Okay today’s post isn’t a figurative “are you a Sparky” kind of productivity tip. Today’s post is a no nonsense, straight to the point productivity tip you can use every week as a way to measure, well, productivity.
I got the inspiration from Scott Dinsmore from LiveYourLegend.net. Scott shared a post about how Tony Robbins organizes his week to maximize productivity. Like all things, I think it’s great to take the information and custom fit it to your life. I would suggest you read this post, check out Scott’s post and then custom fit it into your life.
What I want you to take away from this productivity tip is that YOU MATTER. If you are like me, you tend to put everyone before yourself. You make room for the needs of other people in your schedule and then try to calculate what’s left for you. Well, if you are an ambitious person, you could also fill a WHOLE DAY with “just you” stuff, if you really wanted to. So that means, finding balance between the two so that you don’t burn yourself out, nor neglect those you care about in your life.
The same way you make appointments with other people, you need to start making appointments with yourself. From the big meetings to the small reminders, when I am talking with someone and there is an action item that comes up, I immediately write it down and fit it into my schedule. However, when I’m thinking to myself about what I have to do, I’ll write down: complete blog post, return emails, make dinner, meet with xyz etc. However, that goes into the “when I have time” list. As you can imagine that time never comes or it’s hard to come by at best. That is why the technique below is powerful to me. It actually suggests you make an appointment with yourself. Hey, you’re important and you are making a difference in the world. Schedule yourself in, just like you would anyone else.
Check out the process below and let me know what you think. Without further ado, I present to you: How To Make Your Dreams Your Priority
Establish a Weekly Standing Meeting With Yourself
This is your weekly meeting you have with yourself to plan out your week. If you miss this than you are already off your mark before you get started. For me, the day to have this meeting is sometimes Sunday or sometimes Monday. I don’t beat myself up for not having this meeting at the same exact time every week, the most important thing is that you have it on a weekly basis. For my life it works to have it a the beginning of the week.
In your planning meeting you are taking some quiet time alone and getting focused on your goals. To do this create and environment where you feel comfortable. Shut out distractions, take out your journal, turn off the internet, put on some relaxing tunes and dig right in.
Visualize & Connect With Your Big Vision
As we talked about in “Life Purpose vs Life Goals“, this is where you reflect on your Life’s Purpose or Destiny. We are not focusing on the goals or tasks just yet. This moment is for you to reflect on the bigger picture, your “why”, your reason for Being. This is when you identify and acknowledge to yourself why what you are setting out to do matters. This step becomes important when prioritizing your tasks in the next couple of steps. When you connect with your “why”, you can sort out what tasks should get your attention during the week and what really isn’t getting you closer to your Destiny.
Acknowledge & Celebrate Your Victories
This is a great tip from Scott I would have never thought to do. As someone who keeps my nose to the grind stone, I sometimes forget to look up and have a party! This step gives you permission to pat yourself on the back, focus on your achievements and throw a little party for your self for kicking butt in the last week.
In this step you are reviewing your triumphs both big and small from the past week. When you focus on what you completed you will drum up good feelings of success which will draw more of that into your existence. You will identify what and how you achieved those tasks and get the good feelings flowing.
This is important because if you are the type of person who keeps a to do list running, hardly ever do you have a check mark by every task. Mentally that can be draining on us as it feels we are never “finished” or “accomplished”. By taking time to celebrate your achievements, you give yourself a break and acknowledge just how rad you really are!
This may seem silly but don’t skip this step! Write down your accomplishments of to have a running log of your success!
Review Lessons Learned
If you’re “doing it right” life is FULL of lessons. The only problem is that sometimes we don’t realize there is a lesson to be learned. That is why this next step is essential. Review any lessons learned from the previous week. Do any certain events stand out to you? What do you know now that you didn’t know at the beginning of last week. This is such an important step that will reveal your own inner guru. Take as much time as you need to reflect on your week. I like to come up with at least 5 lessons from the previous week, though your list could just as easily be filled with 50 lessons. It just depends on your insight and reflection.
Acknowledge What Did Not Get Accomplished
This isn’t a beat yourself up party, this is a get to know yourself better party. Figure out what you didn’t get accomplished and analyze why. Maybe something came up, maybe you subconsciously avoid a certain task, maybe what you thought was important to you isn’t that important after all. This step is so important in revealing what is going on with you mentally and what is actually being prioritized in your day. If you don’t like what is taking priority this step helps shine a lot on that so you can make the necessary changes.
Figure Out Your Desired Tasks, Goals & Outcomes
This is where the rubber meets the road. You have already connected with your bigger vision, now it’s time to figure out what you want to accomplish in the upcoming week. Identify 1 to 3 outcomes that if you achieved nothing else in the week, you would feel that you were productive. We tend to overbook ourselves and deem everything “important”. The problem with that is when everything is vying for your attention some of those “important” items become less important, or get pushed to the wayside. So in this step, identify what truly, truly must be accomplished for you to feel productive for the week. Next you are going to break those outcomes into smaller doable tasks.
Make an Appointment With Yourself
This is the step that changed my whole life. Make appointments with yourself. Now that you have broken your tasks down into doable steps, plug them into your calendar with specific times and dates. If you goal is to work out everyday this week, this is the step where you schedule that at 6:00 am you are going to do an 1 hour intense workout Monday thru Friday. Write it into your calendar and now it’s an unbreakable date. Want to sleep in? Nope, sorry, you have a meeting with your treadmill. Your friend wants to meet for an early breakfast before work? Can’t do it, you are already booked. By scheduling time for the things that are important to you, you will find that you are not pulled into less important commitments, because you have first made the commitment to yourself.
Fill in the Gaps
When you were making your list of 1 to 3 outcomes you would like to see, you were identifying the most important goals and tasks. After you identify what the number one outcome you want is, you can move on to your second and third priorities that you listed. Plug those into the available spaces in your calendar. And Voila! You have a highly prioritzed week plan.
Don’t schedule everything back to back. Leave room for the inevitable unexpected event. Also, I seem to always underestimate how long preparing meals, washing dishes, cleaning up takes. So leave plenty of room for those mundane tasks as well.
Tasks usually take longer than you expect. I used to schedule myself writing a post a day, but that wasn’t realistic as it turned out. I need at least a whole day of doing nothing but writing to churn out a quality post. Normally, I have to complete other tasks other than writing, so what I thought would take 4 hours usually takes a span of 4 days to complete. Keep this in mind. As you do your weekly reviews you will get better at predicting how long you should allot for each task.
This is a to help you not hurt you. Use this as a guideline, not a way to beat yourself about your To Do list. If it becomes a point of stress it has become counterproductive. What you want from this technique it to become more in tune with your priorities and more productive every week.
There you have it and there you are. Please use this technique and let me know if helped you as it has helped me. Is there anything I missed that I should add to insure a successful and productive week? If you enjoyed this article please subscribe to my newsletter for more tips, inspiration and freebies. Also, “like” the Facebook Page and follow me on Twitter.
Have a great remainder of your week!