How to plan, when so many unexpected things happen?

Hi guys,

Today I would like to tell you about time management, when your daily routine is full of unexpected events, so you can’t really predict what is going to happen. I’ll explain it on my example: since I’ve started working, I never know when my shift is going to happen, as at the moment I am working through agency. This means that I will get a message each midday, whether I can go to work or not.

That makes me unable to plan what I intend to do today evening (especially that I will be in university till 4:30; having a shift tonight means that I have to go to work straight after).

And there might be many more situations of this kind. You might have children, who are unpredictable; you might have some health issues that make you unable to know, how are you going to feel each day, etc. In fact, as many people in the world, this many possibilities.

So if you are in this kind of situation, how can you achieve your long term goals? We already know, that incorporating tasks from you plan into your schedule is impossible, isn’t it? Well, not really. You just need to be a bit more clever than all these unexpected events. Let me explain, how am I trying to cope with this.

First of all, I always make sure that I plan two days at a time, and each of these days doesn’t have too many tasks scheduled. Seeing just two things to do is going to make you more likely to actualy do this. The other thing is, that I am trying to schedule for these days tasks, which I will be able to do in as many places as possible, or in the place, where I have to be any way.

For example, this post is a task, which I can write while I am commuting, at home or in uni. Or even during the break at my work. That makes it a perfect task for today. Similarly, as I am going to be in university any way and I will have my computer with me, I am able to work on some parts of my assignments. That gives me few tasks being checked today.

Similarly, if I have no work today, I’ve already scheduled some tasks for tomorrow and I can work on them instead. Having two light days of tasks ticked as done, gives me one quite productive day. And as soon as I’ll finish my day, I can plan next day again.

This way, I am not the most productive person in the world, but at least I am taking an advantage of all the available time I have. Although, I move towards my goals much slower than I wish to, I am still closer than if I would decide that I have no time and simply gave up.

This is the only tip I will share with you today, because I am taking advantage out of only this one. As I will try some more, I will let you know.

For now I wish you a very productive day and I’ll see you in my next post.

Daria

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Importance of having goals and including them in your plan

Hi guys,

Today, I have decided to write about importance of having goals and including them in your plan (or schedule). I think I will leave topic of planning for now (at least till I will not discover something new), so this is going to be last post of this “series”.

Why having goals is important? Whether you are going to achieve them or not, they are some kind of signposts on the way. You can follow them, or choose some other way, but whenever you are lost, they are always there for you.

I can’t really think of all moments, where I had no idea what to do, so I’ve just wasted my time doing nothing. List of goals might be great list of possible things to do while you are bored. I saw some videos on YouTube, where people said that they are preparing a list, where they put all possible activities, they can do while bored. It might be something like clean the flat, read book, work out, etc. They don’t necessary have to be things connected to achieving their goals. But if, you have list which completing will lead you to tick this box near next goal, why not go for it? Any way… You are looking for something to do…

Also, it is quite important to just have at least some kind of guidance, when it comes to become someone, who you want to be. There are a lot of people, who want to become let’s say a pilot, programmer or doctor, but they are not even trying to get closer to their goals. Simply, because they have no idea what shall they do. They are not really aware, what would bring them closer to their goal, so they just keep spending next hours wondering about that.

I know this from my experience. I want to be a programmer. But I haven’t got any plan how to get there. So I was just stuck in my dreams without progressing. Since I’ve prepared my plan, the very first thing was to do research and find out what do I need to be able to do what I wish to do. It included what technologies do I need learn and after I looked for a YouTube tutorials for beginners, where I got some basics about chosen technology.

My next step was to create an application, which probably will not bring me any incomes, but by developing it, I am able to know what to research to progress. As I already know, that in programming there are many ways to achieve one goal, I am trying to find as many solutions as I can and see what gives me a better performance. This way, I am learning many more commands and libraries. I believe, that this will allow me to decide which solution will be more convenient for my future applications and I hope that I will be able to understand why.

All this became possible for me, as I did a research on the topic of how to learn programming and I picked all tips, which seemed perfect for me to incorporate them into my plan. I also have list with all other tips which I am not taking advantage of at the moment. I’ve decided to keep these ideas any way, just in case, if my current plan does not work as I wish.

You might also ask, how do I incorporate these things I’ve spoken about. It was quite simple (but it was quite hard to think about it in the first place), as I just added one task each week, which is find as many solutions to chosen programming problem and pick the best one after testing all of them.

This is just one of the examples why having planned goals included in your schedule can be very powerful tool on the way to become more productive person. It can also help you to get closer to the place, where you wish to see yourself.

I am going to leave you with this thought for now. I wish you a very productive day and I’ll see you in my Wednesday’s post.

Daria

Why to plan, If I am going to change them over the time?

Hi guys,

Last three posts have been about planning for the New Year: setting your goals and working on them to actually achieve them. This topic is very long and we touched it just a bit. To go very deep into it, we could spend hundreds of posts on explaining various ways of planning for different people. As I’ve mentioned before, each of us is different. All of us are at different stage of life, experiencing different responsibilities, having different priorities, facing various difficulties… All of this makes different solutions more suitable for each of us. As I am not an expert, I don’t want to tell you what you should do and I am not able to give you any direction, which will lead you towards your goal for sure. In my opinion, there is no one solution, which will be perfect for everyone.

However, today I would like to focus on something else, which is actually connected with planning. As I was going to bed last night, I’ve decided to watch something on YouTube, before I will fall asleep. I saw an episode of a of Mateusz Kupilas’s podcast. He summarises his 2018 year. But he said very important thing (which will not be quoted here, just paraphrased). He said, that he never found himself in a situation, when at the end of the year, he thought that he from the past was right, while planning this year. That his goals and things he wants to achieve changed over the year. (If you are interested, here is a link to Mateusz Kupilas’s video, which is in polish and maybe I don’t know where to look for but I couldn’t find subtitles).

So after hearing such statement, there is one question popping up into the head, which is: “If everything change, what is the point of planning ahead?”. In mentioned above video, this question is answered too. The whole point of planning is actually quite crucial, as it is a kick start for our action.

And I can agree with that completely. Of course each of us is going to keep changing. Each event happening in our life makes us a bit different, some situations change our priorities. We are getting older too. This makes us more experienced, we are more likely to think about settling down (no matter what that means for us). As we go we can realise, that what we wanted so much at the beginning of the year, might loose on it’s importance as we go. Or it might be same important, but there is something else being more important and will be better to focus on it at first.

That’s why it is important to look at your plan as at something which is going to change. If it will not, you know what to do. Otherwise, you can just adjust it a bit to your needs. Make sure that it will not put your down. After thinking a bit on this subject, I see my plan as a map shown on GPS. As you travel, it might change proposed way, as there might be some accident, or maybe it will find some solution, which will lead you quicker and easier to your destination.

That’s why, it is very important to me to plan my goal and some steps to achieve them. As I go, I might realise, that steps I need to take are not the best for me for some reason, but at the same time I might find the other way to achieve my goal. And if it will be more convenient at that time, of course I am going to go for it. Any way, I will get to the same point, eventually.

Before I’ll end this post, I would like to share one more advice (or maybe not advice, you can decide how are you going to look at this), but try to make your life as constant search. I’ve learnt this from my experience. If you think, that something is not for you, just change it for something else. Look for other solutions, for small things you might change. And I can promise you, that you will end up with ideas, which are meant for you. They will cause a drill each time, when you’ll think about them. The only thing is, that you have to give them a chance, see if after going through the rough time (which will most likely come, when starting new things), that this doesn’t mean that this is not for you. Very often beginnings are hard, what is going to happen after is important. But remember also, that each experience will teach you some lesson. Even if this lesson will be that this particular thing is not for you.

And this is it for today’s post. I wish you a very productive day and I’ll see you in my next post.

Daria

How do I plan?

Hi guys,

Today, as we have tips on setting goals and actually working towards them, I am going to tell you, how I am personally planning my goals. The important thing is, that I am not the perfect planner and the most motivated person on the internet. But what is important too, most of the people out there were at the similar point as me (and maybe you), where they had to figure out the next step, how to boost amount of task they are getting done and finally, how to work smart, so they are getting closer to their goals with each task they are doing.

As I have been watching a lot of YouTube videos of people who achieved their goals (or they are on great path to do so) and I’ve read a lot of blogs showing such stories, I came to some conclusions. First of it was, that some of the ways these people have taken are simply not for me. And it is not because their way is wrong, it is not working or something like this. No! There is a lot of great ideas out there! The only thing which was making it not suitable for me, was difference in priorities of these people and priorities of mine.

Let me explain it. For a lot of people, the most important thing was to earn some particular amount of money, so that their families can have better life. You know… children can take any course they want, have great Christmas gifts, designed clothes, the best holiday, etc. My goal is very similar in the long run. I wish that in the future I don’t have to worry about each bill, make sure that after paying it we will still have anything to put into the pot, etc. But at the same time, I can’t afford to work 16 hours each day to achieve this. And this is not because of my laziness (or at least not only because of it). Having enough money is important, but not at the cost of my family. I don’t want my husband to be able to see me just once a week, I don’t want my son, who is going to be born quite soon, not to be sure who his mother is and things like this. I am sure there are a lot of you out there, who think similarly.

So having this example in mind, I saw stories of people, who have worked for 16 hours for let’s say a year or two (now their work count looks much better), but for me it isn’t the possibility. Although, I don’t say that their way is wrong, for me it would be as I am trying to give better life to my family, but not at the cost of my family. I hope, it does make sense. So I have made some schedule, which works for me.

But before I’ll move into it, I would like to tell you what I am using to do my plan. Track of all my goals, meetings, task, deadlines, etc. I keep it in my bullet journal. I’ve started my in 2017, but I haven’t kept up with it for very long time, as I saw it as waste of time (setting up each page, making it look clean, etc). But as I’ve started having more and more specific goals, and my schedule became more and more congested, I’ve realised that this is the best option for me. It gives me great flexibility, as I can add any page, any tracker or whatever I want. And this haven’t been possible in any of my other planners (well, I had one on my phone, where I could add whatever I wanted too, but the problem was, that whenever my battery died, I couldn’t add or check anything).

So what do I have in my bullet journal? First of all I have calendar for the whole year. I can put there all meetings and all things which are going to happen in the future. That makes it easy to have quick glimpse at everything, without necessity of going through all pages to find any particular date.

I have also my goals pages, where I have all my goals written and split up for the steps. That gives me an overview on what I need to do to achieve each of my goals. If some tasks have deadlines, they are written there as well. This is very helpful, when I  am planning my days. As after handling my everyday tasks, I can see what should be done next, to allow me to achieve my goals.

My planing schedule happens every evening. I am scheduling all my tasks according to time I have available next day (when I book time for my every day things, like cooking, cleaning, going to work or appointments, spending my time with my husband, etc.). I make sure that every day I have at least one task, on which I can work on the way, as my travelling to work (yeah, I found a job recently too) and university takes around one hour. Usually, I don’t decide on order of my tasks. I know that it might be very helpful thing to do, but as there is a lot of unexpected things happening in the course of the day, I have realised, that not always it is possible to follow very strict schedule. The only exception is, if the task has a very short deadline (like needs to be done same day or very early the next day; that time I am making sure I handle it as a first).

There are also some days, where I am not able to managed all I have planned. These task are being handled as first the very next day. This way, at the end of each week, I don’t have any tasks, which are too overdue (it used to happen a lot to me in past). So this is just basic planning, which happens every evening, before I go to bed.

There is also one bigger session of planning every end of the month. I’ve been doing it for three months now and it is working amazing so far. During this sessions, I am picking one or two goals in which I wish to progress the most during coming month. I have one monthly to do list, with tasks associated with these goals and as I am picking task for each day, I am starting with these tasks first.

This is basically my way of planning for now. It might change overtime, but at the moment it works for me perfectly. This ends my post, so as always, I wish you a very productive day and I’ll see you in my next post.

Daria

How to win with mistakes?

Hi guys,

Today, I would like to talk about failures in planning. Especially, when you don’t have an experience, you might under-estimate the time, you need to complete particular task. It happened to me last week. I said, that first of my episodes on YouTube is going to be uploaded on last Wednesday or Thursday. However, it had happen, that there was much more work needed to make it presentable, than I thought at the beginning. I haven’t realised, that to meet this deadline I need some more software to proccess my video, after I need to learn (at least on basic level) how to use it, and so on. I also wasn’t aware, that using a completely new kind of program will be so difficult and time-consuming. At least for me (well, actualy I knew, but haven’t thought about it while planning).

So what with my plan? As you can guess, my plan went completely wrong. Everything collapsed just because of one task. And I won’t lie: at the beginning I was about to give up. Just leave all this planning think and try to work like before – without any plan. You know this feeling, when you really want to do something right, but it turns out like always? But fortunately, I have realised, that this is all about. As planning is like riding a bike. Before you’ll become a pro, you need to fall down many times. But if you will give up, you will not even get the idea, how to keep your balance. Same with planning. How you can know, how long particular task is going to take, if you have never tried to plan similar one before?

So when assigning time to tasks you might make a lot of mistakes on the beginning of your planning journey. Maybe just like me, you might not be aware, how particular activity has to be done; or it can simply take longer than you thought it will. But there is no reason to give up on whole plan.

I will share with you some tips on how to actualy minimise consequences of being late because of failing to accomplish one task on time.

Check, if you can reschedule it without major consequences

This is something I failed to do. But before I’ll tell you about it, let me shortly explain, how my planning proccess looks like. Basically, I create huge to-do list filled with task for one week. They are sorted by deadlines and importance. What is kind of important, these task are quite general. Just end product and in reality it contains smaller tasks, which are being assigned to particular day in a week. I don’t plan, what time I am going to do what, as my life style needs a lot of improvements to be called regular. So generally, rescheduling is something new in my planning, which I found out too late. I have spent a lot of time trying to solve one task, which I could easily leave and move deadline (my channel doesn’t have any content yet, so it wouldn’t let anyone down – except me). Instead, I have focused on it ignoring other tasks, so they became late (like my last post being uploaded one day later and today’s three hours later). But this is something I am going to try next time, hopefully 😉

Analyse your mistakes and learn from them

This rule actually applies not only to planning, but to every aspect of our lifes. It is important to, whenever you make mistake, try and find the reason causing it. Maybe you were too tired, or you have underestimated time needed for your task. Maybe you have just scheduled too much and you had no chance to cope with it (it still happens to me, sometimes). There might be a lot of reasons and it is crucial to find them and try to avoid them in the future.

Don’t think about past mistakes

You know, past is past. You can’t change it. Just learn your lesson (after analysing it) and don’t think about it any more. It will not help you at all. It happened already. Going over it again and again might make you fail with next tasks. So don’t bother any more. And start this next task you have planned. It will have much better consequences than crying about the thing, that can’t be changed.

Don’t be afraid to change the way you plan

I know, this is very painfull, when you invented perfect way to plan. But hey! It doesn’t work! You don’t need to change whole system. Just try to incorporate small changes at the time, so you can find something what works better for you. And keep in your mind possibility of mistakes (propably it will take some time till you will stop doing them). So next time you will be prepared and you’ll be able to nail it, even with this small failure in the background.

Don’t give up

This is actualy the worst thing you can do (and I almost did it). As long as you keep going, you still have chance to get everything done (even if it will be slightly later than you wanted, it is still better than if you wouldn’t done it at all).

And this is all for today’s post. I hope it is helpfull for you. As always, I wish you very productive day and I’ll see you in my next post.

Daria