Have you ever wondered why common sense is so uncommon?
I am going to explain to you Common Sense 101 like it is Particle Physics 504.5. All of us aim to get organized, get the most out of our days. Most of us, including me, fail miserably to do so. Why is it difficult do what we intended to do? Why plans have become a one word substitution for, “a long process with minimal or no benefits”.
As I was planning for my next blog, I realized that for a week I had been planning it out, but was going nowhere. Every single day I failed to meet my goals. This set me thinking what is that I was doing wrong. I was doing everything that the books tell you to do. Every day morning I used to get up schedule my day as I wished it to be and every single day I failed to meet my goals. I am sure a lot of you would also have had similar experiences.
As I sat thinking what is it that I was doing wrong? I realized three things that were the culprits for my failure to follow my plan. First thing was that I made plans in haste. Every day morning when I got up half an hour late, I used to use the time which I had allocated for planning my day for compensating for that extra bit of sleep. The second thing was that though I knew what to do, when I sat to do the task, I realized that I do not have the things which I needed to complete my task. So it landed up on my next days to do list and my calendar kept playing, pass the task game. The third thing was circumstances which were beyond my control. I had to give up on something because something urgent came up.
After I identified these three factors which were holding me back, I decided to find a solution which is simple but yet practical and useful. The first thing which I realized was that when something urgent comes up I will have to attend to it. Instead of over thinking about the task not done, I should just let it be. The only thing that I added was a question to decide what is urgent and the question is, “Can this be done after half an hour?”, If the answer is no, then drop all your tasks and go for it.
For the previous two problems I made these small little changes. These small changes made all the difference. The first one was: I started planning my day, the day before. Because of this I had so much time that the last one hour of my working hours I could just sit and plan my next day. The second one was that I added two more blocks to my “to do list”: “Do I know how to do it” and “What do I need?”
The benefits of planning, a day before is that, I made well thought out plans and I had the time to think about my capabilities and gaps. It also helped me to cut down that half an hour of extra sleep as sub consciously I got wired and the routine worked on me even when I slept.
A few days back I needed to call a guy in the ministry a few days back for a task we are working on. I was supposed to call him at 10:00AM. At 9:55 I get the reminder on my phone that I had to call him. It’s then that I realized that I had written down his number on one of my bunch of writing pads. So I went on a frenzy searching for the number. After a 15 min search operation I found the number and it’ s then that I realized that I don’t know what I was supposed to speak about as I had not asked my colleague for updates about the last conversation that they had.
I had my, “to do list” in place. I showed up on time for the task, but I didn’t have the resource, i.e, the number and the knowledge to carry out the task. This made me think if a to do list was enough for a perfectly planned day. Adding the other two blocks not only helped me plan better, but to act better.
So if you want a perfect day just draw the three blocks, fill them up the day before and you will be moving forward, towards that perceived perfect day. So go on a step further follow this and make your life more productive.