Many successful people in the world have one thing in common. The ability to balance their work and life.
And one way to do that is by planning.
To be productive, you must know how to plan. And also understand that living productively goes beyond planning.
To live productively, you must not only plan but also implement.
We will cover all of this in this article.
Do you want to achieve so much in a little time?
Do you want to stop worrying about all the many things you have to do?
Do you want to quit struggling and start checking done on those goals?
Then plan your month with me in this article.
I will take you through a simple and easily understandable way to plan your month.
I decided to write this article because a lot of people reached out to me for tips on how to effectively plan their day, week, month, and year and I wanted to help out.
But this article will be more of a general planning guide.
If you want a more specific guide and you want to ace those goals with an accountability partner, an understanding coach, and with someone who is determined to see you achieve those personal and business goals, then reach out to me for productivity coaching and consultant services.
Working with several people to plan their goals has helped me realize that a lot of people struggle with planning productively.
Yes! So many people have heard of planning. So many people have heard that when you plan you can achieve your goals.
But because they are planning all wrong, it’s not working for them and this has led them to give up on planning altogether.
I also did, until I learned how to plan and schedule my time properly.
It is totally okay to struggle with these things but it is not okay to keep struggling and not find a solution when the solution is not far-fetched. It’s right before you.
Planning and Scheduling
Planning is the process of thinking regarding the activities required to achieve a desired goal.
It is based on foresight, it is the ability to do mental time travel. To think ahead.
Scheduling is the art of planning your activities so that you can achieve your goals and priorities in the time you have available.
Planning and scheduling are two great ways (they work hand in hand and they can mean the same thing sometimes) to get things done.
One of the recurring statements I hear from the people who reach out to me to coach them is “I don’t think planning works but I’m here because I don’t know what else to do.”
I eventually help them see that planning does work.
How planning has helped me
- I used to be inconsistent and indisciplined. The fact that you’re seeing this blog post shows you I have conquered that and it is as a result of a good planning system. I am also still a work-in-progress but the most important thing is that I’m getting results and I’m achieving my goals.
- I used to procrastinate more than anyone I know. I am the queen of procrastination. I never get anything done because I always assumed I will get it done later which never happens. But now I know better. The moment it is time to get my to-do list done, I leave everything I’m doing (including watching my favorite Kdrama) and get it done.
- I never understood myself and what works for me. Yes! This is another reason planning never works. You don’t know when you’re most productive (Day, Noon, or Night?). So you might be setting a lot of work at a time when your body just wants to relax. Now I know better and this has helped me greatly.
- I always wanted to do too much at once. I am that person that used to believe it’s either all or nothing. So, I fill my planner book with 100 things to do in a day (How is that even possible?) At the end of the day, I get so tired and overwhelmed that I don’t do any of it. But now, I know realistically, I can only do two big things and three small things in a day (Depending on what I want to do), so I stick with those things and I do them effectively.
Planning can help you too. You just need the right approach.
Plan your month with me
Let me take you through a guide to planning your month. Pick your pen and paper or your phone notepad. If you have a planner, great too! Let’s get to work.
1/ You should have a yearly goal already
If you don’t have one, first do a rough draft of all you want to achieve this year. Be sincere with yourself.
Then pick out the ones you know you can do and set your yearly goal from it. If you did a rough draft of 15 goals.
Ensure you break your yearly goal to 7/10. Also, ensure they are achievable. Don’t set goals you don’t even know how to achieve. Done that? Let’s go.
Rough draft E.g a. I want to get a car this year
b. I want to buy a house this year
c. I want to take 6 courses this year
Yearly goals E.g a. I want to take 4 courses this year
b. I want to get a car this year.
The goal is to set achievable goals. It is better to set three goals and achieve them than to set 10 goals and do nothing.
2/ Do a rough draft of your monthly goal
Don’t just jump into setting goals, write out the list of all you need to do this month to achieve some of the yearly goals you wrote above.
Do a rough draft first. This is not the one you will be using.
3/ Write out your monthly goal
This is the one you will be using. Like we did for the yearly goal, break your monthly goals out of the rough draft. This time, you will take your monthly goals from your yearly goals.
The goal is to achieve the yearly goal. DON’T FORGET.
Some people set their monthly goals differently from their yearly goals. NO!
Your monthly goal should be looking like this:
a/ Buy a course from Udemy and finish the first half this month
b/ Save 20% from my income towards a car purchase
Not like this:
a/ Take 2 courses this month
b/ Buy a car
You need to think SMARTly. This is not the time to achieve the goal, this is the time to do things that will help you achieve the goal at the end of the year.
4/ Write out your weekly goal
Remember, there are 7 days in a week and about 4 weeks in a month (most times (Ensure you check your calendar always)).
So, you have about 28 days in a month.
How can you finish the first half of a course in 28 days?
That is what you should think about.
Planning helps us think ahead. It helps you predict or diagnose how your proposed or desired future will look like.
The good news is that if you actually follow through, you will have your desired future or at least very close to that.
Planning also helps you see things closer than they look. When you plan, you will understand that in order to achieve a 10-year or 1-year plan, you need to start today.
If you don’t start today, you have missed another chance to achieve that goal.
So, How can you finish the first half of a course in 28 days?
How many courses videos or chapters are in the course?
How long does it take you to read or watch a video?
Let’s assume there are 12 videos and it takes you 1 hour to watch a video. And you planned to watch half (that is 6 videos) this month.
That means in 6 hours, you can achieve your goal.
So, what you need to do is devote at least 30 minutes to watching this video in a day or in 2 days because you have all the time. It will take you just 6 hours in 672 hours (28 days).
This is good because you will have time to work on your other goals and also your other activities.
5/ Set your daily goal
The most important part. How do you achieve those goals above if you don’t do it now?
So, write out your daily goal i.e., Today, I will watch a course video for 30 minutes.
It is that simple.
And this can be applied to other goals and other areas of your life.
Planning a productive month is possible but you must be ready to put in the work and it doesn’t have to be hard work. It can just be a little work every day and voila you’re done.
Every little input you add to your day makes your big dreams come to pass in months or in a year or two.
Some Tips for Productive Living
1/ Ensure this is what you want. If you want it bad enough, you will do anything to get it done.
2/ Don’t do everything now. If you do everything now, you will wear out and won’t have the energy to do more tomorrow.
3/ Get up and start today. If you keep thinking there is time and you don’t start now, there will never be time again.
4/ Just a little nap. Just a little sleep and all your goals become unachievable. It’s okay to sleep but not at the expense of your dreams and goals.
If you still haven’t gotten my free ebook: The Ultimate Planning Guide; you should do so now. In this ebook,
- You will get a more detailed guide to planning your life productively.
- You will see tips that will spur you to achieve your goals.
- You will learn how to plan your goals SMARTly and SIMPLY.
This ebook has changed so many lives, yours too can change.
Need a Productivity coach with the full package? Accountability, mentoring, goal busting?
Reach out to me and let’s make that goal a reality for your business, your workplace, and yourself.