Wow the car park was empty, people must have walked or be running late. The lights were on but there did not seem to be any activity in the meeting room.
It suddenly dawned on me. I had the wrong day. In fact I had the wrong month! All day I had been running non-stop from meeting to phone call to meeting. I had driven 20 miles, wasted a couple of hours that could have been spent with family or catching up on the days work.
I had failed to plan my day and now that lack of plan was failing me.
Often it is not about getting as much done in the day but more about getting the right things done.
Three simple steps to do that;
1. Book time to plan - Book a daily appointment in your calendar to make the space to stop and plan your day. Over the years I have tried various planning methods and tools all the way from a simple to do list through to the somewhat over complicated David Allen's Getting Things Done. I have just started to recently use an online system called Simpleology. What I really like about this system is it gets me in to the daily discipline of planning my day through quick and simple video training.
2. Know what's important - We can get pushed and pulled in many different directions but often it is down rabbit holes of lost time, resources and energy which could be much better spent on the projects and work that can get you where you want to be and you love doing. Be very clear about your goals - short and long term and your barriers to entry. The criteria for you to even look at a project or opportunity.
3. Be okay with saying No - the hardest two letter word in the dictionary for many of us to say. I have rapidly come to appreciate the value of this, when I have my children I have less than a six hour window each day to get done what I need to - no time for surfing, social media or distractions. The word 'NO' can be incredibly freeing and empowering. In fact it can actually be more freeing and empowering for the other person, the one you say no to, than it is for you. Needs some strategies around this then read The Power of a Positive No by William Ury.
What lessons have you learnt from trying to do too much or failing to plan?