Daily Blog #325
We used to get these little school planners back in high school. Our weeks were mapped out for us, holidays were bolded, and the school breaks were highlighted. At the time, though, I didn’t want to plan my life out. So like some of the other kids in my class, I too used the paper from my planner for either paper airplanes, or as ammunition to fuel one of the many spitball wars. Planning was not important to me, and that would become a huge mistake.
With anything that we do or chase in life, planning and keeping track of our progress is crucial to any and all success. Imagine a firefighter trying to fight fire with little water, a racecar driver completing a full race on only half a tank of gas, or a teacher trying to teach an entire class with only one book to share amongst them. It probably isn’t going to go too well, now is it?
It’s the same when you fail to plan out what it is that you want to accomplish in your life. Every day that you fail to create a plan of action for yourself is just another day where you are throwing yourself into the unpredictable fire that is called life. By the end of the day, odds are that you will have fulfilled everybody else’s plans except for one person’s – yours.
You forget what you wanted to achieve, where you had to be at what time and the dreams that you were once striving to achieve. All because you didn’t spend five extra minutes to map out your day accordingly.
The thing is, getting more work done doesn’t mean that you are spending more of your time actually working. It means that you know what to do, when to do it by, and how to do it in the most time efficient way. Our time is already limited, so instead of wasting it trying to recollect your thoughts, why not do yourself a favor, plan in advance, and start keeping track of what it is that you need to get done.
Wait, you have a planner? You write in a journal? What are you, a girl?
That would have been the younger me making fun of the me today. To answer this, I want to respond by saying “Yes, you dumbass. Do you wonder why I am more successful? Do you wonder why nearly every “girl” has life more figured out than you do? It’s because they had a plan and a direction in which they wanted their life to go in, and they executed that plan.”
Managing Your Time
Let me guess though, you don’t have any time. You get home from work, make dinner, spend time with family, and then you just have no energy left over. So instead of pushing yourself to do something meaningful, you decide to turn on Netflix, and maybe you’re lucky that will lead to a little chill.
But guess what! Those who have achieved what you go to bed and dream of achieving have the same twenty-four hours in a day that you and I have. They just manage it better. Instead of watching Netflix, searching social media, or gossiping more than the Gossip Girls themselves, people who succeed are finishing their to-do list and mapping out the day ahead. Those who succeed do so because they are simply willing to work when nobody else is.
Completing What’s Important
So how do you know what tasks to even get done? You sit down ready to work, think about what you need to get done, and immediately become overwhelmed at the fact that you have so much to do that you don’t even know where to start. This is where you need to be able to distinguish what’s important to complete, and what can wait.
While you are trying to accomplish something, try to get the larger tasks done earlier in the day. You have the most energy when you wake up in the morning, so instead of using that energy to complete meaningless tasks, learn to use it towards accomplishing the more difficult tasks earlier on. Not only are you more likely to complete them, but you will also experience less stress throughout the day knowing that you aren’t procrastinating on something that needs to be completed too urgently.
Do Your Work Before Doing Work For Others
I am a big advocate at waking up hours before I go into work for the day. By waking up earlier, not only am I able to get larger tasks completed before even going in to work, but the tasks that I complete are the things that I want to complete. I am not being pulled down by anybody else’s schedule. I am on my own time, doing the things that I want to accomplish, and paving my own way towards success.
Nobody else’s work is more important than your own. If you are not actively trying to accomplish the things that you want to achieve in your lifetime, then the only thing that you are going to do when you are older is regret. You are going to regret not following your dreams, and you are going to regret not knowing what you could have achieved had you made yourself a priority. This is your one life, so start living it your way.
Create A Routine
When you create a routine, it is a lot easier to stay committed. The more you do a certain task at a specific time throughout the day, the more second-nature that task becomes.
1. Write out a to-do list for yourself for the following day.
2. Clarify what tasks demand your undivided attention, and do those tasks first thing in the morning.
3. Keep track of the progress that you made by using something even as simple as a checklist.
4. Do it all over again. Success is not a one-time ordeal. Success is about repetition and consistency.
If I didn’t read and write first thing in the morning, I probably wouldn’t do it. But because I have created a routine focused around the things that I personally want to accomplish, not only does it get done first thing in the morning, but since it has become part of my daily routine, I am less likely to forget to do it.
The Big Picture
The point is, planning the day is something that everybody should be doing. When you plan your days, not only will you become more successful in whatever it is that you are trying to accomplish, but you will accomplish your success in a fraction of the time it would have taken you otherwise.
Of course, you can adapt and develop different techniques as you please. But the big picture is to start getting organized so that you can get more accomplished in half the time. This is your one and only life, so don’t waste even a second of it.
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