Have you ever gotten to 4:00 in the afternoon and realized that you aren’t sure where your day went? Tired of feeling like you didn’t get anything or enough done?
You know you weren’t that busy, but you haven’t seemed to get any of the important stuff done?
Suddenly you are tired, anxious and ready to end your day – but you don’t have much to show for putting in those hours.
I totally get it.
Most of us as entrepreneurs have had days just like this one.
It’s hard to stay accountable, to self-motivate, self-discipline and get all that work done.
Especially when there are so many world distractions.
When I have days like these – there’s something that I turn to over and over again.
You see, I write in my planner each night and make a plan for the next day – my top 3 priorities. Then if I wake up in the morning and I’ve had a tough night, I can just trust my planner.
I just look at the first thing on the list and start working.
I don’t question it.
I don’t second-guess my decisions.
I don’t figure out if I want to do it – I just open my documents and start working.
That’s because every single day I write down my 3 90-day goals. Then I get to work on doing actions that support each goal.
I’m not coasting or hoping that I’m getting it right. I’m thinking through what the fastest path is to get to my goals – and writing those steps down only.
Now mind you, you don’t have to use my Breakthrough Planner – you can use any planner that floats your boat – as long as you are writing your 90-day goals down every day and sticking to actions that support them.
But what if you keep forgetting to use your Planner?
I like to say, when you’re getting started with it, aim for about 70% use.
And here are some tips to make it easier to remember…
- Keep the Planner somewhere you’ll see it every day. I have a client who puts the Planner on top of her laptop every evening. That way, before she can start work the next day, she remembers to fill out the Planner. Then, she puts it on top of her Kindle because she always reads in the evening. In order to get the Kindle, she has to pick up the Planner, which reminds her to fill it out again.
- Combine this new habit with a habit you already do. This is called habit stacking. For example, what’s the first thing you do in the morning? Combine the Planner with that already-existing habit. If you always get a glass of water in the morning, then immediately fill out your Planner as you drink your glass of water. If you start your morning with a cup of coffee, combine your Planner with it.
- Make the Planner part of your start-of and end-of workday rituals. If you don’t have a full-fledged ritual yet, then it can simply be: “Before I close my computer in the evening, I fill out my Planner.
Final note: if you keep forgetting to use the Planner, remind yourself that it’s OK. Just pick it back up when you do remember, and try to use one of the above tips to make it easier to pick up again the next day.
And be gentle with yourself. After all, this is a new habit. 🙂