How is it some people get an enormous number of tasks accomplished and seem to have a great life balance? These people seem to know what they want and are going after it passionately, while others struggle to get what they “have to do” done and always seem behind.
Where do you fall on this spectrum of productivity?
Well if you'd like to improve your ability to get things done and have more energy and passion in your life, then here's a secret for you that few people know about.
The secret is PLANNING.
Did you know that studies show you get ten times as much done if you simply plan your life? That is an enormous return on your time! Imagine how great your life would be if you were ten times more productive in the same number of hours! Let's see how you can make a simple plan to follow.
The best way for you to do this is to lay out what you want to pay attention to and hold yourself accountable for. Here's a simple way of doing what I call "Focus on Four."
A person going to college might have headings like: School, Work, Financial, Family/Friends/Fun. A person who has been in business for a few years might have: Family, Business, Happiness, Productivity. What would you have for your headings?
The best way to begin is to first think about and lay out a long-term plan of where you want to be in your 4 areas of focus. Then, pick a date in the future five to ten years from now. This is your long-term "Marathon Focus." (Example: You are 22 years old and your long-term vision is where you will be at 30.)
A year from now is your "Sprint Focus." Ask yourself, “What do I need to get done this year, in this area, to accomplish my five-year commitment?” Update this every December and as your plan evolves.
Every 30th of the month create a plan for the upcoming month in all areas of focus.
On Sunday evening (or early Monday morning) do a weekly Focus on Four for the upcoming week.
Every evening (or early morning) lay out what you need to see, do, and accomplish daily in all of your focus areas that will lead to your "Productive Week," that will lead to your "Miracle Month," that will lead to your "Awesome Year," that leads to accomplishing your “Long-Term, Big Picture Dreams!”
By the way, plans and what you focus on can change over time. This is normal and perfectly okay, as long as you are moving in the right direction—going forward towards your mission, making changes as necessary.
The key is writing this out and updating it regularly. Remember, this is your life. You are in charge of it. Take control and make it great by actively putting your focus on what's most important to you!
~ Tim Rhode