Continuing on from last weeks ninja productivity chat, I thought I’d share how I plan my weeks/months, which all feed back into allowing me a streamlined and productive day.
I spoke briefly about the goals I set each month which dictate the time I allocate to projects daily, so let’s look at that first.
As Tony Robbins said, setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible to the visible, so that’s where my month starts.
I have a whiteboard in my office and on the first day of each month, I light a candle, do a meditation and pen 3-6 (sometimes more sometimes less) goals that I wish to achieve for the next four weeks. It’s a really beautiful ritual because, before writing down the new ones, I wipe off the old goals and give gratitude for achieving them…but more on that later.
Monthly goal setting is something I’ve only introduced this year, and it’s had a profound impact on my productivity, my clarity and my focus. Whenever I’m feeling stressed or overwhelmed, lost or unsure, I just look to the whiteboard, and listed in black and white are dot points of clarity just waiting to be executed.
What’s been most interesting about this, is the time it takes to cross the average goal of the board. So at the start of the month, when writing the goals, I mentally tally the approximate time of each task. And there have been a few months when that tally has come to one week. So in theory, if left alone, with no external distractions, I could easily achieve all goals listed in one week. But in reality, that ‘one week’ of projects has turned into one full month of work.
And often, big, timely goals will be on that board for consecutive months before they’re actualised. So it’s been a fascinating discovery of time, and has given me great clarity around just how important my time is.
This realisation has helped me become laser focused and seriously selfish with my time. Where before if someone wanted a meeting/go-see/catch-up/coffee I would drop whatever I was doing and slot it in, nowadays, my goals get my priority and everything else is second best.
What’s most powerful about this goal-setting ritual….in the 11 months that I’ve been doing it, you know how many of the goals I haven’t eventually achieved? Not one.
Every goal that I’ve ever written on that board has been achieved. Not always in the time frame that I predicted, but achieved none the less.
After observing this and proving it true month after month for 11 months now, I can tell you I get pretty damn excited when I’m penning the new months goals on that board, knowing that it is only a matter of time before they’re achieved too!
Imagine looking back on your life 12 months from now, after having written 4/5/3/10 goals each month and achieving everyone of them. That’s pretty powerful stuff!!
An idea is just a dream until you write it down then its a goal
I also write up my personal goals, so for instance this month it’s been: 2 x surfs (I’ve had one), daily HIIT or High Intensity Interval training eg hill sprints (I’ve done this maybe 5 times all month), and goto the dentist (that’s been on there for about 3 months, have been procrastinating BIG time on that one!).
Clearly haven’t had a record personal month of achievement, but it’s there as a reminder of the things that I really would like to get done to advance my life in the direction of my dreams.
Hands up if you like ticking things off each day?!
In the past I’ve had things like daily mirror work, daily mantras, and other more spiritual practises that I’ve really wanted to incorporate into my every day routine. During those times, I draw myself up a little calendar on that whiteboard, and get a red tick (almost like a gold star), when I complete the practise for that day.
It’s amazing how incentivising a red tick can be!
It’ll get to the end of the day, and even if I’m exhausted, if I haven’t got that tick for the day, I’ll show up for that spiritual practise, do the work, get the tick, and goto bed proud!
This is a great Jedi mind-trick for the high achievers out there, who like me, enjoy the simple things in life, like gold stars and red ticks. It’s been a truly valuable practise for integrating mindfulness into my daily routine.
Goals in writing are dreams within deadlines
Give the monthly goal setting a go, I think you might like it, and leave me a comment below to tell me about your monthly rituals.
Big thanks to Miss Valentine for these shots