Now is as good a time as any to think and plan for your future – that might be the end of the day, week or year. But, if you hear yourself saying “there just isn’t enough time to get everything done”, you wouldn’t be alone. Let’s explore some steps that you can incorporate to make this balancing act of life a little less ….like a balancing act.
Think About Your Habits
An article in Psychology Today explains why it takes at least 45 days to train what they call our “mammal brain” to change bad habits to good habits. Our brain is wired to equate bad feelings with survival threats, so that repeating a bad habit becomes easy because it makes you feel good, which stimulates your brain into “action.”
A Good Plan
A good plan includes a list of things that need to get done with an idea of how long they will take and when you’ll do them. And that seems so much better than a jumble of thoughts and ideas rolling around in your head and keeping you up at night, doesn’t it? We taken the pain out of creating your project list, action list, to-do list – call it whatever you want – by sharing this 5 step process …
Success in 5 Steps:
- You’ll capture all your thoughts about the tasks and mini projects that you want to accomplish – this is a good activity for your brain
- You’ll consciously reflect on how specific results transpire.
- You’ll decide what you will and will not do – this is liberating!
- You’ll plan all that needs to be done – this is powerful!
- You’ll use your calendar to schedule your actions.
- You’ll celebrate your accomplishments – which might be something you don’t do often!
Start by thinking about your personal life and your professional life.
Step One: Identify what you want
Answer these statements:
- In my personal life I’d like to accomplish …
- In my professional life I’d like to accomplish …
Step Two: Capture the words
It’s important to keep the information organized and keep all the ideas you have grouped together in one place. It may technically be two places if you decide that personal and professional should each be separated. This could be in a Word doc, Excel spread sheet or in Evernote. Your brain needs to trust that you have captured the information in a reliable and safe place. If it doesn’t, those thoughts will continue to roll around in your head and disturb you when you’re trying to sleep.
Step Three: Choose
This is where honesty with you begins. Take a look at your lists and then take a look at your calendar and ask yourself what is imperative for me to accomplish and what is not. Now you can choose which mini project you’ll work.
Step Four: Plan
The planning you do here will save you a considerable amount of time on execution because you’re thinking about everything and everyone pertaining to the project. Plan out all the details a) what has to happen, b) who needs to be involved, and c) what you’re next step will be to get the ball rolling.
Step Five: Schedule
This is where you’ll take time now to save time later. Write into your calendar and add to your task list all the actions associated with your mini project (that you identified in step three).
As you plan and then schedule action items you brain continues to trust that you are doing what needs to be done exactly when it needs to be done and now knows that it can stop waking you up in the middle of the night.
Going beyond yourself:
Be bold – be brave and hire help! To actually achieve all that we want we may need assistance, of many sorts, along the way.
Professional assistance to help us stay on track with your schedule, tasks and personal goals. Think of incorporating a trainer, accountability partner or professional organizer into your life.
Professionally, you might consider hiring a virtual assistant to alleviate the weight of administrative tasks that are time consuming and that you don’t enjoy doing, they may also be technologically savvy enough to help with your blogs and social media plan. Alternatively, a business coach, organizer or anyone else that you build into your development mix should be able to help you identify where you can make small changes to experience the largest impact.
Getting it all done is possible with a solid plan and a small team of people to support you along the way!