When you lay out your planner to the week ahead, you have the choice of how it all unfolds for you. You can either treat your schedule as hopes, taking a chance your plans may or may not come to fruition, or you can add soul to your goals and work towards the feeling you want from that outcome.
I have mastered many systems in my time as an Organizer. One great idea leads into the next, unfolding the best practices for an efficient day. As a Business owner, it is very important for me to maintain appointments, follow through with projects and acquire trust within my community. If not, I would never develop traction in my work. I wouldn’t be respected as a leader.
This holds true to anything you value in life. Whether as an Entrepreneurial journey, as a mother, as an employee, as a friend… You have to discover the simplest way to get it all done in your own style. People spend a lot of time in the planning process, setting up and decorating their calendars, but don’t follow through on the things they actually want to do. They miss appointments, forget important birthdays and special occasions, despite their planning efforts.
This is the process I have discovered that gives me the best outcome, and I actually look forward to getting things done…
Find a Calendar System that makes sense to you
It’s very important that you find a good planner that is your style. Not just looks good, but one that has a layout that meets your specific needs. If you aren’t able to find one that meets your needs, create one of your own! Yes, you can go to the store and pick up any old calendar, and I’m sure you can make that work for you. But be sure to look around at different options, explore what’s available online and experiment with a few different ones to get a feel for what you like.
What is coming up in the week ahead? Are there events, important dates, meetings, holidays? These are the non-negotiables – the things that require you to physically be somewhere or do something, so these are the most important things to add to your schedule.
What do you need to place focus on?
What things must you do every day this week? What must be accomplished to move you forward? If you didn’t do these things, how would your week be impacted? For example, if you didn’t pay the bills, what would happen? If you didn’t have the laundry done, buy the groceries, plan the meals, write the blogs… If these tasks are not intrinsically engraved into your routine, they are probably great items to add to your planner. The sight of them will trigger your reaction (you can also set an alarm on your phone for different days so that you can get a physical reminder).
How do you want to feel this week?
This is the most important question you need to ask yourself before you start filling up that calendar. How do you want to feel? Not just in the week ahead, but for every day. In working through the Desire Mapping process, I discovered 7 words that exemplifies each focus item of my week. For instance, every Tuesday I do the most work on my business. I need a good block of time to focus in on the important things that are required to make my business run. So for me, FOCUS was a word that I really identify with for the feeling that I want that day. As you can see, I’ve placed stickers on each day with the Core Desired Feeling I wanted for it. (Your process will be very different than mine, but I hope this gives you a good idea of how to do this.)
Plan through these Desires
Now for the fun part! Under each theme, plan your day… use that CDF to assist you in accomplishing your goals. Instead of writing out a boring To-Do list, put your feelings into it. When you can plan with your feelings in mind, you can visualize the outcome. You will want to make it happen. If you have to break down the goal into smaller stepping-stones, then use your desires as a guide for how to reach it.
So, that is how I have transformed my planning system to work with me instead of simply being words on paper.
It’s easy to write them down, but putting your head into the work and achieving it can only be done if you understand how the outcome is going to make you feel.
That is what drives us to complete anything.
Take Action Now
- Do you have a planner, but never seem to get anything done?
- Have you been having trouble in your productivity?
- Examine what your system is doing for you now.
- Keep the moving parts and chuck the stuff that is blocking you.
- Try out new systems, write down your deep-down desires, and make your next week ahead a true testament to how you want to feel.