Plan Your Path to Productivity
The great leadership gooroo, Dale Carnegie, said that one hour of planning can save you ten hours of doing. I cannot overemphasize to you the fact that if you want to live a productive life, (not just a busy life but a productive one), you have got to learn to plan effectively. It doesn’t have to be super complex; it doesn’t have to be overcomplicated. It’s simply getting organized, and planning your day, planning your week, setting some goals, and then systemizing it.
In this article, I want to narrow in on these two things: how to plan your week, and how to plan your day. I want you to live a productive life. For some of you, this will be the frog you need to eat today. Mark Twain said that if you eat a live frog first thing in the morning, nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day, and I believe it. I don’t want to eat a live frog, but symbolically the point is that you start your day with something that you naturally wouldn’t want to do, and everything else gets easier. This is the frog some of you need to eat. You need to be scheduling and planning your week and your day.
Almost religiously every Sunday evening, I plan my week. I can’t say every because I take vacations, sometimes I’m traveling, and sometimes we are just doing something on Sunday night, and it just doesn’t work out. I would say 8 weeks out of 10 I plan my week on Sunday evening. I sit down, and I list out my priorities for the week, who I need to talk to this week, and what are some things I need to do to move some projects forward this week. Now, I don’t list twenty things. I keep it at five or six things, five or six people, and five or six things I can do to move some projects forward. This is my roadmap for the week.
Everyday, I begin my day without checking my email until mid-morning; I don’t check social until mid-morning or later. I always begin my day by scheduling my priorities for the day. If you go to Kidzmatter.com then click on the store, I actually have a printable productivity playbook. This is an eight page reproducible where you fill a binder, and it helps you prioritize your month, week, and day. Everyday I fill out one of my productivity play sheets. I list my priorities for the day, the people I need to talk to, and the projects I need to push forward. Do I always get everything done? No. Does stuff happen? Yes because whenever you run a ministry, whenever you run a business, whenever you are working with people, problems can surface. Things can happen. If I don’t plan my day, if I don’t have my eyes on a target, I am sure to not hit it. I’ve got to know what do I want to accomplish today.
Everyday I want to encourage you to do this. Whether you use my printable productivity playbook or you come up with your own system, I really don’t care. What I do want you to do is I want you to begin planning your week, and then every morning start your day by planning your day. It’s as simple as listing your priorities for the day; these are the things I need to do today no matter what, Lord willing. Next, list the people. These are the people I need to talk to today. Finally, list the projects. If I get those priorities done and I get those people talked to, what are some things I can do to move some projects forward?
By simply putting some systems in place everyday, you’ll be amazed by how much more productive you are. By being productive, you are going to be happier. You’re going to be more satisfied; you are going to see more results. It’s also not only going to impact your life, but it will impact the lives of those around you. Let’s get organized. Let’s save ten hours of doing by being committed today, by doing one hour of planning.
Your #1 fan,