I am finally feeling settled in in our new home. June was literally crazy: Singapore for a few days, twice in London, twice in Luxembourg, Pavel’s graduation in Paris, Art Basel, two short trips to Vaduz, moving houses, football fever – all during the last 5 weeks.
I have been meeting with so many people, it’s totally crazy, but there is one particular thing that sort of keeps coming: “how do I know I am doing enough”. Somehow, a lot of people ask this question.
Obviously, if you ask me, I never feel like I am doing enough (except for maybe some areas excluded from my horizon long time ago, such as – I don’t bake, I don’t do kids parties if i can help it, I don’t go anywhere near sailing, sewing, painting, drawing or fixing electrical devices)… other than that I always feel like there is something more I could do. At the same time, when others ask me, if they are doing enough, I almost always could see that they are doing more than enough and they could easily do less or do nothing with almost no impact on their lives. Feeling “busy” is really tricky and often does not actually “feel good”.
My personal issue with “being busy” is that I may spend the day doing a lot, but lacking a sense of a really important accomplishment, almost questioning myself “why again was I doing all these things???”
So, I decided to do something new and tried it for 3 weeks thus far – it works!!!
I created a daily calendar on my Mac, and structured it in a way that if I have 3 really big and important goals that I want to accomplish by the end of this year, so I need to schedule every day at least something for each of them. Plus, there are repetitive daily chores that need to get done almost every day, and if they don’t get done, they accumulate over time and I get stressed and overwhelmed, and I need to have a piece of mind to be able to think big and focus on my big goals. My morning routine now includes a ritual where the first thing in the morning I open my daily calendar and make commitments about what I will definitely do and when.
It looks like that:
Goal #1: My company must achieve XXX revenue target this year. Today (and every day) I must work (at least for a minute) on:
- Project 1 (e.g. write additional 5 slides for the online training, review yesterday’s draft)
- Project 2 (e.g. implement additional strategy for digital marketing or attend a networking event or a call with someone interesting)
- Learn something new, read, listen to a podcast, etc.
Goal # 2: Healthy habits
- Excesses (write what and when)
- Plan food (write what and where)
- Sleep (write when I will go to bed)
Goal #3 Daily tasks
- Project A – speak to XXX, addend meeting with DDD (…)
- Project B – respond to YYY’s email
- Project C – schedule ZZZ
- Project D – nothing (this is really hard to do, by the way 😉 )
This planning takes literally 5 minutes, and it’s super important to do it the first thing in the morning, before I read anyone’s emails or messages.
The trickiest part is not allow myself to get distracted and not allow others hijack my time by inflating and escalating their problems. I am still far from perfect with this, but I really feel that this new system works magically: if I follow the plan – I see the results, when I don’t follow the plan – I don’t see the results.
This system is different from my usual calendar planning, because it’s so easy to say “yes” to an additional meting or take another call or respond to another email, but in the moment I don’t always have a good sense, how important or productive those unscheduled events would be and if they are really aligned to my main goals. Planning ahead every morning from a place where I see a clear reminder of what I really want to achieve this year makes a HUGE difference.
Do you have a similar issue? How do you solve it?