I work with businesses and leaders all over the country. At first I was amazed at how many individuals fly by the seat of their pants every day. I found that many individuals have fallen into what I call the "TO DO LIST" trap. They allow their "TO DO LIST" to dictate their schedule rather than scheduling things on their "TO DO LIST" to complete. The one thing I tell all my clients is this... your calendar is NOT your To-Do-List and your To-Do-List is not your calendar. You must schedule time to get things done but that does not mean that everything on your To-Do-List must be scheduled to be done in one day... It might be impossible!
I believe that you need to plan your week ahead of time. You only need about 30 minutes to plan out your entire week. I've come across an acronym that has been helpful. It is called the O.A.T.S. Formula. (Adapted from the Manager's intelligence report)
O: Objectives. What results do you want to see by the end of the week? Write them down and rank them. (This is a form of TO-DO-LIST ranks by importance).
A: Activities. What do you have to do to achieve your goals (objectives)? List the necessary activities, and put them in sequence underneath each Objective.
T: Time. How much time will each activity require? To plan realistically, allow yourself more time than you think you might actually need. This gives you flexibility if unexpected problems arise.
S: Schedule. Look at your calendar and decide when you can do each activity. Many I've worked with will underestimate the power of a schedule, but the reality is that you wonít get a think done if you donít schedule appropriate time to do it.
Your Schedule should be broken into three parts: Personal, Have-To-Do, and Want-to-do.
Personal is everything you accomplish for you and your family. It is your own personal time that you must take. It can include getting the oil changed in your car, having lunch with your kids at school, taking your kids to sports practice, getting your hair cut, vacation, etc.
Have-to-do are all the things you must accomplish in the week (See OATS) above.
The want-to-do might be read a book, call a friend on the phone, etc...
The goal is to get your schedule under control... rather than your schedule controlling you. If you need help in this area, please contact Maximum Change for a consultation!
Philip Foster holds a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership with an emphasis on Coaching and Mentoring. He works with individuals to help them find and reach their full potential in life. Sessions start as little as $75/hour.
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This is very good advice and it comes from one who knows and puts it into practice. I hope many people get an opportunity to read it. Life has become so busy and hectic that a free guideline as this one can be very helpful. Thanks for sharing.