The Best Laid Plants (Plan To Make Plans)

Remember a week ago when I said we were done with the preliminary series of Life Hacks AKA Skills To Invest In?

Well while that was true, I wasn’t telling you that we were done altogether, only that we were done with the basic concepts.  This is because we did touch on each concept in one way or another dear readers, but we didn’t spend dedicated time on 2 topics in particular, and I want to get to them this month.

Which is why today we’re going to focus the first topic – Planning To Make Plans. Before we dig into it, let’s take a peek at the skill summary:

Plan regularly! Build routines to start your day AND end your day. You are going to have to organize throughout the day too, so make an outline to insure you aren’t starting from scratch over and over. Please also set deadlines for major projects by planning ahead. You’ll benefit from organizing your desk/workspace, minutes save hours, believe me.

We will definitely hit all four of those highlighted points dear readers, but if you’re patient with me, you just might foresee the great plan being laid out.

1. I don’t care who you are or what stage of life you are at, it’s important to have a daily routine and to schedule your days in a way so that they always start & end the same. How do you accomplish this you ask? Try theming your days

Monday – production and creating
Tuesday – management, company identity, and running your business
Wednesday – production and creating
Thursday – marketing, communications, and partnerships
Friday – production and creating
Saturday – FUN, aka relaxation
Sunday – reflection, feedback, strategy for the upcoming week

2. Organizing throughout the day can be daunting, especially with all the various forms of distraction we have so handy in our lives. But if focus on what exactly you want to accomplish that day, or to put it another way, what positive influence do you need to make on the world and that follows your passions for life, you can then set up an outline that will cover your needs. Especially with so many internal or external distractions, model your days (on Sunday) so that you hit four or five points throughout the day each day of the week

WORK – 2-3 tasks you need accomplished that day
PLAY – dedicated time for fun and recharging activities
FOOD – both prep and eating should be identified
HEALTH – to slot in exercise and self-care
MIND – for reading, learning, and simple reflections

3. Deadlines always seem scary, but guess what? You’ve already started to lay the groundwork to fit them into your routine. By coming up with a weekly and daily schedule, you can very easily develop a monthly schedule too. This is where deadlines can be helpful – You should never set deadlines for the non-creative work, as a creative professional, but you should set deadlines for projects, within reason. Where the reason comes in is somewhat subjective, but essentially you don’t want the deadline to be so far out that it loses meaning, or so close that it overwhelms, you need to find that 2-4 week sweet spot.

4. Organizing your desk and/or work space: Or how to keep your creative space inspirational. No matter what kind of creative person you are, you must know that your environment effects your creativity. But the question remains, how do you make your space both visually interesting & comfortable to work in?

– Have beautiful objects around you and music that motivates
– Organize based on your personal aesthetic and make it functional, -with stocked supplies
– You need to control the light – have access to daylight, but be able to to dim for abstract thought
– Comfort is crucial – your seat, your clothes, your shoes, the temperature… all important
– Remove distractions (phone, social media, TV, children) and troublesome clutter

This might seem like news to you, common sense or somewhere in between, but no matter what stage of planning your life is in, we all benefit from these types of theories because our current technologies are incredibly efficient at depriving us from focus – Dangerously so. But that’s just a theory after all.

I’m out of theories for now, but be sure to check back tomorrow when I examine something timely and lay out the monthly schedule.

Tim!

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