I use a very simple to-do list. A piece of lined paper the size of the palm of my hand, away from the phone and nowhere near the black hole, time-suck of the inbox. It took me years to get this right but now, I couldn’t live without it.
Pretty sad huh? I re-write my to-do list the night before, with all my action items. I number the most important ones, I tick them off, and cross them out (for that extra feeling of accomplishment). I’m pretty anal with it, but it works.
Doing this incredibly boring, but only 2 minute process every day and following it like a crazy person, sets me up for success. It’s not popping bottles, thick gold-chain, private jet style success, but this daily process leads to faster outcomes, clearer thinking, happier clients and more surfing time.
The best way to design your ideal life, is to follow something very similar to the above, but apply it to the weeks, months and years that lay ahead:
- Clear the decks – you can’t think without a clear desk, clear mind, clear everything – do what works for you, meditate, get rid of the physical clutter, find a quiet place and lose the distraction of your phone and laptop.
- Write it down – record your plans and tick them off. If you’re like me, nothing beats that feeling of satisfaction you get by drawing a big fat line through a task and getting it off the waiting list. If you’re anything like my wife, who is a turbo-planner, you might even find it satisfying to pop items on the list you’ve already done, just for that satisfaction of crossing them off!
- Put the blinkers on – I never answer the phone, read an email or check Facebook when I’m trying to complete a task (well at least that’s the plan!). In life, don’t let anything distract you from what truly matters. Learn to say no to anything that isn’t aligned with your plan. You might piss a few people off, but staying aligned to your overall purpose will bring far more value to you and others around you.
- Do it every day – there is a lot to be said about creating habits. Depending on which research you read, and who you listen to, it takes between 21 and 66 days to form a habit to the point that it becomes automatic. But automatic and positively life-changing are two different things. If you do the same process, even for just a few days in a row, you will already see the benefits and will have sold it to yourself in a way that allows you to continue, and reap the benefits.
In the work I do with my clients at Sufficient Funds, I place a far greater emphasis on the “planning” side than on the “financial” side.
This is because you will only ever achieve your goals and live the life you dream of, when you have a clear vision of where you want to be.
The actual financial plan simply plugs the money solution into the life plan, to ensure your resources are working for you and supporting your endeavours.
What tricks do you use to better plan your life? Share them below, make a plan today and act on it.