Here are a few facts about me: I’m an 80’s baby currently chasing my dreams, going through changes and opening many doors of opportunity along the way. I have been the co-founder of a non-profit organization, an independent music artist, and a teacher. I'm currently spending my time doing things I love to do and nurturing my passions as my journey through adulthood crystallizes. I have big dreams, a lot of ambitions, and of course my eyes will always be on the prize; the destination being a life full of happiness, abundance and contribution -- for my loved ones and me.
I’m sure you have the same thoughts; I mean who doesn’t want to end up successful and happy with their life? You have dreams, and they’re definitely big ones that can change your life forever. You want to be on the top of the ladder, find your passion and keep moving forward. Well, it isn’t a straight path! It’s got bumps and a lot of pit stops, and it can definitely be a messy and disorganized route getting to where you want to be. And you may get lost. But the journey is so worth it. To make sure you’re going in the right direction though, you’ll need some help; a guide to keep you from straying away or forgetting what you must do to reach your multiple destinations. This is where a productivity planner becomes useful!
There are three simple steps when it comes to using your productivity planner. Here's the process to follow to create the flow you need.
Don’t you hate having no plans for the day and ending up doing nothing out of frustration, or wasting time doing things you aren’t even supposed to be doing? It may seem ridiculous to have a timed schedule, but this is actually a great way to organize your life and keep the productivity flowing. Knowing what you’ll need to do at a certain time of day will help motivate you to complete it before the deadline, and maybe even give you a break after!
There are many templates you can find online, or daily planners that already have their own pages for scheduling. It doesn’t need to be so complicated and exact, but it should have enough detail for you to know what time you need to start an activity, and the expected time to complete that activity. It’s recommended to go by the hour, using a timer to keep you accountable throughout your activities. To stay on track with your schedule, you can use the countdown timer on your mobile phone or use a desktop timer like this one: http://www.online-stopwatch.com/. You can allot 50 minutes for the task itself, and the remaining 10 minutes as a sort of break to do what you want to clear your mind, may it be stretching, having a chat with a friend, or going for a walk. Whatever enhances your concentration and gets you ready for the next task at hand.
MAKE SURE that your plan is realistic and doable. If you feel like it will take you more than an hour, then allot more time for it. You can’t create a whole novel in a day, so why not spread it out? Give yourself realistic tasks with realistic durations, always make sure you know your priorities and set time for family and “me” time.
Make sure your day is planned the night before in order so that your day is a productive one from the moment you wake up! That way, you won’t get up groggy and wondering what you need to do, wasting time trying to plan your day and guessing or adding tasks along the way. Planning your day the night before will also help you sleep more peacefully knowing that you have nothing to worry about as you have already planned your daily tasks for tomorrow!
If you’re a person with an overactive mind (like me) and usually wake up in the middle of the night with some great ideas then I recommend you to leave a small memo pad and a pencil by your bedside so that you can write down your thoughts. Otherwise you may forget it by tomorrow morning. And surely you don’t need to turn the lights on for that scribble! That way, you get to get the thoughts off your mind while avoiding any other distractions and interruptions to your sleep.
schedule each task based on its importance and due date. Write down your overall projects, what you want to accomplish for the week, and what activities must be done. It's important to take some time at the beginning or end of each month to reflect on the last month and to set the major goals you want to achieve this month. This will give you an idea of what specific tasks you need to complete. Once you've completed that master list of major goals, along with the tasks needed to achieve those goals, you can use that list to help guide you.
The last step is to obviously start the day with a smile and follow your schedule as planned! Remind yourself to be flexible. If you ever get off track from the schedule, use it as a learning experience and don’t let it ruin the whole day. Just keep going!
• Treat your task as if it is an appointment with an important person where you’ll need to start on time and use the allotted time with as much productivity as possible.
• Stick to the deadline as much as possible. Just like an appointment, you don’t want to leave yourself (or the other person you’re with) hanging or running late!
• Give credit to yourself after each task! Acknowledge the fact that you were able to complete a task on time. It encourages you to keep going.
• Know your distractions and find ways to avoid them at all times. If you know your phone can become a distraction, then put it on silent. and put it aside.
• Encourage your loved ones to support you and your dreams. have them hold you accountable to your plan, and let them cheer you on.
• Always keep learning and make sure that what you learn is readily implementable.
• Do not check your email until you finish your tasks. You might end up distracted, lessening your chances of creating new ideas or focusing on the task at hand. Set aside time to check your email, maybe at night after you've completed your most important daily activities.
• Don’t try to multi task. It ends up turning you into a SCATTERBRAIN and causing confusion in what you’re doing. It may look like you’re saving time, but you’re actually wasting it, because you’re focused on two or more tasks instead of one!
• Don’t compare yourself to others. People are different, and everyone's journey is unique. It’s critical to focus on yourself and your progress, as you are unique and have your own dreams. There shouldn’t be a need to compare different dreams!
Now that you know what to do with your productivity planner, it's about that time to get started with yours! The journey of reaching your dreams begins here.