted into something I just felt called to do. It’s become my expression of self-love – just letting myself try, regardless of the outcome.
Once I got passed those mental hurdles, I finally decided to take the plunge and open my business – Brunch with Catie Menke – a networking and workshop event + video series. I wanted to bring a group of people together for a deeper purpose – to talk about the things that matter, to learn something new and to form meaningful connections. The core of it all is to inspire self-love, self-awareness and self-care.
But as I mentioned at the start of this, I want to stress the importance of organization, whether you’re running your own business, maintaining a social schedule, navigating the world of children, or if you simply need life to be a little less hectic. I’ve found these four pieces to be the most helpful in my endless journey to stay organized.
1.) Writing in a planner (There’s something about being able to physically cross something off that stills gives me great satisfaction…). My favorite planner to use is a Passion Planner, which you can find with a quick Google search, though I’ve also tagged it at the bottom of this page.. What I like most about the Passion Planner is that it not only keeps me on track for the week and month but it also helps me set goals and includes monthly self reflections. All helping me stay organized and focused on my intentions.
2.) Using a HUGE yearly calendar that is only for business. It’s so big it takes up an entire wall in my office. With the yearly calendar, I’m able to set daily, weekly and yearly goals. I spend one night a week, usually a Friday, game planning and reviewing the week ahead. I focus on what I need to accomplish daily for the week in order to reach my monthly goal.
Having great people around you. Whether you’re running a business, working for someone else, or even just operating in your social circles, know what your strengths are and make sure you’re using those.
3.) Creating manageable boundaries. I really think this has been most helpful for me and something that I’ve had to learn from trial and error. It’s not easy to say no but being honest with myself and those around me of what I can accomplish helps me from feeling stressed or overwhelmed. If me going out on a Friday night will hinder me from accomplishing a goal, I’m going to set that boundary and prioritize accordingly.
4.) I can be a bit of a perfectionist, so it’s been a challenge to put things out there before I think they’re 100% ready, however, it’s been such a wonderful lesson, as I realize how easy it can be to drive yourself crazy, listing the multiple reasons not to press submit. I’ve heard people talk about just diving in and forcing yourself to figure it out and I couldn’t agree more – if I set a date for something, the responsibility to follow through pushes me to accomplish what I need to, learning constantly as I go.
Plus, how boring would it be if I just knew how everything would play out? Essentially just watching everything unfold without worry or nerves or excitement… no, thanks.
It’s been such an adventure to evaluate the ups and downs after every Brunch episode or event to see what worked and what didn’t. Each experience has helped me really narrow in on my mission and goals.
Speaking of goals, for the New Year, I intend to include more monthly Brunch episodes, hosting an event outside of Arizona and selling my own design products. I really can’t describe how excited I am for 2020 – I know it will be an amazing new year as I look forward to nurturing my love of creating while staying focused and organized.
Now go hop on Amazon and get yourself a Passion Planner – with two day delivery, you’re just in time to start the new year off right. And, please, I hope some of you will join me at a Brunch; you can find me below.