You ever scrolled through your social media feeds and wonder how your friends have the time to go on vacations or do anything besides work? It seems like your work is never done, and like you'll never have time to do the things you really want to do. I promise you there is hope! So how can your friends manage to find time for work and play? You may not like the answer, but you have to plan. Planning helps combat against this success blocker (lack of time). Let's look at five things you can do as part of your planning process.
- Identify everything you want to accomplish by the end of the week.
This step is also known as "brain dumping". Brain dumping is simply when you write as much as you know about a certain topic. I know, I know. You may be thinking you don't have time to do this activity. Trust me, you don't have time not to! When you start off your week knowing everything you'd like to accomplish, it can totally change your perspective about your ability to achieve your goal. Don't worry if your list seems endless. The next step will help you potentially eliminate some of the items (for this week at least).
Circle the things on your list you feel are necessary so you can achieve your overall goal. This can be difficult for some, but I challenge you to make a concerted effort and eliminate non-essential tasks. If you're like me, you may want to even use a color-coding system. You can use different colors for "Top Priority" tasks and "Maybe" tasks.
3. Jot down three to five things you can accomplish each day.
You may be thinking you are too free-spirited for that, but there are benefits to this process. Planning helps to establish a clear vision of what you want your week to look like. It also helps eliminate excessive stress, confusion, and wasted time. So, instead of surfing Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for hours on end, you can actually schedule in time where it would be more appropriate to be on social media. Just think about how this will help you to increase your productivity!
In the past, I struggled quite a bit with overextending myself. I used to put too many demands on myself for each day, and then I became upset when I didn't achieve my intended goals. Fortunately, my years as a teacher taught me the value in planning out the entire week--heck, sometimes even the entire month! If I know the major goals I want to achieve by a certain time, I can create small, achievable tasks to get me to my end goal.
4. Implement your plan!
It doesn't make sense to go through the trouble of creating a weekly schedule if you're not going to use it. Sure, life gets in the way sometimes, and it can stop you from completing a task here and there. However, you have to make up your mind to follow through with your plan. If you notice changes need to made to your weekly planner, then make them accordingly. I would even suggest reaching out to someone who could serve you as an accountability partner. S/he could help remind you about items on your list.
Reflecting on what did and did not work is crucial to your success. This information helps you fine-tune current weekly expectations, and make changes for future endeavors. Reflection also helps you to point out specific talents and strengths you have. This can help you to maintain a positive perspective, and give you the momentum you need to finish up strong.
I've found success by implementing these five steps, and I know you can, too. You may create your weekly schedule electronically or by filling out a physical planner. Here's the same editable planner I use to help me stay on track throughout the week. I challenge you to fill it out using the strategies above. Then, connect with me to let me know about your progress!
Click here to learn ways to achieve the success you want and deserve.
See my previous posts in this success blockers series.