I'm always better with a plan.
Planning gets a bad wrap from hustle culture - as if it's some kind of procrastination for weak people who can't just get in and get work done.
But is just 'getting work done' the goal or are we aiming for something higher?
I refuse to live my life like a workhorse. Instead, I value living life with intention & presence each day. And planning helps me stop & filter everything through that value.
But if the word 'planning' makes you break out in a cold sweat, don't worry I won't be taking up 3 hours of your Sunday planning for your week.
My type of planning is 'minimum viable' and for good reason. Too rigid a plan and you get flustered by inevitable changes to your plan (life happens, accept it). A loose plan with intentional space built in allows for some flex.
Here's how I create a 5-minute plan for my day:
Brain Dump everything. Get everything out of your head so you're not distracted by it all.
Choose the ONE thing. What is the one thing that if nothing else got done you could still consider today successful? Usually, this is your highest ROI activity (not the most urgent or the thing you 'ought' to do - only what is the highest return for your time).
Shortlist of everything else. For years I over-filled my task list & set myself up every day for failure. Thinking today will be the day I get everything done. It never happened. Be ruthless with yourself & keep your task list short (you'll be surprised how many unimportant things never actually need to get done).
With a simple plan in place, you can walk into your day, feeling present & ready to get your most valuable work done.
Posted as a Daily Essay on 19th December in Life By Design