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The Importance of Daily and Weekly Planning

The Importance of Daily and Weekly Planning

As a self employed mother of a toddler, I fully understand the value of planning. My busy life puts me in the position where daily and weekly planning are essential to create enough time to spend with my son while still succeeding in my home based business. I plan my days and weeks carefully to include time for my family, business and health concerns. This allows me to create a clear path for myself that maintains a healthy balance of work and play. In this article I will share with you the reasons why daily and weekly planning is so important and I will also give you some of the strategies that I use for achieving my goals.

The following points demonstrate why planning is so critical to success.

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  • Planning can greatly reduce your stress quotient. Proper planning gives you the peace of mind of knowing that you have formulated a feasible plan of action and that your goals are attainable.
  • Planning also helps you to be prepared for obstacles because part of the planning process is creating a contingency pan for unexpected problems.
  • Planning serves as a way to evaluate your progress as you work. Planning your daily and weekly activities will clearly illustrate whether or not you are staying on schedule.

The following tips will provide you with strategies to implement your planning to achieve your goals.

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  • The first step to planning is to clearly define your goals. Taking a few minutes to put your goals into writing will be very beneficial in helping you to plan for your success.
  • Once you have defined your goal, it is time to brainstorm on the tasks that are required to complete your project. Ordering all of the necessary tasks into a logical order and assigning an estimated time for completion to each goal will be beneficial when you begin scheduling these activities.
  • Next it is useful to define the roles that you will take in fulfilling your goal as well as the roles of any others who will be assisting you. This is important because you can use this time to determine who will handle certain tasks to avoid redundancy.
  • Once you have determined your goal, the tasks required, the key players and the tasks they will complete, it is finally time to start your scheduling. When scheduling it is important to plan a weekly schedule as well as a daily schedule. The weekly schedule is important for the overall success of the project but it is the daily planning that will help you to track your progress and determine whether or not you are on schedule. Try using significant project milestones in your weekly planning but for daily planning break each milestone down into the necessary components and plan the completion of those components on a daily basis.
  • As the project progresses, continually evaluate your performance to determine whether you are on track or need to adjust your schedule. This is where daily planning becomes so important. Take a few minutes at the middle of the day and at the conclusion of the day to evaluate your progress and make adjustments as necessary.
  • Finally once you have successfully completed your project review your planning process to determine how successful it was. This will help you by illustrating whether or not you have achieved an optimal planning system or whether you need to more carefully plan subsequent projects.
  • In my life, I can clearly see how planning is beneficial to my success. When I have a plan to follow I am able to track my progress against the plan to determine whether or not, I am on the path to success or not.

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Last Updated on July 8, 2020

What Everyone Is Wrong About Achieving Inbox Zero

What Everyone Is Wrong About Achieving Inbox Zero

Ah, Inbox Zero. An achievement that so many of us long for. It’s elusive. It’s a productivity benchmark. It’s an ongoing battle.

It’s also unnecessary.

Don’t get me wrong, the way Inbox Zero was initially termed is incredibly valuable. Merlin Mann coined the phrase years ago and what he has defined it as goes well beyond the term itself.[1]

Yet people have created their own definition of Inbox Zero. They’re not using it with the intent that Mann suggested. Instead, it’s become about having nothing left in immediate view. It’s become about getting your email inbox to zero messages or having an empty inbox on your desk that was once filled with papers. It’s become about removing visual clutter.

But it’s not about that. Not at all.

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Here’s what inbox zero actually is, as defined by Mann:

“It’s about how to reclaim your email, your atten­tion, and your life. That “zero?” It’s not how many mes­sages are in your inbox–it’s how much of your own brain is in that inbox. Especially when you don’t want it to be. That’s it.” – Merlin Mann

The Fake Inbox Zero

The sense of fulfillment one gets from clearing out everything in your inbox is temporary at best, disappointing at worst. Often we find that we’re shooting for Inbox Zero just so that we can say that we’ve got “everything done that needed to be done”. That’s simply not the case.

Certainly, by removing all of your things that sit in your inbox means that they are either taken care of or are well on their way to being taken care of. The old saying “out of sight, out of mind” is often applied to clearing out your inbox. But unless you’ve actually done something with the stuff, it’s either not worth having in your inbox in the first place or is still sitting in your “mental inbox”.

You have to do something with the stuff, and for many people, that is a hard thing to do. That’s why Inbox Zero – as defined by Mann – is not achieved as often as many people would like to believe. It’s this “watered down” concept of Inbox Zero that is completed instead. You’ve got no email in your inbox and you’ve got no paper on your desk’s inbox. So that must mean you’re at Inbox Zero.

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Until the next email arrives or the next document comes your way. Then you work to get rid of those as quickly as possible so that you can get back to Inbox Zero: The Lesser again. If it’s something that can be dealt with quickly, then you get there. But if they require more time, then soon you’ve got more stuff in your inboxes. So you switch up tasks to get to the things that don’t require as much time or attention so that you can get closer to this stripped down variation of Inbox Zero.

However, until you deal with the bigger items, you don’t quite get there. Some people feel as if they’ve let themselves (or others) down if they don’t get there. And that, quite frankly, is silly. That’s why this particular version of Inbox Zero doesn’t work.

The Ultimate Way to Get to Inbox Zero

So what’s the ultimate way to get to Inbox Zero?

Have zero inboxes.

The inbox is meant to be a stop along the way to your final destination. It’s the place where stuff sits until you’re ready to put it in the place where it sits until you’re ready to deal with it.

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So why not skip the inbox altogether? Why not put it in the place where it sits until you’re ready to deal with it? Because that requires immediate action. It means you need to give the item some thought and attention.

You need to step back and look at it rather than file it. That’s why we have a catch-all inbox, both for email and for analog items. It allows us to only look at these things when we’re ready to do so.

The funny thing is that we can decide when we’re ready to without actually looking at the inbox beforehand. We can look at things on our own watch rather than when we are alerted to or feel the need to.

There is no reason why you need an inbox at all to store things for longer than it sits there before you see it. None. It’s a choice. And the choice you should be making is how to deal with things when you first see them, rather than when to deal with things you haven’t looked at yet.

Stop Faking It

Seeing things in your inboxes is simply using your sight. Looking at things in your inbox when you first see them is using insight.

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Stop checking email more than twice per day. Turn off your alerts. Put your desk’s inbox somewhere that it can be accessed by others and only accessed by you when you’re ready to deal with what’s in it. Don’t put it on your desk – that’s productivity poison.

If you want to get to Inbox Zero — the real Inbox Zero — then get rid of those stops along the way. You’ll find that by doing that, you’ll be getting more of the stuff you really want done finished much faster, rather than see them moving along at the speed of not much more than zero.

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Featured photo credit: Web Hosting via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Merlin Mann: Inbox Zero

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