We got a puppy. Long story, but my kids wore me down and now we have a very active Mini Australian Shepard who likes to chew through things like pillows and lamp cords.
Needless to say, it’s been challenging to take care of business as usual. The other day, I got nothing done. I didn’t work out. I didn’t run errands, I didn’t respond to work emails, I didn’t think about meal planning and ended up eating apple cake and nachos for dinner because that was all we had in the house.
In short, I ended the day feeling frustrated and defeated. When I reflected on what happened, one singular idea jumped out at me – I had failed to plan my day. Sure it’s challenging to run a business with a new puppy and young kids, but with a little planning ahead of time, I could have had a completely different day.
Here is the planning protocol I now use on a regular basis to take control over my day (and avoid eating cake and nachos for dinner):
Step One: Clarify + Prioritize
Spend a few minutes before you go to bed thinking about the next day. What do you want to get done? Which tasks are the most important? What would make tomorrow a fulfilling and successful day? Make sure your goals are specific, measurable, and actionable, and then circle the top three highest priority items. I generally focus on one work related goal, one personal goal like spending time with my family, and one health related goal like scheduling a workout, or signing up for a spin class.
Plan + Schedule
Here’s the part where you plan the most important things first. Before you get lost in errands and phone calls and social media and binging on your favorite TV shows (help!), schedule your priorities. Give each item a specific amount of time and lock it down in your little black book or online calendar. You’ll be shocked at how much more you can get done if you simply plan and schedule each hour of your day – this includes scheduling time to relax or hang out with friends or family. If it’s a priority, put it on the calendar.
Obey the Calendar!
Here’s my rule: whatever the calendar says, I do. This is because I have thoughtfully planned ahead and based my calendar on my priorities and goals. If I ignore the calendar, I will end up totally sidetracked and have an unfocused, unproductive day. Treat the calendar like your new boss who you want to impress.
Are you with me? Want to get more done and enjoy more of what you love? Try this. Prioritize, plan ahead, and obey the calendar. Let me know how it goes.
Images: Vivian Johnson Photography