Last night I was planning my time, schedule, and tasks for the week. Since that was on my mind, I thought I’d share the simple, 5-step formula I follow to become more efficient and productive.
I had been following various parts of this process for many years, but it was my current business coach who really helped me dig down and understand the value and specific tasks contained in each of the 5 steps.
As I was going through the planning process last night, I was reminded how it’s the same process my coaches and I take clients through in order to maximize their fitness and fat loss results. That’s the great thing about a strong success framework. It can be applied to many different areas of life.
While you are reading this, focus less on whether you’ve already “heard” or “know” these steps, but ask yourself if you are actually following them…consistently…each day…even when you don’t want to. THAT’S what makes the biggest impact on your results in every area of life…so here you go.
Success starts with a clear framework – not a random brainstorm of ideas. First, we must decide…
Step 1. What’s important?
This is the filter that all of your decisions go through. Steven Covey calls them the “Big Rocks” in life. Whatever you call them, they should be the most important things in your world that are non-negotiable. They are at the top of the priority list and everything else takes a back seat.
These areas of importance are highly connected to your core values, core purpose, and beliefs. If something doesn’t fit “who you are” or “what you’re about”…then it shouldn’t warrant your time or attention. So decide what’s important to you. Maybe it’s your:
- Or some other area of life that you deem most important
It’s essential to determine these areas of importance before you go to step 2.
Step 2. What does success look like to you?
If we don’t know what success looks like, we won’t know when we’ve achieved it. What does your ideal life look like? What would a successful work/life/health balance look like? You need to know where you’re going if you want to get there.
Many people only have one small aspect of this in mind, and fail to consider other aspects of the bigger picture. Get CLEAR on what success looks like for you, and WRITE IT DOWN…on paper (old school style).
The physical act of writing creates a more direct mental connection to the vision.
Ideally, this vision is quite detailed. Business guru Verne Harnish calls it his “Painted Picture”, but it’s simply a detailed written description outlining what life is like when you’ve accomplished your objective.
Be as detailed as possible. What does success feel, look, smell, and taste like? Where are you? What are you doing? Who is there with you? What is your environment like? What feelings, emotions, and thoughts are you having now that you’ve attained the goals you set and are living your ideal life?
Step 3. Map the first leg of the journey.
This is your next 30-90 days. The map from where you are today to where you want to go. Here you can determine what can realistically be done in that time frame.
This is usually a learning process. I’m continually learning to better estimate the amount I can get done in a set amount of time. The goal is to challenge yourself, push your limits, but still be realistic.
A key part is shifting your mindset to “Fail Forward”. Even if you don’t accomplish everything you planned, you will still be MUCH further ahead and can go into the next planning session with more insight and motivation for change.
It’s common for people to “beat themselves up” for failing to get everything done. The sets up a negative cycle for failure instead of a positive learning cycle. So, map out that first leg of the journey and put the pedal to the metal!
Our mindset is the filter through which we see the world. In this workshop, you will learn strategies that will support you in cultivating a mindset that creates opportunities and success in your life.
Step 4. Plan your week
This step is as simple as it sounds. Just decide what you will do this week to move you a few steps closer to your goals by the end of the week. Unfortunately, this is where people start to falter…
If you’re like most people who are enthusiastic about making a change, you over-schedule and get frustrated by the chaos it produces. This often leads to the plan unraveling and going into “reactive” mode. You simply try to “survive” by reacting to whatever is thrown at you each day.
This is often how our “Big Rocks” or most important priorities get neglected for putting out the constant “fires” we are faced with each day. You don’t allocate enough time to get the RIGHT THINGS done.
So commit to this:
If something matters…schedule more than enough time to get it done.
You may feel you are being too conservative. That’s OK at the beginning. If you are knocking it out of the park each week, you can always adjust and tackle a bit more next week.
Step 5. Win the day
As my coach Pat likes to say…”Every day is an opportunity to feel successful…or feel stressed.”
“A chance to win…or lose ground.”
It’s common for people to forget this fact…That YOU have the power to decide how your day is going to go. You may not have control over everything that happens, but you always have control over how you respond to any unexpected things that do happen.
Every day you should be taking some small steps to move toward what you define as success. If a task isn’t on your importance list or fundamental to your day-to-day responsibilities …then it should fall WAY down the list of what deserves your time and attention.
Work through these five steps and you’ve got the 20% that creates the 80% of productivity success
It helps you get past being busy and actually getting meaningful things done.
Now, it’s beyond the scope of what I can cover in a blog post to work through all the details and provide examples of how to be more efficient in life, and navigate real-life scenarios, but hopefully, you get the picture.
You need help to be more efficient and productive? That is fine! Just book your FREE Success Coaching Session with FRESH! Team and let’s ignite your true potential!