The hilarious video above is from Monty Python and The Holy Grail. I love this clip and have used it in training classes to demonstrate the importance of planning as well as the importance of executing the plan properly.
Once you've gotten off your butt (see yesterday's post), you have to decide what to do. Many people find themselves rushing from activity to activity without much thought to why they are doing what they are doing. They run to the grocery, then to the library, then to take the kids to baseball, and maybe get to the gym. As the number of tasks in a day increases, so does the level of complexity.
A simple way to keep it all in order and to get more done is to stop and make a plan. Once a week should suffice. You will probably have to adjust your plan for unexpected things, but at least you'll have a framework for those unexpected things to fit into.
Do you find yourself saying "things are so hectic in my life, I could never make a plan that will work!" I submit that the only way to be more balanced and to fit it all in is to plan.
A simple weekly calendar outlining what you plan to accomplish and when you want to accomplish those things is a good starting point. Many "time management" classes have formats and formulas for doing this. If that works for you, fine, use them. If you are put off by all the structure and details, then simply list things by day on a weekly calendar sheet and focus on one or two things each day that are important.
Keep it Simple. Sit down once a week (Friday is my planning day for the following week) and plan the upcoming week. If you need structure, I recommend the Franklin-Covey planning system. If you don't like the formal structure, that's okay too. Just make sure you write down the plan to make it real. Keeping it in your head is just dreaming.
If you are interested in my simplicity seminar regarding planning and goal setting, drop me a line in the comments here and I will share the details of the next class offering. We're thinking of a web video format as well that we can send to you if you are interested.
My favorite quote on planning: "Failing to plan is planning to fail."