Change the Direction of Your Day By Doing This…
One of the easiest parts of my day is usually the thing I either forget, put off, or just simply don’t do.
I want to plan. I intend to plan. I actually enjoy planning. But it simply has not always happened in the past.
No one really needs to be sold on the value of planning your day. Then why doesn’t it happen consistently?
I’ve struggled in the past in this area big time. I had the best of intentions and my mornings would just get away from me. Over and over. I became Bill Murray in the old movie, Groundhogs Day.
Different day. Same predictable result.
Then I talked to a friend who knew how I was wired.
He listened to me “justify” all of my excuses, I mean reasons why I wasn’t planning consistently.
I argued my case like I was arguing a defense in court fighting for my life. Finally I finished.
He responded humorously: “Does the defense rest?”
He went on to say, “I’ve been there. I know. But I knew something had to change. I could not be productive if I didn’t plan my day.”
He said: “Give me Five”
I was confused. Did he want me to do a Puddy formerly from Seinfeld High Five?
He simply told me to do this which could change the direction of my day:
Give Me Five minutes to plan my day.
I walked away with three specific insights to apply these three simple words:
1. Schedule my FIVE PLANNING MINUTES Ahead of Time
What gets scheduled, gets done.
When I try to and just “fit it in”, no High Five. It just doesn’t magically appear on my calendar. And my day pays a price as a result of it.
When I’m home, I schedule it at a consistent time every single day. And it’s always done before I do my first time block and major task for the day.
When I’m traveling, I need to make sure it’s done before my 1st meeting or get on with my day.
The reality is you can schedule anywhere. It just simply needs to get on the books (aka: the calendar for the non-slang readers) before your day officially begins.
Chose not to hijack your day (see post) and plan ahead.
2. Don’t Feel Like You Have to Plan EVERY SINGLE DETAIL Now
It could feel paralyzing if we look at this as a massive under-taking to schedule every moment and everything within your day ahead especially if you’re not planning consistently.
That is for the advanced users and can be a growing process. You’ll get there.
The purpose right now is to put as much in as you can in the FIVE MINUTES.
For example, I have certain weekly meetings, conference calls, etc. which I know ahead of time that can get scheduled. This should only take a minute or two.
Remember, this is a place to start and take away the overwhelm of feeling like EVERYTHING needs to be in there at this stage.
The more you do it, the more detail you can include.
3. Put in the THREE MOST IMPORTANT TASKS of the Day
If you did nothing else in the five minutes, list your top three priorities that if you accomplished, would ultimately make the day a success.
This will force you to think ahead at what will allow you to look back on your day as productive and successful. How good would THAT feel?!
This is the minimum I will do each day and you would be amazed at what listing my three most important tasks of the day will do for me when I take these critical five minutes.
In the End…
Just know your day will want to fight you and will scream at you early to “just begin.” Resist that temptation and know your success lies in the “Give Me Five” planning time.
Ironically, when I implemented these three specific insights, my day was SO much more productive and fulfilling. Isn’t that the point?
How could just FIVE MINUTES have such a HUGE affect on your day?
Focus. You’ll walk out of the five minutes knowing if all else fails, your day would be a success if you completed the three most important tasks of your day. Everything else was bonus.
Now, I love a good plan. But in the end, do you know what’s better? Executing it.
So, motivated, busy professionals who claim to be a planner and do it in your head, I challenge you to the following:
5 Minutes for 5 Days
Take 5 minutes for your next five work days. See what happens. Apply the above three steps and see what happens. You may be reaching to High Five me WHEN this works for you…
Will you take the 5 Minute for 5 Days Planning Challenge?