Create Your Ideal Schedule

Effective self-management begins with a well-planned schedule. The strategy is to create a schedule for the entire week which includes both professional and personal activities from the time you wake up until the time you go to bed. The idea is to treat this like you’re back in high school and schedule your activities in blocks of time.  I understand in your industry things pop up and it’s difficult to keep to a specific schedule. However, if you can’t picture the perfect week then chances are you’ll never have one.

Once you have your weekly schedule created, each evening, you’ll want to convert your next day’s schedule into a well-planned, detailed format. You’ll do that by having a set appointment with yourself each evening before closing shop, to plan out your next day in detail. By having your schedule all buttoned up and detailed, you don’t have to waste time the next day trying to figure out what you’re going to do next. Instead, you’ll be able to show up and simply execute. This is a habit that less than 10% of professionals have. Mediocre leaders don’t take the time to plan. Instead, they just take each day as it comes, reacting to circumstances as they pop up. They end up partaking in “creative avoidance.” This takes place when you avoid doing what you know you should be doing. You do more pleasurable activities such as organizing your desk, checking emails, surfing the net, etc. At the end of the day, you’re frustrated that you didn’t accomplish more. This makes it difficult to be in the moment with your family because you’re thinking about everything you didn’t get done at work. Keeping your ideal schedule, on the other hand, will prevent you from wasting time during the day on non-income producing activities, equipping you to head off interruptions to your schedule that are not as critical. Learning to set boundaries will enable you to work more effectively.

With this in mind, the majority of your day should be invested in Income Producing Activities. Everything else should be delegated to assistants if possible.

Peak performers and leaders create a plan, they execute on that plan within a given timeline, and they have somebody hold them accountable to that plan. Planning, executing, and accountability. It’s a great feeling waking up in the morning with a plan. It takes all of the emotion and guesswork out of your day. You simply execute on your predetermined plan. Once you form this habit, you’ll find yourself getting more done in less time. It’s easy to procrastinate putting this schedule together and keeping it. Remember, however, the key to overcoming procrastination is forming the habit of doing things that you don’t like to do. As you’re tweaking your ideal schedule, keep track of all your activities throughout the day to determine the Income Producing Activities versus the time wasters. The goal is to get to the point where your days are on task and highly productive. Get excited about you leading your day versus letting other people and circumstances do it for you!

By executing on your Ideal Schedule, you’ll find yourself living in the moment. Here are affirmations I live by:

I am a peak performer because I always take time to plan out my next day.
I am a top producer/manager because I plan and I execute.
I live in the moment because I plan my day and I work my plan.

Yesterday is history.
Tomorrow is a mystery.
Today is a gift.
That’s why we call it the present.

Regret and fear are the twin thieves that rob us of today. Relish the moment!

The information contained in this blog post is credited to Steve Reiner, SWC Partner and Sales Coach.

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