In the darkness of a winter morning, when the house still smells of freshly brewed coffee and candlelight dances on a good book, this time to think and plan is my meditation. It's my time to set the day right, before it has begun. Which is what I’ve done in the silence of this a.m.
Yesterday, I was high on a big fat doobie of accomplishment, a productivity monster crushing every activity with aplomb. Today I woke up to a sick wife and daughter, a migraine of my own, and two sons who had to finish last-minute school projects that rivaled NASAs space shuttle development program in size and scope.
I felt defeated, exhausted, overwhelmed, and wishing for my day back.
When this happens, you can recover in three ways:
Whenever there’s a new month, there should be a new plan.
With a fresh month, you’ve got 20 or so whole working days in front of you.
You weren’t thinking of just winging it, were you 😉?
You already know this, but “winging it” is not how you achieve your goals. That’s not how you’ll finish this year a success.
People who wing it often wonder how they worked so hard and yet don’t find themselves where they want to be.
On the other hand, high-achievers use every new month as an opportunity to do two things:
The last place I ever wanted to be was on a twin-engine propeller plane in an ice storm.
Yet there I was, sitting in seat 2b, listening to the engines labor to keep 20 tons of metal and humanity afloat. Unlike the constant drone of a jet engine, this prop plane had a chant—a repetitive roar intermingled with a gnarly growl—like a lion voicing his displeasure as he tumbled around in an industrial dryer.
𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗡𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁 𝗕𝗲𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗲
1. Get 7 hours of sleep
2. Lay out daily clothes in advance
3. Block calendar for important work
4. Schedule commute time
5. Schedule breaks
6. Plan to deal with time obstacles
7. Schedule administrivia
𝗜𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗠𝗼𝗿𝗻𝗶𝗻𝗴
9. Eat healthy food that energizes you
10. Tell everyone when you plan to leave
11. When work begins, begin work (don’t get distracted)
12. Squeeze meetings together
13. Focus (or leave) meetings that aren’t productive
14. Reschedule meetings that start late
15. Hold stand up meetings
16. Decline meetings where you can’t contribute
17. Add buffer between meetings and tasks
18. Schedule important tasks
19. Prioritize urgent tasks
20. Delegate unimportant tasks
21. Delete the rest of your tasks
22. Limit emailing to 3x per day
23. Automate repetitive tasks with apps like IFTTT
24. Bundle similar tasks together
25. Set a timer for your tasks
26. Begin with the end in mind
27. Minimize distractions
28. Stick to your schedule
30. Work on what matters
31. Focus with music
32. Work intensely
33. Take breaks often
34. Work when everyone else isn’t
35. Call instead of email
36. Send shorter emails… get to the point
37. Only read emails where you are in the to: line
𝗔𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗘𝗻𝗱 𝗼𝗳 𝗬𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗗𝗮𝘆
38. Block time before you leave to clean up your day
39. Reduce and remove clutter in your work space
40. Add some greenery to your work space (scientifically proven to increase productivity)
41. Sit, stand, walk, talk, act confidently
A good plan for the week starts on Monday and has two parts:
☝️ The three most important things you’ll get done this week to make it easier to achieve your goal.
✌️ The three things you will get done today, Monday, that will make it easier to have a successful week.
People often complicate planning, thinking it requires expensive project management software, some fancy new task management app, or PhD in Gantt charting to organize their thinking.
This over-complication transforms into an excuse for not planning—for working in disorganized chaos—for living a busy but unproductive life.
But here’s the thing:
Tetris is the best puzzle game of all time. Period.
(I thought of ending the post here, but you’d have no f*cking clue how that statement relates to this picture, and I have a point to make...)
The satisfaction of slipping a multicolored shape into the perfect opening to clear the entire board in one epic moment can’t be explained, it must be played.
When you get good at Tetris, you automatically get good at similar games like Dr. Mario, Bejeweled, or Luminex.
That’s because they all have…
Planning isn’t for procrastinators.
Procrastinators need pressure to complete their project—time pressure, money pressure, the pressure of a demanding customer.
Procrastinators also need energy. Energy to focus on their task. Energy to ignore the coffee machine, phone calls, texts, cat videos, and other distractions.
When procrastinators have energy and pressure, they don’t need a plan. Shit just gets done.
Without these two things, however, procrastinators find themselves thrashing around like fish in a catch-and-release pond, biting one shiny lure after another, wondering why they can’t make it home.
If you’ve ever procrastinated, you know that fighting it is impossible. But you also know that succumbing to a day of lost work isn’t acceptable.
That’s where Kanban comes in.
It’s Friday, and you’re battered from a 5-day attack on your focus, attention, and patience; a battle that started the moment your alarm blared Monday morning.
If you started with a plan, it’s now buried in the rubble of a week that bombarded you with emails, phone calls, and customer demands.
Yes, the work-week struggle was real, and though it’s now over, another battle looms next week.
But, enter the weekend with a clean slate and you’ll start next week fresh, reinvigorated, and ready to crush it. What’s more, your free hours won’t be consumed with thoughts of unfinished tasks. You’ll enjoy a truly restful weekend.
This all begins with a weekly review.
It’s Monday, closing time, and in four days your week will be over.
Where will you find yourself Friday afternoon? What will you have accomplished?
Most people don’t know. They begin each day, do what they can, and try to “finish things up” Friday afternoon before cashing out for the weekend.
I’ve been there. Living day to day, never knowing how much I can get done, never planning a path my goals.
Some projects, like building a house, cleaning a garage, or building a military helicopter can be scheduled in great detail from start to finish.
Most projects cannot.
So does that mean you should give up? Should you run your next project ad-hoc, dealing with issues as they arise and hoping for the best?
After 44 years of drought, in a victory that filled the streets of Washington DC with raving fans, the Washington Capitals took home the Stanley Cup.
They wanted it, and they fought for it. Five bloody, sweaty battles of persistence, patience, hunger, drive, and hard fucking work.
But that’s not why they won.
For the majority of small businesses, managing finances is one of the most difficult tasks to perform. However, no matter how tedious this task may be, it is critical for your business’ growth. It not only helps you predict where your business is headed but also allows you to make more informed and data-backed business decisions. Not to mention that maintaining your financial records will make your tax reporting and payments much simpler.
Here are a few tips that will help you boost your finances in 2018.
Last weekend, the US Olympic men’s curling team took gold in a knock out battle with Sweden. People were yelling. Stones were flying. And grown men were crying.
It was an incredible game won by flawless execution and a superior strategy.
That’s why I harp on having a strategy for your business.
Not some complex strategy worthy of a multi-billion dollar publicly traded company. No, just a plan to get from point A to point B with consideration for each of those steps along the way.
How do you do that? How do you build a legitimate roadmap for the purpose-filled growth you desire? Try these steps:
You know what's coming...
At the end of today, you'll either feel a sense of accomplishment, or like you've wasted another day.
It's not that you didn't work hard.
You answered emails. You took phone calls. You attended meetings. You made decisions.
But for some reason you got nothing done.
Well, that's not true. You got a lot of other people's work done, just not your own.
You've made little progress toward your goals. You've been running around solving other people's problems. You've been answering other people's questions, and spending time in other people's meetings.
In other words, you've been working on urgent, but not important tasks.
There's a solution to this problem. A way to move closer to your goals every day.
If you’re heading into 2017 thinking about setting new plans and goals for your business, Modern da Vinci is here to help. In this brief video, we cover:
- three big planning mistakes that you must avoid, and
- the first step you should take to set the foundation for your planning process.
This is the first video in a series where we will lay out a specific approach for creating a simple, clear, and impactful plan to help you set (and reach) your goals in 2017. And beyond.
Many small and medium-sized business owners kick the can down the road when it comes to financial planning. That’s understandable since business owners are preoccupied with short-term responsibilities and dealing with fires that inevitably pop up daily.
Unfortunately, this leaves the business owner and his or her partners and family members exposed to tremendous risk.
What happens if conditions change and the business fails? How will the business respond if a partner falls ill? What is the business exposed to as the market fluctuates? How can the business be financially responsible while offering competitive compensation and benefits to employees?
In this interview, business finance expert Blake Fellows explains why it is essential for business owners to be proactive about setting goals, determining ranges for spending and saving, ensuring that foundational agreements are in place, and having specialized support in all aspects of financial planning