Submission deadlines, paying bills, date with your bank, planning vacations, returning purchases, grocery shopping, laundry, work appraisals, replying to emails, cooking, project completion, studying…. OMG! We all have a lot of shit that needs to get done.
I am neither fancy nor a colourful planner. I always thought my mind worked like a super computer; I just needed to remember to get stuff done. I was wrong.
Alright let’s get straight to the point. I am going to enlist simple and basic tips that I learnt. Its never too late to start.
- Start with minimum.
All you need is a paper and pen. Take a few minutes to gather your thoughts. Jot down all the things you need to get done by the end of the week. Start small. Maybe just 1-2 tasks.
Identify more urgent tasks and prioritise them. So now that you have taken the first step let’s move on.
- Have a visual on your target.
Now take the list you compiled and put it somewhere you would see it at least once a day. Either next to your vanity or desk.You can put a list of things you have always wanted to do, like a hobby or taking driving classes or catching up on reading. So you are achieving two things; firstly you will be sub consciously reminded of the tasks to be completed daily and secondly it will motivate you to take initial steps towards getting things done.
- Half day at a time.
We are still taking it slow. Plan getting one or two tasks completed until lunch time or later half of the day. (Sometimes I just manage to get half of it done, but still it’s better than doing none of it.)
Give yourself a pat on the back for completing the task. Put a big ‘check mark’ on the list.
- Paper vs. Apps.
Take your pick. You can set reminders on your phone. I am technologically challenged and still use the basic pen and paper. Whichever makes your life easier, use it. These tools will aid you in the process.
- Review at the end of the week.
You will be pleased to see that you would have achieved at least a fraction of your planned list. It will open up your weekend for leisure activities!
How did you benefit from completing the task? Maybe it saved you some late fees or helped you pass a test or got you cheaper tickets. It will motivate you to plan more often.
I recently graduated from being a procrastinator to basic planner
My planning methods:
- Planner: As I got a bit regular scribbling to-do lists, I decided to reward myself with a planner. I got one from Paperchase in January. It has weeks mapped out in it with various sections for lists, which makes it easier for me to just jot down things as I am not quite an artist to draw and paint in it. I mark deadline dates and spread out tasks to be done throughout the week.
An example from this week’s to do list:
- a) Sending out the GAT conference form.
- b) Visa extension application
- c) Weekend vacation travel and accommodation booking.
- d) Applying for exams.
- e) Work appraisal form submission.
- f) (I had a panic attack almost listing these down. So much to do!!! L)
So I assigned a deadline for each task because as you can see if I delay any task it will land me in trouble. And throughout the week I kept track on it.
- Visual board: I mostly use this for my studies and blogging. I list down topics I need to read up and tests to be completed and put up on the board. So even if I do not feel like reading it’s a constant reminder to get the topics done.
Blogging: Ideas come to me at random times! So I just scribble down the topic on the board and plan the content accordingly.
- Post it notes: I write down my grocery list and keep adding to it throughout the week because whenever I go grocery shopping, I end up buying unnecessary things and in excess. I also make a note of unusual ingredients required for a new recipe.
- Notes app: I had an idea for my previous post on a 10 minutes train ride so I used the notes app on my phone to type and save and worked on the content later. I use this simple app quite frequently.
- Sunday: it takes 5 minutes to note down things to be accomplished in the week. I usually plan out my week on a Sunday. I make a note of any new recipes I want to try and the ingredients required for the same, any bills to be paid, study topics planning, appointments, things I need to buy etc.
Keep it simple and start small. It can be as small as buying milk tomorrow or taking out the trash
So from being lazier to lazy and procrastinator to planner, it has helped me succeed. I planned my studying in 40 days and was able to pass the exams. It just made my life so much easier. Now I can no longer use the excuse of being a doctor and not having enough time for extracurricular activities.
So hope these help!
“Slow and steady wins the race”, said the tortoise.
Copyright 2018 Chris Lemos All rights reserved