Saturday, 31 December 2016
My Planning System (2017) -Part 3: Putting it all together
Over the last few posts, I've told you what paper-based items I'm using for planning 2017 and given you a bit more detail about each of them. I realise it was a huge amount of information and probably seemed impossible to follow. So, here is a walk-through of what I do each quarter, month, week, day. Some of you might feel that doing something daily, weekly and monthly is over-kill. Quite a bit of me wonders if it isn't too much at times too, but, this is the system that has (mostly) kept me on track for the last 5 years and maybe some of you will find it helps you too. If it doesn't, no problem! Every one's unique.
I look at my book that outlines my goals to next actions. If anything is completed I tick it off (and sometimes put a gold star next to it!). If anything is no longer relevant, I cross it out. If there are new things I need to do, I add them in. I try to remember to ask: Is it my dream? Is it essential? And I try to remember that time is finite.
It usually takes the same amount of time as drinking a cup of tea to review these pages.
I do three things: 1) review; 2) transfer; 3) plan/allocate
I look at what my plan for the past month included. I tick off things that got done (and do a happy dance if I did everything). I do not beat myself up if things didn't get done.
I transfer things that didn't get done that should be done to the new month's list. I look through my Goals to Next Actions book and add tasks to the new month's list. I flip through the notebook in the back of my TN (which holds my lists of stuff that don't belong to any specific project) and add in to the new month's list anything that should/could be cleared off.
I do a quick reality check and probably remove half the things I put on the list and then allocate tasks to specific weeks in the weeks + notes diary.
Again, it probably takes me the same amount of time as drinking a cup of tea.
The weekly review maybe takes a little more time. I again review, transfer and plan in this session.
I look at what my plan for the past week included. I tick off things that got done (and do another happy dance if I did everything). I do not beat myself up if things didn't get done.
I transfer things that didn't get done that should be done to the new week's list in the week + notes diary. I flip through the notebook in the back of my TN and add in to the new week's list anything that should/could be cleared off. On the rare occasions I'm ahead with things, I look through the goals to next actions book and add things from it to the weekly list or move things from a future week's list to the coming week.
I check that all my appointments for the week have been time-boxed into the correct day in the A6 day book and then allocate tasks to specific days.
This maybe takes half an hour to an hour. I usually do this on a Sunday afternoon.
I look through my list for the day and time-box the day's tasks.
I review the day. I tick off what got done, what needs rescheduling (and decide when it will be moved to) and I process any notes that need keeping.
Time taken: 5-10 minutes each time
As ever, the core of the system is the goals to next actions lists. Everything flows from them. My system (mostly) keeps me on top of the day to day stuff and helps me to keep an eye on the bigger picture too.
What's everyone doing in 2017? How are you managing your life?