Wait, it’s Friday already?
This week seemed too short.
I haven’t finished half of the things on my to-do list.
Ugh. I can’t believe I have to work AGAIN this weekend!
It’s Friday, and you have accomplished much of the low-lying fruit but none of the more significant tasks. You have a choice to either work yet another weekend or to have an overwhelming and nonproductive week again next week. Sound familiar?
If you want to avoid this scenario in the future, keep reading.
But wait! If you haven’t read How to Get Sh*t Done: Secrets 1-3, make sure you read that First, Here.
As mentioned in the first article, after creating your general vision, you need to break your yearly goals down even further. You wouldn’t go grocery shopping for the entire year in one day, would you? So how can you accomplish this in a better way?
Step 4: Consistent Goal Setting
Today you have just one primary focus, consistency.
Being consistent with your goal setting and planning is one of the most crucial things to be intentional with your time. It is essential to consistently assess and plan your yearly, monthly, weekly, and daily goals.
So, remind me, how do I set goals in the first place?
In the last article, we talked about creating your yearly vision. The next step is to break your goals down by month. That may seem overwhelming at first so let’s go into a little more detail here.
First, roughly estimate what needs to happen during each of the twelve months of the year.
Keep in mind; you can only accurately plan one to three months from today’s date, so six to twelve months from now, you may have vague ideas that need to be fleshed out later or that may change entirely.
That is okay! Remember, progress is perfection.
If there are fixed dates or events, put those in first so you can plan backward. For example, if you are going on a trip in April, you will have to prepare for that trip before getting there. Where are you going? Where are you staying? What needs to happen to make the trip happen?
If you would like to achieve a certification in February, you need to prepare leading up to that event.
Do you need to take courses? Work a certain number of hours? What is required to make this happen?
Okay, so what about when things don’t go as planned?
Imagine, while on your road trip, you see a sign for a cave that looks intriguing. You decide to turn off and explore the cave. While inside, you find a hidden treasure that will give you new opportunities beyond your wildest dreams.
You check your watch when you realize that if you don’t leave now, you won’t make it to your destination at the originally scheduled time.
You wouldn’t just leave the treasure behind because it wasn’t in your initial plans, would you?
Perhaps you can make it to your destination a bit later, or maybe with this new treasure, you change plans entirely.
Conversely, imagine you are driving, and your car breaks down. You had said you would be at your family’s house for dinner that evening, but you are in the middle of nowhere, and the tow truck is taking hours to arrive.
You later learn that it will take days to fix your car.
You are stranded and have to stay in this tiny town with no internet for the next five days! You would need to adjust your plans, wouldn’t you?
See, sh*t happens! It is vital to evaluate and adjust your plan.
Be open to the opportunities and gifts around you, and if a hazard is seemingly in the way, take time to assess and shift your strategy if needed.
Also, make sure to be open to the gift. In the car example, perhaps, there is a hidden gem waiting for you in your hotel stay or on the drive later.
Maybe you meet a stranger who helps you with your journey, or you unexpectedly use that time more productively or creatively?
Always stay open to new possibilities and opportunities.
It is essential to make adjustments because you never know when there will be a pothole or hidden treasure. Take the extra time to make sure you are on track for your goals and make adjustments where needed.
Finally, adjust your plan frequently and consistently.
Find a consistent time to set your weekly goals based on your monthly plan.
Keep in mind that some weeks may be busier than others, and you may not accomplish items on your list. That is okay! You can adjust your plan to accomplish that goal the following week.
Remember, you will need to adjust your goals as needed when challenges or opportunities arise.
Daily priorities should also be assessed based on your weekly goals to maximize productivity each day. Set your daily priorities either first thing in the morning or at the end of the previous day to maximize your time.
Review your daily to-do’s and choose 1-3 main priorities and focus on those first to help you keep what’s essential top of mind!
Make your planning time a non-negotiable part of your routine.
Plans will change, so you need to adjust your goals as required consistently.
Bonus tip: Block this planning time on your calendar to make sure you get this done! Make this necessary appointment with yourself!
Every Sunday morning, I set my goals for the week, and every single morning I set priorities for the day.
Choose any time that works for you, block it in your calendar, and make sure it happens!
One last thing. Sometimes, life happens, and you have to skip your planning session. Don’t panic. Don’t give up. Just take time as soon as possible to get back on track.
In the end, the real key is consistently showing up. It will seem uncomfortable at first, but soon, it will flow nicely, and you will start to take intentional control of your time. I will say that again. Be consistent here. Make this non-negotiable. It will keep you conscious of your goals and help you stay on track while driving progress.
So when will you choose to plan your time intentionally?
Let me know by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can personally respond.
I would love to hear from you!