Coming home from very lonely places, all of us go a little mad; whether from great personal success, or just an all-night drive, we are the sole survivors of a world no one else has ever seen.
- John le Carre
- John le Carre
Propel Yourself Forward: 3 little things you can do today to train your brain how to accomplish more
No, I'm not saying you should literally propel yourself forward like the guy in the picture above.
1. Get a dry erase board or two, put it where it'll be most visible to you. Write down clear actionable tasks that you absolutely need to get done tomorrow. Do this everyday. I have about 3 of these all over the house. One on the fridge, one in the studio/office and another one in the guest room/2nd office. It totally works.It works even better if you write down realistic tasks. Don't put down "retile my entire bathroom" or "start and finish my website" and expect it to be done at the end of the day. While it's possible to do all of that, it's totally counterproductive. You'll just end up getting frustrated and throwing a tantrum: "This system sucks you stupid dry erase board, you failed me. Take that!"
Who would wanna see that kind of hoopla going down? Certainly not me.
2. You should get one of those pocket planners with the calendar in it or even a small notebook. I I I have a moleskin but any old tiny notebook will do. Those inexpensive composition books take a lot of beating and works just fine.
Same rule as #1. Only in this write down weekly / monthly goals.
Somewhere in your notepad you should make a list of things you want to get accomplished in he next year.
For some reason seeing it visually is almost like programming or embedding the idea in your subconscious. Heck, tape a small photo of your loved one, your family, a sports car you've been wanting in your journal. Write some of your favorite quotes in your notebook. You can even type it up and print it out, frame it and put it right in front of your desk to help keep you inspired.
3. Be aware of the time you spend doing things. You're on your own this. Only you know what you spend your time on. I'm not saing that you should deprive yourself of doing things that you genuinely enjoy. But if you are trying to accomplish something (start that freelance photography business on the side, write that novel, draw that comic book, make jewelry, etc.) Did you really need to watch that crappy reality show or check your twitter account for the umpteenth time in the last hour?
Carve out some time to just focus on one thing. Use this to meditate, to read a chapter of that business book, write down ideas, doodle, write a poem, whatever. There's quite a bit of distractions in our daily lives. It's nice to just turn everything off and just do one thing for a litttle while.
By the way, it's ok if by the end of the day or week you notice that your task list still has stuff to be done.
You're not trying to achieve perfection. The point is to get you to be more goal oriented. A lot of people don't plan accordingly and just flutter about from one thing to another. It's just busy work for the sake of staying busy. This little exercise helped/helps me stay focused. Plus there's something so satisfying about crossing things off a list.
Give it a go and let me know how it works out for you.
2/17/2010 07:18:50 am
Very true and wise words. A smart phone works well too for the planning, for those of us more gadget inclined. I've been loving my blackberry for that very purpose since I got it a year and a half ago.
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