Are you an aspiring leader who knows you have more to offer but you can't seem to get ahead? Do you frequently feel overwhelmed and undersupported? Listen to the overcome to become podcast as we talk about actionable tasks and mindsets that you can apply to begin leading yourself. Hi, my name is Angela Buckley, your host and author of the Strength in Nature Leadership series. I'm a mother, consultant, triathlete and author and overcome to become. I share with you the science, fact and experience proven lessons I've learned in my own leadership journey to beat burnout. Thanks for listening.
Hi everybody. Welcome back to the next episode of Overcome to become a podcast series offered by creatively efficient. My name is Angela Buckley. I am the author of Strength in Nature Leadership series. I am so excited today to talk to you about another micro habit called plan the day. I am a mother, an author, a triathlete, a musician, and an aspiring PhD student in organizational development with a focus on adult learning theory. Why do I want to talk to you today about plan the day? Because I've personally find that planning my day brings peace.
I just want to be upfront with you as well that my day seldom goes according to plan, but at least I feel that I have a fighting chance when I have it all down on paper and I'm thinking about it.
It is common, and it is frequently true, that I have more things on my To Do List than I could physically accomplish in one day. Thankfully, I have a community of people that help me. Sometimes I really do need to get those done in a given day, and sometimes I am able to pass those off and ask somebody else to get them done for me, and sometimes I can just sort of let that one pass for the moment.
I still write them down in this hopeful, gleeful thought that I'm going to accomplish. My entire task list seldom happens, sometimes does, and I'm super grateful when they do so. What does planning the day look like, and why is that such an important part of overcoming the overwhelm when we look at our daily tasks?
And we write all of them down. It is quickly observable that there are only 24 hours in the day and we should be sleeping eight of those, and we should be eating and we should be taking care of ourselves. And we probably have a commute and we probably have a family member that we need to take care of and all of a sudden those hours disappear very, very quickly, right?
But when I take 5 or 10 minutes to look at the activities, I want to get done for the next day, the evening before.
A few things happen that I've experienced and science carries this out. First of all, I do not go to bed fretting that I might forget something that is important.
Secondly, I understand what is most important in the morning and I work on those first.
Thirdly, if I get those most important things done, everything else is gravy. If you have ever seen something at Christmas, perhaps they give you a pint jar and they give you some walnuts and they say here, put some rice in and now stuff all the walnuts in.
Maybe you've seen this, maybe you haven't seen that exercise.
What you'll find is if you put the rice in first, also known as all those little busy tasks that you don't really need to get done.
Though walnuts will not fit in the jar. However, if you put those big tasks the walnuts in that jar, you'll find that you're able to pour the rice in and around those walnuts and the jar will fill.
It's a simple visual, and yet it's super, super effective in showing that when we do the hard things first, when we do the big things first, somehow all of the other little things get taken care of. Maybe because somebody helps you, maybe because they weren't all that important to begin with. Maybe because once you got the emotional burden of the big task that you were afraid of out of the way, the other ones came quickly and easily.
I can't always tell you because I'm not in your day-to-day about what causes the little things versus the big things to get done. But I can tell you that when we focus on the big things first and we set ourselves reasonable, remember our smart goals of smart of specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. When we set a simple, smart goal of I will get three tasks done in the morning.
It is incredible how that can help you achieve your overall day and bring some peace. And we do that by planning the day.
I am a huge fan of Sketchnotes and I am a huge fan of Bullet Journals.
Some of these tasks and task lists work very, very well for people, and some of them do not. I will tell you that so many people that I have spoken to, successful entrepreneurs, will tell me that their task list is really all the things they don't want to get done. But because they put it on paper, they know that they have to get it done right. So planning the day allows us to do something more than just bring us peace the night before.
And not forgetting, but it also holds us accountable. When we write something down, we are holding ourselves accountable to achieving that task.
Even if we don't want to get it done, but.
You know those dishes? They still need to be washed. The laundry sadly still needs to be folded someday. I think the laundry manufacturers need to come up with a self folding laundry thingamabobber.
Let's see what we can do by planning the day, writing down the things that we don't always want to do, but we know we need to get done. By planning our day, by identifying the big, big tasks, then the little tasks, and working on them in that order, we find that we are able to prioritize what needs to get done, and we're able to achieve and bring a sense of calm into our life by knocking out a few things on our To Do List.
To do lists are seldom fun. To Do lists don't always look like there's something we want to be get done. And in some cases for some people to do, lists are overwhelming.
If they're overwhelming and it's just a big long list, then have a little bit of fun with it when my child was young, at Christmas time, I needed help getting the house cleaned and prepared for Christmas. So instead of writing down a list that of a first grader was not going to be excited about, I created a little graphic of Christmas lights. Every time he picked off one of those chores, he got the color in a Christmas light. We made it fun in order to get it done right.
So during your plan the days, if that's not working for you, make it fun to get it done. I don't know how else to say that because there are so many adulting tasks in our day that are not necessarily fun and yet need to be done in order to overcome the overwhelm.
Planning your day is just one of them that will help you get started. My personal preference, because I have such an early morning, is to look at my journal the night before, write down the things that need to get done, and prioritize them that way. But I know many, many people, and you'll certainly hear anybody who's ever read the Miracle Morning that they prefer to do that the first thing when they wake up in the morning.
I find that if I have something on my mind and it's not on the paper that I am not sleeping well and I will wake up worrying about it. Did I write it down? Did I forget it? Will it get done, at cetera? Whereas it is a peaceful activity for me the night before to sit down with a piece of paper, i.e. my journal, and make up my task list to plan the day.
On the weekends on Sunday, it's a bigger task.
And I will say task as in it's a bigger time chunk, but it's something that I enjoy to get down the things on the paper that need to get done during the week but don't have a specific day.
By planning these things out, by moving these around, by putting them on paper, I feel confident in my ability to move through my week with intention, with calm and with success. So planning my day starts for me Sunday evening.
And every evening thereafter, I'm going to be honest with you, there ain't no writing getting done on Friday night. I am not writing on Friday night. Friday night is not my time to journal. I am taking time with my family, with my friends. Usually I have an extra long workout on a Friday evening. So Friday night is not the time for me to be planning my Saturday or my Sunday.
But Monday through Thursday I do make an effort to make sure that my activities are on paper that I'm not forgetting what needs to get done, and that I have all of the little things that are important also for my child, for my community, for my workplace all rready on paper, so I know where to go.
It doesn't always happen exactly according to plan, but because it's on paper, I have a plan. We talked earlier about having our smart goals and we talked about adjusting one. We're not going to plan or if it's not getting you where you need to go.
But at least I have a plan to adjust, which is much better than shooting from the hip wondering what I'm going to forget next. This is what works for me. I would love to hear from you. Please share with me what works for you. What do you do to make sure that you get the things done during the week without becoming overwhelmed?
Thank you so much for listening today. My name is Angela Buckley. This is the latest episode in Overcome to Become one of the leadership podcast series offered by Strength in Nature. I look forward to talking to you next time.
You've just concluded an episode of Overcome to Become a leadership podcast focusing on leading yourself first. Thanks for listening. I'm Angela Buckley with creatively efficient author of the Strength in Nature Leadership series. Please help me to continue these series by writing a review wherever you prefer to listen.
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