Have you ever heard the saying, “If you don’t know your destination, then any road will do?” In other words, if you don’t have a plan for your day, your day will have a plan for you.
It’s important to have a sense of calm and control over your daily activities. I continue to see that we are bombarded an overwhelming sense of loss of control and unhealthy levels of stress. If these challenges are part of your daily diet, then this post is for you.
Gain Control, Reduce Stress
Just like you, I’ve had these feelings, too. To help me, I created a few tools designed to help me gain more control of my daily life, shed unnecessary stress and contribute to my sense of fulfillment at the end of each day. I’ve shared one of those tools, the Daily Focus Pad already, and decided I’d share another with you as well.
We understand the importance of scheduling tools like Microsoft Outlook or Google Calendars. But, if you are like me, you had come to view your calendar as a ball and chain, something to which you are slave to and not master of. It amounted to a mountain of meetings and last minute calendar requests, all leading to me ending my day asking, “What did I accomplish today?”
Why didn’t I just say, “No,” you ask? After all, I often choose others’ priorities over those I knew could be more valuable to me.
It was the combination of guilt of telling someone I couldn’t (or didn’t want to) jump into their meeting and not having a good picture of just how committed my time actually would be with all of the other work I needed to accomplish. In other words, I wasn’t representing my individual productivity time and important events I would be focusing on my own calendar! They were just vacant blocks of time that kept getting filled in.
Get a Game Plan
What I discovered was that without a game plan, I was playing the game to lose!
If this sounds familiar to you, then I’d like to share my discovery with you.
You can use a calendar, or plain sheet of paper. But I took it one step further and created the Weekly Planning Worksheet to help me visualize my week. Here’s how you can put this to use in your own life:
- Section off some quiet time each week; usually a half hour will do. I like to do it on Sunday evenings (before work) or Friday afternoons (after everything quiets down).
- Begin by filling in what I call the “life stones”. Much like you would place stones into a container, so you must place the important life stones of your life, such as exercise, spiritual times and planning times.
- Next, you are going to place in the “daily pebbles”. These daily pebbles are generally important, like weekly meetings, and trips to the store.
- What you have left is a clear visual of where you can allow sand to be poured into your daily schedule for the upcoming week.
- Finally, be sure to transfer this into your calendar (electronic or day planner).
- Note: another way to use this tool is to track the time you’ve spent as well; I’ve found it interesting to chart where I spend my time throughout the week and spot interesting patterns of time-spend.
By reinforcing this process, in concert with the Daily Focus Pad, I’ve found that I’ve gotten better at compartmentalizing my life and living more fully in each moment.
The Weekly Planning Worksheet is included as when you buy 7 Secrets to Destroy Your Daily Distractions. Whether you purchase the eBook or not, I hope you’ll follow the steps above.