Have you planned out your day?
A client asked me this week if by ‘daily planning’, I meant having a to-do list.
I never ever have a to-do list and I’m going to tell you why.
The following is what I do in my daily planning. I plan out this way for a month at a time but I think it will be really useful for you to see why you're not getting through that list by doing the process for a day to begin with.
If you have a to-do list, start there. If you don't, make out a list of everything that you would like to do - today.
If there are things on there that you think you NEED to do, I would recommend you question whether or not you actually WANT to do them and if you don't just cross them off right there and then.
The first step is to break it down into all the mini-tasks that you’ll do in order to do what it is you want to do.
Reminding yourself that you WANT to do this is really important. So, for example, if you have: ‘Make summer holiday arrangements’, you’ll write down all the things you need to do to make the summer holiday plan 🌞, like:
Firm down client Summer workload and calendar it
Book annual leave ✔️
Research options ✔️
Book hotel ✔️
Book plane tickets✔️
Your brain will not like making out this detailed list. It will tell you you haven’t time to do this and that this is a ridiculous waste of time because you’ve actual things to be getting on with. This process - of making time for the things you want to do - is the secret of becoming a person who does the things she wants to do in her life.
I am telling you, THE SECRET.
It is the best possible time investment you could think about making.
What you’ll be left with at the end of this exercise is a list of things to do.
You are going to take that list and transfer every item onto the calendar.
You brain is going to freak out again at this stage that it doesn’t know how long each thing will take. This is normal when you're starting to become a time management Ninja. You are not going to indulge that freak out, you’re going to make your best guess and proceed.
Absolutely everything that you will want to do in order for your list of things you want to be accomplished will go onto your calendar. Some today, some in the future. But they must be on the calendar.
Once you're finished, you rip up your lovely to do list into tiny pieces and chuck it into the paper recycling.
This is the problem with your to-do list, your brain gets stuck at 'book summer holiday' because it knows there are some steps that need to be done before it can do that and then it just pushes it away because thinking about all that is overwhelming. You're carrying those things around with you in your head because they have to be taken care of but you don't have certainty about when because they aren't calendared.
Now, all you have to do is actually do the thing that’s on your calendar at the allotted time. When the time comes to do it, your brain will very likely offer you reasons why you shouldn’t do it now and it will be very convincing.
Luckily, I’ve got you. I’ve prepared a list of the biggest lies we tell ourselves about how we use our time, and, armed with that, you will bust past your brains excuses and connect with what you have to do, with effort and ease. That's here: The 4 things stopping you from having more time for yourself.