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Are you so busy that your to-do list is never checked off? Too much to tackle and too little time.
Then your hustle isn’t productive.
Planning is at the top of my list of priorities when it comes to making sure that my priorities, business, and life is in order. But even the best planners in the world will tell you that a plan without action is just words on a page!
For a while, I had all of my ideas in different notebooks spread out across my house and things I needed to get done, just never got done.
Are you this like you?
Or maybe you’re in the business of having to wear a ton of different hats throughout your day and need to make sure that you’re working smarter and not harder.
Well, you need to harmonize your hustle!
There are always a million things going on at once; things, people, Netflix, and YouTube get in the way and shift our schedule sideways. We have good intentions but the tasks we plan are left untouched.
Why is that though?
Why is it we allow our minds to get sidetracked so easily?
We need planning systems that work!
I truly believe that having systems in place to help you go from idea to execution is essential in the success of your day.
In this article, I am going to be giving you insight into 4 truly effective ways to get your creative thoughts, tasks, and ideas from the page into action. I’ll be sharing what I do daily to manage my massive list and plan effectively.
Planning is my jam and these tools help you get set up in the right direction.
Grab your notebook, it’ll be worth taking notes on this one.
Time blocking is a method of time management where you divide your day into blocks. The secret to making this method work is to focus on one task or group of similar tasks during each block. When you use time blocking in combination with the next three tools you will see why having time blocks are so important.
Some time blocks you might use throughout your day can be anything from email management, content creation, social media community response, time for accounting, and most importantly BLOCK TIME FOR PLANNING every day.
If you don’t take anything at all from this (and I hope you do take in all that you can) making sure you time block at least 30-40 minutes a day is KEY. I have this time set aside at the end of my day and it’s my time to revisit my todo list and give a careful review of my brain dump from the day.
A brain dump is the act of taking thoughts out of your head and putting them onto a page! I create a brain dump list for each day alongside my daily to-do list. I use this space as an area to get random thoughts, ideas, or tasks that pop into my brain out of my mind and onto the paper.
For this strategy you will need to use pen and paper for your brain dump because we won’t just leave it there, we are learning how to take action.
How does this work with time blocking?
Because I work within time blocks, if there is an idea or task that comes to mind throughout the day (be it an email or random new blog idea) I add it to this list.
The reason time-blocking works is because it should be carefully planned to include your overall goals and directly tie into your to-do list, but if you stop and start your day to do things that randomly come to mind. Your list will never be checked off.
And then you aren’t really being productive at all, right?
Daily To-Do Lists
Alongside your brain dump, you need to create daily to-do lists that align with your blocks for the day. Ideally, you’ll be making these to-do lists during your planning block and moving items from your overall weekly goals and brain dump into this.
Daily List Audits
Here is the fun part, auditing your brain dump list and daily to list is the part that makes this planning system all work together. I use three categories and color highlighters when auditing my lists at the end of the day during my planning time block.
During your planning time block, revisit your brain dump list, highlight items in one color that you want to schedule into your next day’s to-do list or into another block within your week.
Delete items off your list that do not serve you or ones that aren’t working towards your overall goal for the week or month.
Your do items are ones that are simple enough to get done really quickly and off your lists. Items that make it to my do list are quick and easy email responses or replying back to Instagram DM inquires. I can schedule those into my email management block but if there is extra time, getting it done and off the list is just as fine.
Essentially you never want to leave an item on your brain dump list, you want to give each idea, task, item, or project a place to go within your allotted time blocks
Your Planning Recap
Overall you want to use a calendaring system to set up your blocks throughout the day or week, missing this essential step will set you back so you don’t want to miss it.
Next, you’re going to create two lists each day. One list will be your daily to-do list that has items you need to get done based on your blocks for the day. The other list will be a brain dump list, this is where you will keep notes of all things that come up randomly throughout the day.
Finally at the end of each day, during your planning block, you will make sure to AUDIT these lists using the schedule, delete, do categories ensuring that each item now has a place to go. Helping you go from paper to process.
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