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Planning and Prioritising


Are you fed up with procrastinating? You aren't getting things done and you easily get distracted. Are you now at the point of frustration that is leading to overwhelm...


When you have lost focus and you find you are working harder and harder - what are you getting back? Maybe you've read the self care - "You First"-  blog and the "Rewards" blog (all about rewarding yourself) and you aren't quite there - you still aren't feeling on top of things and life isn't free flowing on the road to happiness.


If this resonates with you, then today I am going to assist you with starting to plan/organise and prioritise. All with the aim to begin to get on top of the overwhelm and frustration.


Why do we need to plan?


As humans we tend to respond well to some routine. This helps it to become natural and second nature. ie without thinking about it. If we have a routine we can then be flexible and adjust it as needed. The routine is always there as a starting point. If we don't have this set up then life then we have nothing to fall back on. Life can become chaotic and we spend more time each day working out what we should be doing than actually doing it. This then leads to overwhelm. The plan is like the map - it keeps us on track and we can keeping checking it to ensure we are heading in the right direction.


In summary we need to plan to prevent overwhelm and get more done. This means we are more productive and have more time and we feel happier and more in control.


The reason you don't plan


Some of the reasons we don't do things


1. We don't know where to start (this showed up at the number one reason in my survey).

2. We don't know the purpose

3. The goal is delayed - delayed gratification - meaning we cant see the immediate benefit so its hard to focus and stay on task.

4. Anxious Procrastination (this is not directly covered here, it will be covered in a future blog. However I hope this is of some help to you on the logical front)


The first things we need to investigate is - what are these tasks you aren't getting done and what category do they fall into. For those who have been following you are familiar with the pin wheel. If you haven't done it yet - head to "You First" .  Once you have done that you will be primed to do dissect your tasks.


Next - have a think about yesterday or last week. Get pen and paper and make two columns. In the first column you write down what you did (this is the same as in the rewards video). The second column is what is the end purpose of /point of doing this task.


Now for a minute focus on what you did get done. How much did you do and how do you feel you did - be kind to yourself. Rate yourself on a scale of 1-10 out of 10 (I know you may not have got done what you wanted but maybe, just maybe, you set an unrealistic goal). Another way to look at this is - if you had an employee and this is what they had done in the time frame available - how would you rate them  (out of 10).


Now have a look at what you didn't get done and lets pick that apart a bit. Does it matter that you didn't do them? Were they part of a bigger plan? Did they have a purpose? Give them all a mark from 1-4 as to how crucial they were (1 being important and highly crucial).


How to actually make the plan


Make the list as above. Have a look at this list and add and delete as necessary. When you have looked at your list and decided the purpose for each, you can break them down into short term medium term and long term. Make sure at this point that you are absolutely sure of the outcome (purpose) of this goal . Then go one step further and write down how this will benefit you and your life.

1.For each item on the list - think about where you are now with it.

2. Break it down into steps. How will you get from A-B (your starting point to the purpose/end point)

3. For each step - make it have a mini goal. Make sure you can see the clear progress with how it gets you to the end goal

4. Take a guess as to how long each step will take (this can be reviewed and adjusted. You may get it very wrong however it is purely a starting point)

5. Write down when the whole thing needs to be completed. If it doesn't have a deadline then make one up

6. Decide when you want each step to be completed. Note that you are now giving yourself your own deadlines.

7. You will review each of these regularly. For short term items it could be weekly, for long term goals it could be 3 monthly. Decide how often it needs reviewing. Diarise these.

At the review - assess how on target you are. Look at what you did and didn't achieve. Ask yourself how realistic it was in terms of time frame and action required. If you got 'stuck' then you may need to break the task down more. Then adjust your mini goals and go back to stage 4.


See below for a flowchart. This will help visual people!


Summary


We need to plan so that we know where we are going and if we are staying on track.

Often people don't plan because they don't know where to start. Start with a list. Break tasks down into smaller chunks. Always make sure that you actually have a reason and purpose. This will help you to stay on track. If the purpose and point is big enough you wont even need to motivate yourself.

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