How to Plan for More Time
How to Plan for More Time
Time doesn’t stop for deadlines that get pushed up, rush-hour traffic, or your computer crashing. To create more time to do what’s most important, you need to plan for it. Whether it’s finding more time for fun, streamlining your workload, or exercising, I have two strategies to give you just that and more! Research shows that routines do not require conscious effort or thought, and by making these strategies a routine, you’ll have more time than you knew was possible!
Monday Hour One Process
Last week you learned how to get and optimize your time. Now let’s talk about how to plan for more time! It’s called Monday Hour One, which means that you’re going to show up every Monday and set aside one hour for planning. If you think this is impossible because you have so many other things going on, keep reading to see how it works!
Whether it’s planning how many drinks you’ll have at a party or what specific food you’re going to eat, I want you to plan your days with the most detail you can tolerate. The more energy you are willing to spend planning your day ahead of time, the better. Make sure you include free time and playtime. When you take the time to do a daily plan, I promise you will see a major difference at the end of 30 days!
⇨ Monday One-Hour Rules: Make this hour sacred! Before you start this hour, turn off all notifications on your computer, turn off your email and close any social media applications, so that you can focus. You want to be in a quiet space where other people will not be around.
This will require practice focusing on one thing for an hour and not allowing your primitive brain to distract you with thoughts. Like I teach in my coaching practice, your primitive brain thought reactions won't get you the results you want!
The One-Hour Plan
First - Do a thought download. Your brain is designed for processing, not for storing information. You need to get everything out of your brain because your brain thinks everything in there is important. We will go into detail on that and why it’s so important.
Second - Schedule basic calendar hours such as free time, mealtimes, and meetings. All the things that are regular occurrences in your schedule.
Third - Set your Focus Time (I recommend 2 hours per work day). This is when you will do your best, most important work—when you need to be focused and able to produce a quantifiable result.
How to Maximize Focus Time
There are three things I want to focus on. Step 1 is being able to prepare for some of the items you might need for your Focus Time. If you don’t prepare for this, you will go into your email, and there will be ten other things to accomplish. Being prepared allows you to focus and not let distractions sabotage your efforts!
Step 2 is being able to strategize what time of day you will do these two hours of Focus Time. For me, it’s in the morning because I’m most fresh, and my brain is at its highest capability. It’s the time of the day when I don’t check my email until after my Focus Time.
Step 3 is all about committing to the decision you made for how long it will take. Doing this eliminates the question, “how long will this take?”. I can tell you right now it will take you two hours because that’s all you’ll give yourself. That may seem difficult for you, but I promise you it’s so freeing and empowering, and soon you will recognize how productive you can be when you commit to what you’ve scheduled in that two hour Focus Time!
Step 4 - Schedule all the remaining tasks like projects, helping out family, doing things for your boss, etc.
Step 5 - Create an overflow plan. This is the time you set to complete unfinished business. For me, that's setting aside 30 minutes most days for the unexpected. We can't predict what will happen next week or even tomorrow, but we want to set some time for things we want to do that we didn't plan for. I don't want you to use overflow time as an excuse or a cop-out instead, it’s a time to honor yourself!
Step 6 - Take the paper you wrote your TDL on and toss it in the trash. Now you know that what you wrote down and what you planned will get done!
There will be days when you come into this hour feeling scattered and overwhelmed. This process allows you to clear the chaos, prioritize, calendarize, and commit to being satisfied and confident that what's on your calendar is as good as done.
Friday Hour Done
What I love even more than Monday Hour One is Friday Hour Done! I will teach you the amazing benefits of what you do in the last hour of your work week. For me, it is Friday at noon. I look at the past week and ask myself, “Did I do what I said I was going to do, and what do I have to celebrate?”. It’s like the closing ritual to your week, so you can start your weekend or your day off feeling refreshed and done with the week! This way, you’re not thinking and processing through your work week anymore. You know you’ve already celebrated and closed the week, and now you’re ready to enter and be present for the weekend.
Friday Hour Done Plan
Assess what worked - what three things did you accomplish? Celebrate what you completed to see what you’ve followed through on.
What didn’t work - write those things down for your next Monday Hour One, and any obstacles you encountered, such as not accounting for travel time.
What can you do differently - this is an excellent set-up for your following Monday Hour One. Write down any open projects that you still need to account for.
You’ve just created a space where you truly can be free. Now you can sit back, relax, enjoy the weekend, and not think about work.
No matter what circumstances or responsibilities you have on your plate, I know you can get this done! I live these strategies, which have changed my life coaching business and personal life, so I know it works!
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