The most important lesson of productivity

Hi guys,

Today I would like to share with you the most important thing (at least in my opinion), that you have to know about the productivity. Something, what not every productivity guru will tell you (just to clarify, I don’t think I am any kind of productivity guru; I am just a small blogger sharing her struggle with everyday life).

There was a time when I shared with you that my to-do list is huge, as I have procrastinated too much. I was working my guts off to get on the top of it, but no matter how much I did, there were so many new tasks coming in, that I couldn’t manage it any way.

In the last week, I felt again how it is to get my to-do list overloaded with urgent things to do. Some time ago, we had an accident at home, as our neighbours flooded us and the ceiling in one of the rooms started falling down. Fortunately, this was our spare room, so no one has been hurt. Unfortunately, this was a spare room and we turned it into the place where we kept all stuff that we wanted out of our sight. And here is the part, which makes me ashamed of myself, which is that there were bags still unpacked since we moved in, which means since December.

Last week, while my landlord fought with the insurance company, I was trying to get it sorted. I won’t lie, I haven’t managed to do it yet. There were some bags with our clothes, my son’s clothes that are meant to be given away or sold, as they don’t fit him any more, little bits and pieces of everything you could imagine. Two bags of documents waiting to be sorted… And there is still one big wardrobe of bags which I haven’t even touched yet.

Last week my washing machine was working constantly during the day. Although I managed to wash everything from that room, our regular washing bins are already overfilling. I don’t want to even mention a huge pile of ironing waiting for me on the sofa in the living room. This is the hardest part, as I can iron only when my son sleeps. He loves all kind of wires, so he is tempted to pull the iron down each time when I turn to put an ironed clothes back. So just for his safety, I don’t iron when he is awake.

There is a lot of complaining in this post, you could say. And you would be right. But I also think, I have a right to complain. I have a right to feel overwhelmed. And this is today’s the most important thing you have to know. Although planning is very important for being productive, there will be a time when everything goes different than you planned. It might put you down and you have the full right to give up and take time to feel whatever you feel. You are just a human and so much as human.

The only thing is that make sure you’ll get yourself together quickly and come back on track as soon as it is possible. Get as much done as you can and eventually you’ll manage to get on the top of whatever happened. This is what I am saying, sitting in a home looking like a hurricane went through it. But regardless, I just feel, that I will manage to get it done soon.

And this is all I wanted to share with you today. I wish you as less hurricanes in your life as it is possible. But I also wish you the strength to go through your hurricanes, as they are there to make you stronger.

Have a productive day.

Daria

10 ways to motivate yourself

Hi guys,

Today I would like to talk to you about some ways to motivate yourself and keep your motivation level throughout your day. Just imagine, being able to get a lot of things done. Each and every day. Seeing your to-do list getting smaller. So today, I am going to share with you some ways, how to stay motivated.

Here are 10 tips:

Keep switching types of your tasks

This is especially useful, if some of your tasks require you to sit in one place for some period of time, while the other need you to move.

Let’s say that in any given day you have to wash the dishes, write a report and do grocery shopping. In your analysis you estimated that writing a report is going to take you 4 hours. So you could start writing it first, after 2 hours take a break to wash the dishes and return to writing after that. As report is done, you can go to do your shopping. In this case, household tasks are becoming a break in your big task which is the report.

It is a lot easier to maintain motivation, if you will keep switching between task, where you sit and these requiring you being active, these outdoor with these indoor ones. This way each task will be sort of break after the previous one you’ve just accomplished.

Make starting your tasks as easy as you can

This one has changed my day a lot. If you are anything like me, you know (even better than you should) this feeling, when you feel so ready to take this run which you have planed the day before. You get out of bed, have a glass of water, light breakfast and of you go! Well, almost. Where are your running clothes? Ok, it will take just a while to find them in your wardrobe. Ok, now you are ready, you can go. Where did you leave your shoes last time? Quick search and you got them on your feet. This time, for sure you are ready, aren’t you? But it would be nice to have something to listen to. But what? You are creating running playlist very quick and when you are checking the time you realise that you wasted two hours already and you should have started writing this report for work an hour ago.

You decide that you are going to skip running today and go tomorrow instead. Now you really need to do your report. But where are your notes you’ve taken during the last meeting?

You know the circle. Before you even start, you will realise that you should be already working on next task and this way nothing really gets done.

Getting everything ready in place beforehand, will make you more likely to actually work as soon as you’ll ‘force’ yourself to ๐Ÿ˜‰ And this is how you are being productive instead of just being busy.

Remove distractions

This one you can probably see in each and every article or blog post about productivity. Well, probably for some reason. Getting distracted during your work, has similar result to the one from previous point.

Let’s imagine following situation. You planned to write your report. You made your tea, all your notes are waiting on your desk, so is your computer with text editor opened on the screen. Happy to start, you are sitting in front of the screen, you almost typed your title when… “ding!” – you just got notified on your phone that your sister updated her status on her social media profile. You are checking it. It will take maximum two minutes. She posted that some movie she has just seen, was amazing. Yeah, you wanted to see this movie. Ok, you’ll book tickets after your report. Well, but what if you’ll forget. Better to do this now, and work on your report right after. You go on cinema’s website, choose movie, time and place, pay and it is done. “Ding!” quick look and it is just message confirming your reservation. But wait, there is another message from your friend. Maybe something happened? It will be wise to actually check it. Uff, she is just asking how are you. Yeah, but you opened it, better to answer, otherwise you’ll forget and she’ll be upset. ‘I am ok. Just writing report for work. And you?’ You put your phone on desk, start typing your report. Ok, title page is done. “Ding!” Your friend just answered. She is fine too and would like to go for a walk with you this evening. You answer that it is ok, just when you finish your report, shouldn’t be late. You check the time and you realise that you just wasted half an hour. Better leave it today, and get ready for a walk. You’ll write your report when you’ll be back or even tomorrow. It doesn’t go well any way.

I think all of us have been there. It is not a secret that we spend much more time looking at our smartphones screens. We subconsciously are only waiting for this “Ding!” sound whatever we are doing. And don’t get me wrong, I am exactly the same. But since some time I’ve just decided, that when I intend to do some job, I swith off all sounds in my phone (vibration too) and put my phone out of my sight. And I am sorting all ‘important’ notification right after my task is done. This way, my task actually are getting done ๐Ÿ˜‰

Have a vision board

This is kind of tricky, because as a first step you have to actually make one ๐Ÿ˜‰ Just another task to complete. Ok, but before we start – what vision board is? It is a board, piece of paper or even file with your goals visualised. You can print pictures of your dreamed home, piles of money, exotic places or just smiling face of your child being happy after receiving his dreamed gift. Whatever the reason why you continue doing what you are doing, will work. And now, each time when your brain is trying to think about everything but your task, have a quick look at all this reason and go back to work. Just make sure that it will not become another distraction!

Plan realistically

Here is another one worth it to be mentioned. Having huge to do list full of tasks would probably make you feel proud, but only if you tick at least most of these boxes. If you you accomplish just few of thousands, it will just feel like a tear in a sea.

Just for your mental health, make sure that amount of tasks is equivalent to time you have. Otherwise you’ll be constantly disappointed with yourself and all your motivation will disappear as soon as it came (or maybe quicker, as you probably read this post because of lack of motivation).

Remember though, that if you’ll put less on your to do list, there will be still space on your list. If you’ll accomplish all of your tasks before next morning ๐Ÿ˜‰ you can always add a couple more. After all, it is better to do extra, than not do enough.

Have regular breaks

This is something you’ve probably heard millions of time, too. But here is the truth, we are not robots, we can’t just connect ourself to charger and we’ll be fine. We actually need some rest. Sleep, walk, meet people and eat. Simple as that. Not taking breaks might work for couple of days. If you are super human, maybe couple of weeks. But eventually, you are going to burn out.

So whenever you feel tired (but tired, not feeling like watching an episode of your favourite serial), take break, have a lunch or dinner with your friends, visit your grandma. Anything! Just forget about work for a while and relax.

Look at your obstacles as if they were an exam

Before I’ll explain, let’s establish something. In our life we have tasks and TASKS. Some of them are as easy as washing the dishes, where there are just two cups in the sink, but the other seem impossible to even start. And even if you will start you will soon realise, that you have no idea how to move forward with this thing. You are in very dead point where nothing seem to work.

And I am not talking now about overfilling chairs with clothes to iron in my spare room, because last three days were a laundry days after my washing machine arrived finally ๐Ÿ˜‰ this is thrilling, but you can do this. I am talking here about this project, which doesn’t want to give right results, this exam where you study honestly focused, but can’t understand even a small bit, this app which keeps crushing every time you want to compile it.

These kind of TASKS are the ONLY, when you can intentionally procrastinate. Just step back, work on anything else, take a break and don’t come back to it until the very next day. Remember, that hard things are your life exams. How do you deal with them, are you going to give up? This is what matters and this will determine, if you will succeed or not.

So try and push through hard things. Wait for some inspiration, if you need to or even ask for help. It’s not a shame to ask. This task might be your final exam. You will get an A by solving your problem and your dreams will become the truth, or you’ll see F by just giving up. It is your choice of course, but I think first option is more attractive.

Keep your environment clean

Did you hear the stories about students who clean the entire home like never before during exam period? Well, there is something right about this. When we have some task, which seems hard for us, we tend to look for anything easier to do. This way we still are ‘productive’, but we don’t really get important things done.

Keeping your environment relatively clean (it doesn’t have to be a sterile place) will reduce this kind of distraction. It will be harder for your brain to find an excuse not to focus on your task and as a result, you’ll be more likely to at lest make some progress in your work.

Schedule your time, not tasks

This isn’t always possible. I’ve started testing it before I had my son. And I’ve worked in this system for about two weeks. But let me explain the idea. Instead of having tasks like: finish my project you would have something like I’ll work on my project for one hour. You could also time when exactly you are going to start particular task. This way, no matter how far you did get while working, you are stopping your work as soon as your alarm starts ringing.

It worked quite well. However, I am aware this method isn’t for every one. As I mentioned, I stopped using it when my son was born, as I am not able to predict how long he is going to sleep each day. And there are some tasks I simply can’t work on, while looking after him. It probably wouldn’t work, if you have tons of deadlines the very next day. But if you are able, try this way. It has a great potential.

Make habit of getting your stuff done

This last one will not be helpful right away, as it requires a lot of time to establish. But if you will create a habits of working, if you will let accomplishing your tasks become part of your routine, you will not have to struggle each time to get yourself into doing something. It will be as natural as having your coffee or other beverage in the morning.

That’s all tips I have to share with you today. I am constantly testing new solutions so I might write continuation of this post in the future. I hope you’ll find my tips useful. If you have any other advises, feel free to share it in the comment section below.

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

Daria

Planning’s traps

Hi guys,

Today I would like to talk about quite important thing to me. As you might have realised already, I plan my year, month, week and each day. I keep my bullet journal for that purpose. And although I admire my system, I can see some potential traps connected to it too. I have fallen into most of them myself, some stopped me from getting my things done at all for a while. So I’ve decided to share all of them with you in this post.

Just before I’ll start, I would like to note that all this isn’t to scare you, but to make you aware, so if you’ll become a victim of any of them, hopefully you’ll take an action as soon as possible.

Let’s move into the traps:

Overloading your TO DO lists

This is quite common. You’ve probably heard about it millions times already. But this is a big one. We tend to overestimate how long each task is going to take us. This is going to happen quite often, especially when you are just starting your adventure with planning and scheduling. However, even if you are a pro, master of planning and creating your schedules, there might be a time, when something out of your control will cross your plan. Let’s say you need an internet connection to complete most of your tasks and during the most busy day, you won’t be able to connect. Or there will be some other emergency, like broken pipe or anything else. You might find yourself in the situation, when at the end of the day you look at your TO DO list and there is nothing to be ticked.

I am usually very disappointed and unmotivated. I completely lose any will to carry on for a couple of days. Especially, if tasks from the previous days have to be done any way and adding them to the next day, where everything seems to be packed up and ends up carried on to the next day, where there are again tons of things to do… I think you get the point. It might get you on the loop, where each iteration leaves you with more and more to do every next day.

If you want to avoid it, you can do one of the two things. First is to simply plan as much, as you can handle each day, with leaving some time for emergencies. But if it is not possible for some reason, you might try to assign one day a week (or month), when you are not planning anything. Just keep getting any pending tasks, to clear your TO DO list before the next planning session. This way you’ll create an escape from loop mentioned before.

Forgetting to update your plan

If you are anything like me, you might find yourself in the situation, when new things keep coming up at any time of the day. I tend to forget to put it into my schedule and… simply forget about it after less than 10 minutes. Although, it doesn’t sound like very serious thing, you might realise that you work very hard, but there are a lot of things just dropping out of your hands.

Solution to that is very simple and a hard at the same time. You just have to make an habit of adding all this incoming tasks into your plan right away. It is so easy, but everyone who tried to make a new habit will tell you, how hard job it is.

Not achieving your goals

All plans should lead to some bigger goal. However, sometimes you might work a lot on something and not be able to see any results. This might leave you very disappointed. Seeing all the time you’ve spend, might make you think that there is no point. Only thing you need to remember is that some stuff are just taking more time than the other. But if you’ll still think that you’ve just wasted your time, it might be a sign that either the way you’re working is wrong, or the entire goal is just not for you. This might be analysed and you should be given an answer.

These are all traps I wanted to share with you today. I hope they were helpful. I wish you a very productive day and I’ll see you in my next post.

Daria

How do I plan and why?

Hi guys,

As I said last time, today I am going to share with you the way I am planning my tasks. I was supposed to prepare it for Friday, but my son decided that he is not going to sleep for longer than an hour at the time, so I was not able to finish it by then. Any way, here it is ๐Ÿ˜‰

If you are follower of my blog for a longer period of time, you could see my older post, where I explained it generaly. Tools I am using are Nozbe app and bullet journal. You might ask, why do I use both of them? Let me explain. First of all, I’ve been searching for a long time, before I found an app I really like. A lot of them, were good, but there was always some aspect missing, which for me was crucial. When I first came across Nozbe – it was just love from the first use ๐Ÿ˜‰ It was so simple to add projects, tasks within them, reschedule. It allows me to see my tasks by project or day, it automatically generates list of overdue tasks. There are just two words to describe it: almost perfect.

While I was searching for a perfect app, I’ve been using only a bullet journal. It was perfect way for me to plan, as I could include whatever spereads I need, assign as much space for each feature as I want and it lets my creativity live. However, there were things, which made me look for a new solution. One of them is the fact, that I haven’t taken my notebook with me all the time. When I went to shop or for a walk, my notebook stayed at home. As I thought about something I should do on any of these journeys, I could either go back home and note it, write it on any piece of paper (or my phone) or I would just forget it. As I am the person, who carry her phone always when she can, I needed an app allowing me to add tasks on my device. The other thing was rescheduling. As I started my work through agency, I couldn’t make my schedule strict any more. Very often I needed to reschedule some tasks, or move them from the next day to current one, if I weren’t going to work at that day. All this made my bullet journal looking bad and simply distracting me from actual goals and tasks.

So why Nozbe? Nozbe gave me a lot of flexibility. There are options to add tasks by sending email (I used it few times already, while visiting my family with my phone being dead), creating as many projects and tasks as I need, simply adding, removing them and rescheduling. But also it allows me to view them by projects, categories, or just days – whatever I need to see at the time. It also allows me to syncronize your computer, mobile phone and other devices, but also log in through internet browser on any other device, where Nozbe might not be installed. All this saves me a lot of times.

However, Nozbe doesn’t allow me to see what have been done at any period of time easily. They provide some general reports (if you wish them and they are being sent to your email for free), but they don’t serve me as I wish. Also, sometimes happen that my battery is dead and I have no other device available, that time my bullet journal plays it’s role. And of course, working on creative aspect of me is very important thing.

So how I make these two tools work together? Whenever I am on the go and there is new task to be done popping out in my head, I am adding it either to project called Inbox in Nozbe or to monthly master to-do list in my bullet journal. Every evening I am assigning each of these tasks to right date and in case of my app, to each project. If there are any tasks for the next month, I am keeping them in inbox (in case of bullet journal they are written in year at a glance spread) and when I am planning that month, it is when I am assigning them to right date.

Also, every Sunday, I am assinging tasks for the following week. As at the moment I can’t really tell how much time I am going to have each day, I am prioritizing 5 tasks which I have to do (in the worse case scenario, when my partner is back) and rest is being rescheduled for the other day. Fortunately, there are not that many days, when my son doesn’t sleep for at least three hours at the time, so mostly I am able to accomplish all or almost all what I plan.

It might seem a lot of work, especialy with setting up my bullet journal and planning every day. However, in reality, every day I spend up to half an hour on assigning tasks (except for Sunday, when it takes me up to one hour) and setting up my bullet journal is actualy great way for me to relax. Also, by doing it in advance, I don’t have to do all at the time and I can actualy have some days off too. So this doesn’t cause any stress to me.

I hope that this post explained, how do I plan and turned out to be usefull for you. I will tell you in more details about mh bullet journal itself, but that’s all for today’s post. I wish you a very productive day and I’ll see you in my next post.

Daria

Where shall I take motivation from?

Hi guys,

Today I would like to talk about days, when you just can’t do anything. Whenever you think about doing any work, you have a feeling that this is not the day. Everything seems impossible.

I think that these kind of days are happening to all of us. We are just humans and we can’t work day after day. That’s why it is important to take some breaks sometimes. However, if this happens to us every day for a long time, we should analyse what is causing that. There might be a lot of reasons for this, starting from tiredness, the nature of our tasks (they might be not something what we really enjoy to do), fear of failure (it is better not to start, if I might fail) or success (what will people think?) and in the worse scenario: it might be one of the signs of burnt out or depression. The last one is the worst, as it is a serious problem and it is very important to get help, if it is the case.

However, if you are sure that depression is not the case, there are some steps you can take to make yourself more motivated. First of all, is to determine what is causing this kind of behaviour. Maybe it is just tiredness and the only thing you need to do is to take some holiday (you can read here to see my advises before taking a holiday). Or simply one week of break from these tasks should do the job.

A bit harder thing is fear. Why so? To realise that you are afraid (whether of failure or success) might be very tricky. You can have that feeling without realising it. I used to be worried about failing. Although, I knew that every attempt of leaving my comfort zone will be connected with fear, I didn’t realised that it was keeping me away from work for quite long time. Similarly, applying for my uni two years ago made me feel same: “What if I will not manage language wise?” or “What if I will not be able even to get to university?” and finally: “What will people around me say? Will they make a fun of me?”. These were just some of the questions didding my head. And do you know what? None of them was valid. Ok, at the beginning it was a bit hard for me to understand what lecturers are saying to us. But eventually, I am able to follow their speach without special effort. Almost as English were my mother language. Well, it looks like practice really makes pefect and if I wouldn’t try, I wouldn’t know till now.

If your problem is the nature of tasks, this might be also quite hard to handle in some cases. But what you might want to consider, is to change subject of you actions. If this is not possible at the moment, just find something what you love to do and incorporate it into your schedule. I know, including more work, while you can’t force yourself to complete current tasks seems a bit weird. But remember, it does not have to be another task. Try to go for something what you actually enjoy doing. Maybe a netflix session? Going for a walk with your family? Choose what suits you the most and enjoy! Having something what you are looking forward to might motivate you to work. Any way, you’ll just finish these tasks and you are going to spend amazing time, aren’t you?

And I am going to leave you with this thought. I wish you a very productive day and I’ll see you in my next post.

Daria

What app do I use to stay organised and why?

Hi guys,

As I promised in my last post, today I will introduce you to an app I am using to plan and organise my tasks. But before I’ll move to the right topic, I will explain you what I have been using before and why I had to look for some online tool to handle all my projects.

As you might have noticed, I mentioned not too long ago that I am carrying on my planning in bullet journal. So far it was the most suitable system for me, as I could include in my each month set up as much or as less as I wanted. Moreover, it helped my creativity, as I used to make sure that my layouts are not only very useful, but they look pretty too. However, I found just one problem with bullet journal, which is I couldn’t use it anywhere I wanted. As I am commuting a lot, I needed something to allow me to add, check and edit my tasks for example in train, what happened to be impossible with my bullet journal. There where also some smaller issues, like I went for a meeting with my friends, but traffic jam made them late. As I haven’t planned to do any work, I haven’t taken my bullet journal with me, so usually I have wasted this time of waiting. Sometimes I had a new thing to do popping up into my head, but my notebook have been left in the classroom (for example when I was in uni), so I had to note it in my phone and transfer to my bullet journal later. But what made me sure that I have to look for some other way, was the fact that my schedule became very unpredictable. As I am finding out about my shift at the same day when I have to go to work, I can’t really treat my plan as something impossible to change. I needed something what will allow me to reschedule my tasks as many times as I want, without making my plan hard to read and understand.

All this made me look for a tool available on my devices like phone and computer. While searching for my perfect solution, I came across a lot of various planning apps. Some of them were free, some paid, there were a lot of good ones, but any of them seemed perfect for me. Always something was missing. I’ve tried few simple ones, which were just simple to-do list, where you add tasks and tick them as they are done. However, I couldn’t divide my tasks into categories; other apps offered this, but there was limited amount of projects I can add or limited amount of task I can have in one project.

I don’t remember any app which would allow me to assign tasks to different categories. This turned out very helpful for me, when I discovered Nozbe (although, it took me two weeks to figure out how they are going to work best for me). I am simply using them to mark places and tools I need to finish each task. Some of my categories are Home, Uni, Pen&Paper, Computer, etc. As I can assign multiple categories to one task, whenever I am waiting for someone or something unexpectedly, I am able to ask Nozbe to show me these tasks, which I can complete (or at least work on) at the moment.

The other good thing about Nozbe, is that it is very easy to change deadline for your task, or even remove it completely. There is also option to send a task to a special email created for you and from any device connected to the internet, you can add tasks to your app (I haven’t tried this option yet, but I’ve seen peoples opinions, that it is extremely useful for them).

Nozbe allows also to work in group. As more people are going to use it, as more expensive is subscription (free subscription allows you to have just five projects for one person). It has also a very fair price. After using it for a month (exactly 30 days of free trial), I had no doubts that this is what I need.

If you want to try Nozbe for free for one month, you can registerย here. Please, keep in your mind that, if you decide to purchase it after one month, I will get some commission out of your purchase, but it will not affect your price. So I would be very grateful, if you would like to support me this way. What I forgot to tell you, each user becomes Nozbe affiliate automatically, as application produces a link for you to share it as I just did. I found this option as I was going through Nozbe menu to describe it for you as well, as I can.

After a month, I will review this app one more time, after testing all options Nozbe has to offer (maybe except group work, as all my tasks are being performed just by me at the moment) and I’ll let you know whether I changed my mind.

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

Daria

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

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 toย 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 Iย  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