My Schedule Serves Me, Not The Other Way Around

 

Image Goes HereGOAL: PLAN EACH DAY IN ADVANCE, AND REVIEW IT BEFORE IT’S OVER

GOAL SUMMARY: I’ve been impressed lately with several days where I’ve “got a lot done.” Yet it seems that the moment I have a success story like that, it’s followed by another day of flipping back and forth between projects that really aren’t that important, and losing track of things I “have to get done.” I think a lot of the problem is that I truly don’t understand what has to get done each day. I’ve developed habits of letting others priorities become my priorities without checking them at the door to see if they “mesh.” A couple weeks I shared my version of what I saw the big picture solution: “My first priority must be scheduling my priorities.” While I think that is an important initial step, I think there’s another step that I’ve got to get control of, and that is simply Identifying those priorities. What truly IS it that needs to get done this hour, this, or this week? How do they fit into the bigger picture?

I’m confident (and being repetetively reassured by my coach, Mark Sturgell), that we’re going to get around to that whole thing of prioritizing these goals, which in turn will help me prioritize the steps I need to take to accomplish those goals. In the meantime, I want to start gaining control of at least my daily schedule. I’m not too sure I jive with the concept of simply “scheduling my priorities,” because there is always something else that can pop up and take over my schedule… or is that even true? What is key is to identify those things that truly are priorities each day (even if I get them wrong for a while, that’s ok) and sticking to the fact that I must accomplish them… not necessarily before everything else, but definitely in spite of everything else. So with that, I am embarking on the path to achieve the goal of planning every day in advance, and reviewing it before it’s over.

GOAL:

Plan each day in advance, and review it at the beginning and end of the day.

TARGET DATE:

Saturday, 10/1/2010

TODAY’S DATE:

Friday, 9/24/2010

REWARDS FOR ACHIEVEMENT:

  • Each day will be a success because I have identfied what is truly important and have accomplished it.
  • I will stay on top of tasks and not let them drag out until the end of the day when I must either rush through them or let them slide to another day.
  • I will better be able to say “no” to spontaneous appointments.
  • I will gain motivation, drive, and efficiency because I know what needs to be done.
  • I will be able to work in flexibility for the unexpected, give it some time, and know that “it’s ok,” because I’ve planned for it.

CONSEQUENSES OF NON-ACHIEVEMENT:

  • My priorities will continue to be second to others priorities imposed on me.
  • I will start and end each day unaware of whether or not I succeeded in what I set out out to do.
  • I will not be able to keep track of what I have accomplished over time and how it has led me to where I am.

AFFIRMATIONS:

  • I am a success. I set goals that are important to me and do what is necessary to achieve them.

 

POSSIBLE OBSTACLE

POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS

ACTION STEPS

MUST-DO DATE
DELEGATED TO

SOLUTION

I will not have an understanding of what my priorities are to be each day.

  1. Go day to day for now. You’ll learn.
  2. Eventually: identify longer term goals, get them down on paper, put dates on calendars, and work that into eacy week/day’s plan.
  1. Practice Practice Practice.
  1. xxx
  1. xxx

 

POSSIBLE OBSTACLE

POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS

ACTION STEPS

MUST-DO DATE
DELEGATED TO

SOLUTION

I will not have the time at the end of the day to plan tomorrow.
  1. MAKE TIME. If you get to the end of the “work day” and have not accomplished this, work late, and then suffer some sort of consequense to accomodate for the impact working late has had on my family.
  2. Rather then doing it at the end of the work day, do it at the end of the actual day.
  1. Schedule 15-30 minutes at the end of every day to “wrap up and plan tomorrow.”
  2. Develop a daily checklist, including a hard-coded (not penciled in every day) MUST DO of “plan tomorrow.”
  3. Come up with a consequense for not achieving this goal, share it with my wife, and face it any time I do not prioritize planning tomorrow.
  1. xxx
  1. xxx

 

POSSIBLE OBSTACLE

POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS

ACTION STEPS

MUST-DO DATE
DELEGATED TO

SOLUTION

“Emergencies” will pop up.

  1. Develop a method of determining if something is truly an emergency.
  2. Plan for emergenices. If they do not occur, use the time for some other “should do” items on my list.
  1. Make up a list of questions to ask before adding an item to the “must do” list for each day.
  2. Set aside time toward the end of each day to either deal with that-day-emergencies or fit in other things that have already been bumped back by emergencies.
  3. Delegate more emergencies to others.
  1. Mon, 9/27/10
  2. Mon, 9/27/10
  3. Fri,
  4. 10/1/10
  1. xxx

 

POSSIBLE OBSTACLE

POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS

ACTION STEPS

MUST-DO DATE
DELEGATED TO

SOLUTION

I don’t have a “system” that works for me.

  1. Start from scratch
  2. Start from the day-planner in the RAC plan, and customize it for myself.
  1. Start using RAC planner
  2. Convert RAC planner to Excel so I can modify it
  3. Add / delete / change items as needed.
  1. Thu, 9/23/10
  2. Mon, 9/27/10
  3. Fri, 10/1/10
  1. xxx

 

POSSIBLE OBSTACLE

POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS

ACTION STEPS

MUST-DO DATE
DELEGATED TO

SOLUTION

I won’t know if “it’s working.”

  1. Include time at the end of the day to review the current day.
  1. Review each day before planning tomorrow. Include a Yes/No box on the daily sheet to answer if i succeeded what I set out to do today.
  2. Make a list of accomplishments to remind myself that I am getting better.
  3. Share what I have done each day with my wife or a friend.
  1. Mon, 9/27/10
  2. Mon, 9/27/10
  3. Fri, 10/1/10
  1. xxx

 

POSSIBLE OBSTACLE

POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS

ACTION STEPS

MUST-DO DATE
DELEGATED TO

SOLUTION

I’ll lose focus.

  1. Utilize affirmations and daily accomplishment list.
  2. As I discover bigger goals, remind myself of them.
  3. Include a place to journal some thoughts for each day.
  4. Include some remdinders at the bottom of each day’s sheet.
  1. Fri, 10/10/10
  1. Fri, 10/1/10
  1. xxx

 

POSSIBLE OBSTACLE

POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS

ACTION STEPS

MUST-DO DATE
DELEGATED TO

SOLUTION

Others I work with will not “get it” or “allow” me to live by my priorities.
  1. Share changes I’m going through with them, either verbally, or perhaps as a memo to customers detailing changes coming down the road in terms of planning availabiilty, focus of business, etc.
  2. Get over it. I can’t make everyone happy. My priorities do not “automatically” take second place to someone else’s.
  1. Write memo to customers, perhaps in the form of a monthly newsletter.
  2. Share changes with employees and family.
  3. Share accomplishments with family and friends.
  4. Keep affirmations, goals, and priorities in front of my face.
  1. xxx
  1. xxx

 

POSSIBLE OBSTACLE

POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS

ACTION STEPS

MUST-DO DATE
DELEGATED TO

SOLUTION

xxx

  1. xxx
  1. xxx
  1. xxx
  1. xxx

CONCLUSION

This is very much a work in progress, but I believe it is doable. I believe it is necessary. And I believe it will make a significant, even tremendous, shift in the way I spend my time each day, along with the attitude I have before, during, and after my day.

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