365 Days to a Better Me: Week 2 – Plan Your Success Successfully with Time Management
You Have Goals – Now Make a Plan
“OK, I have a list of goals, tasks and due dates. Now what!? ”
Defining your goals and making lists is the hard part! Now all you have to do is incorporate them into your daily life and stick to it. Easy, peasy, lemon-squeezey – right? 😉
The second week of 2018, and my 365 Days to a Better Me Challenge, was dedicated to time management. Using my goals and tasks from last week, I created a series of daily and weekly to-do worksheets to help me stay on track and keep my priorities in the forefront of everything I do. I’ll show you how to boost your time management skills in order to accomplish everything you’ve set out to do. Don’t worry, it’s not as hard as you might think it is!
The Idle Fisherman
A corporate executive, on holiday in a small, Greek sea-coast village, was strolling by the docks and taking in the local color. He complimented one fisherman on the quality of his catch.“How long did it take you to get all those fish?” he asked.
“Not very long,” answered the Greek. “An hour or two.”
“Then why didn’t you stay out longer to catch more?”
Shrugging, the Greek explained that his catch was sufficient to meet his needs, and those of his family.
The executive asked, “But what do you do with the rest of your time?”
I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, and take a nap with my wife. In the evening, I go to the village to see my friends, dance a little, play the bouzouki, and sing songs. I have a full life.”
The executive said, “Well I have an MBA from Harvard and I’m sure I can help you. You should start by fishing longer every day. You’ll catch extra fish that you can sell. With the revenue, you can buy a bigger boat. With the extra money the larger boat will bring you, you can buy a second boat and a third one, and so on, until you have an entire fleet of trawlers. Instead of selling your fish to a middleman, you can then negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant.
You can ship fish to markets all around the world. In time, you can then move to New York City to direct your huge enterprise.”
“How long would that take?” asked the Greek.
“Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years,” replied the executive.
“And after that?”
“When your business gets really big, you can sell stock and make millions!” exclaimed the executive with zeal.
“Millions? Really? And after that?”
“After that you’ll be able to retire, live in a small village near the coast, sleep late, play with your grandchildren, catch a few fish, take a nap with your wife, and spend your evenings singing, dancing, and playing the bouzouki with your friends.”
~ Author Unknown ~
Photo Courtesy: pixabay.com
Step 1: Define Your WHY
A good life-balance means taking the time to appreciate what we’re doing now. It prompts these questions:
What are we doing? – are we doing something that’s worth doing, according to YOU?
Why are we doing it? – what is YOUR ultimate goal or reward?
Who are we doing it for? – for yourself, your family, others?
How do we measure our success? – is it by narrow, materialistic gain or by broader, subjective achievements?
Think about what you’re doing now and what you hope to achieve in the future. The real benefits of time management come by ensuring we don’t waste it, doing the wrong things for the wrong reasons. Be sure to guard against narrow definitions of success; stop following the crowd, simply striving for more. Consider what you have to appreciate, here and now. Do you need to keep pushing forward?
Begin with the end in mind, and
Define success broadly – recognizing what you have, and when enough is enough.
Remember who you’re working for
Think through what you really value in life, and what you need to do to enjoy it. Decide where these things fall in line with your end goals and be sure to plan your days accordingly.
Step 2 – Creating Routine
Whether you realize it or not you’re life is already running on a routine. The time you wake up, the way you brush your teeth, the time you go to sleep. All of these things are repeating day after day and probably have been for years. If you truly want to break out of your normally scheduled life and actually start reaching your goals, you have to switch it up!
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result. Not getting a different result? Then it’s time to switch it up!
Routines are beneficial to adults and children alike – the key is that it’s a routine created by you. A routine forced upon you by someone else sucks, and you won’t follow it (or you’ll resent following it). But this is you – mapping out what you want to do every day and then DOing it.
1. Create a morning routine. If you haven’t read the book Miracle Mornings, by Hal Elrod, I encourage you to read it ASAP! I am NOT a morning person, but I am working on it and Hal’s book really helped me!
2. Create an evening routine. For me, adopting a morning routine started with switching up my evening routine. Mainly, going to bed earlier. I do not feel human on less than 7-8 hours of sleep – therefore, I make sure I get it!
3. Add in daily tasks. Some things have to been done everyday, sometimes at the same time every day – so put these in your routine next. At this point you will have a clear view of your “free” time.
4. Add goal tasks. Find room for the tasks you must complete to meet your goals. You have a list already, so this is as easy as finding an open time and plugging it in.
Step 3 – Just DO It
Mapping out your daily routine is the first piece of the puzzle, but not the most important piece! In order for your new routine to benefit you, you must DO it and stick to it. It takes 28-days to create a new habit, so be patient with yourself. Allow for mistakes. Don’t dwell on them – acknowledge it, make a plan to fix it, then get back to your daily routine.