The beginning of the month is a great place to reset, refocus and reboot. So why not kick things off with a simple 30 day planning challenge? Not only will this easy and achievable activity offer productive results, but will also make you more conscious of your free time and your priorities.
You may not be consciously aware of it, but have you ever found that the days that you planned out tend to be the most productive and rewarding?
Why is that?
It makes you better prepared for the unexpected (which means less stress);
It helps you see what you already have, and what you still need;
You have established priorities and planned actions;
You are more likely to achieve your goals; and
You have a better focus.
“Set aside time to plan how you will spend your time. Think about what’s most important. Then do those things first.” — Frank Bettger
Take a trip. This means you have a destination to get to (A to B). You need to figure out HOW you're going to get there, WHAT you're going to take, WHO you're going with or plan to see and WHEN you're going to do it. You don't just jump in the car one day and drive. You think about it and, even on a small scale, you plan.
If you get a flat tyre, or a road is closed....you deal with it better than if you had no plan. Because despite the set back, you still have your goal in mind.
The same goes for all areas of life. So why not plan out the next 30 days and give this a go and use my FREE 30 Day Challenge PDF to help you write out your plan.
There are a bunch of different planning methods out there. But the one I like the most is an 'in the middle' type plan - not too stringent and not to loose. Once the plan is in place, give yourself 5-10 mins every night to evaluate the main focus for the following day.
Choose three main focus points for every week (see my last blog about working in threes). This could be to do with work, family or the home. These are the big ticket items that will give you that 'I'm on top of the mountain' feeling. Don't write these in just yet.
Write out all your appointments and obligations eg sports practise, physio appointment, mortgage broker, birthday party etc
Write out all the week by week activities to get done - washing, lawns, errands, groceries, training plans and yes......schedule them in! This helps you understand where your time is being spent.
Now look at where you have chunks of time. Choose a time block that is going to be productive for you, and use this for one of your main focus points. Repeat for your next two focus points.
If you have space, work in those extra bits and pieces such as decluttering.
Put this somewhere where you can see it and refer to it regularly. This is where using pen and paper is great! Yes, I hear ya. You can use your phone/device calendar if you like, but then it won't be as obvious.
"If it's not on your calendar, it's not a priority. If you don't have goals for it, you're probably not thinking about it." - Benjamin Hardy
Just like you would with taking a trip, plan for breaks. You can't work non-stop. If your most productive time is the morning, schedule a morning tea break in the middle.
By planning ahead you will see where your time is being spent and how to use it more effectively. You start to see the benefits of a healthy planning routine.