You had an excellent plan for your week. You were on your A-game. You were going to finish that pending project, continue that course, pitched that idea to that woman or read over 5 chapters in that book in preparation for your exams. The sight of the carefully written plan was pumping adrenaline into you when you wrote it on Monday.
It’s Thursday already and you’re nowhere near where you thought you would be in acing your goals. Does this sound familiar? You are not alone. This situation is one that has happened to me several times this year. Unforeseen situations and circumstances beyond my control sometimes crop up and send my plans sprawling. Sometimes it is weekly plans. Sometimes it is my monthly plans. In this post, I would share some things that have helped me keep up with productivity despite the vicissitudes of life:
1. Calm down
I know this is the last thing you want to hear when everything is going awry. Yet, it is the first thing you must do if you are going to get your productivity game back in the right place. Your worry only saps your strength as calmness boosts productivity. It may seem difficult to do as thoughts of the many things calling your urgent attention screams at you, but you can do it. Do whatever makes you calm: take a walk, speak to a loved one, pray. Just ensure you allow yourself to move to the position of power that calmness brings.
2. Go back to your plan and re-prioritize
Everything always looks important and urgent until we really drill down into their usefulness at that point in time. Don’t fall for the trap of thinking everything you think you need to do has to be done by you or done immediately. Go back to the plan you have made and look through it again. What do you REALLY need to accomplish? What can’t truly wait? What truly cannot be delegated to someone else? You will be surprised at the wonder that the combination of calm mind and a realization of a stricter time constraint can perform in helping you see true priority.
3. Cut back
Amid your strict time constraints, the fact is that you still have the tendency to waste time. What frivolities do you need to cut back on? Can you reduce your movie time? Or plan your journey such that you spend less time in traffic? Can you reduce the mindless social surfing time? Or add some planning to your domestic chores to save time? There is always some way you can cut back on to buy a little more time.
4. Be kind to yourself
The usual response to plan failure is guilt. It is easy to beat yourself up and think you do that as a way to get yourself up and running. But ask yourself, how many times had guilt really supplied you with the energy you needed? Did guilt in itself accomplish the needed changes you were hoping for? The answer to that last question is NO. Guilt is counterintuitive. You think it’s helping but it’s not. I have found that being kind to myself in the midst of my frailties is such a game changer. The ability to separate yourself from the failure of your plan is so powerful that it allows you to give yourself the second chance you need to rise.
If all fails, remember that plans are made for people and not people made for plans. Get back on your horse and ride to the high places! See you at the top smashing your goals!
Written by Oluwatoyin Ajilore.