I just got off the phone with Nancy Christie – we did an interview about Full Potential.com on her morning show. The call went well – we discussed key ideas and a practical way for people to start immediately applying Full Potential in their life.
For those of you that don’t have ‘enough time’ for all the things you know you should be doing, here’s something I suggest:
FULL POTENTIAL PLANNING ON PAPER
1) Take out a blank sheet of paper
2) Fold it twice – creating four squares when you unfold it.
3) In the top right square write down: “Goals”
4) In the bottom right square write down: “Activities”
5) In the top left square write down “Schedule”
6) In the bottom left square write down “Time Log”
(You can move the boxes to different locations on the paper if you want.)
7) Now in the Goals square – write down all the things you want to create in your life in the near or distant future. It might help to think in terms of the six main areas of life: Physical, Mental, Spiritual, Social, Emotional and Financial.
Physically – Healthy, Vibrant, Alive
Mentally – Great Mental Clarity and Focus, Positive Thinking
Spiritually – Growing in Awareness Every Day
Emotionally – Centered, Peaceful, Loving Others and Feeling Loved
Financially – $______ per month or $_______ by ______ (date)
8 ) Now in the Activities square – start by writing down all the things you feel you have to do today; everything that’s on your mind – put it on paper.
9) Now look at each activity and think about how it relates to your goals above. Ask yourself – is this activity really important in relation to my goals? At this point you may have to add some new goals you weren’t aware of or eliminate some activities that are pointless.
10) Now in the top left column you start blocking your time for today. Example of one hour time block: 7 – 8 AM: Meditation
11) Start with whatever time it is right now and start with whatever activity you feel like working on. Block off how much time you think it’s going to take. You can do this with just a couple of activities or schedule out your whole day this way. I recommend just pulling a couple of activities from your activity box and creating a few time blocks in your Schedule box until you get used to doing it. You will want to have blank space to Re-Schedule when your first schedule gets off track – this is inevitable
12) In your time log box (lower left) you write down what actually happened with your time. With the Time log box you can become aware of how reality deviated from your intention. The Schedule box is how you intend to use your time and the Time log box is how your time was actually used. This is kind of awareness is invaluable, especially in the beginning since you’ll be off track most of the time.
Don’t get frustrated when you go off track – expect it! After you complete each activity, cross it out and make a little note of the time it actually took in your time log. And when your schedule gets off track just rewrite the current time with the available white space in the Schedule box and begin on the next activity.
When time runs over on an activity in your schedule, cross out the activities that you completed, scribble out your old schedule and use the remaining space. If you need more space for any area just flip the sheet over and recreate your boxes. Even though it might feel like you are rewriting stuff – there’s a method to this madness. Repetition is critical for programming the subconscious mind and every time you write down your goals you are embedding them deeper into your unconscious. Most people don’t have goals or wait until the end of the year to set them and then never look at them again. What I’m suggesting you do is rewrite your goals at least twice in any given day – that’s 770x a year! And yes, your goals might change over the year as you change as a person- expect that too. But they only change because you got more clear on what you wanted – and that clarity comes even faster when you’re writing them down hundreds of times in a year.
This is a system for getting where you want to go. Do not be fooled by its simplicity however, it’s an incredibly powerful focus tool! The combination of a Schedule and a Time Log employs the Zoom Out / Zoom In method of planning and executing which puts your day to day activities into a long term perspective. You zoom out when you set your goals, you zoom in when you write down your short term activities. When you know how your day to day activities tie in with an end result, you’ll know why you’re doing what you’re doing. As a result you will feel more calm and empowered as you go through your day. Even if you don’t get a lot done, you’ll feel a sense of direction as you create your destiny. Over time this system for getting things done through paper will also become the way you think automatically.
The beauty of this system is in its simplicity. If you want to get more ‘advanced’ in your planning I suggest you use a program like Goal Enforcer or if you want a more robust program for your appointments and to-dos I suggest Time & Chaos (type them into Google). However I still suggest you still use the paper method to structure the way you think and to keep the main ideas in front of you at all times. Fold the paper and take it with you wherever you go and be reminded of your goals or your most important activities. It’s also fun to look back on your day and see what you actually accomplished.
A LIVING RECORD
If you save the paper after you’re done with it, you can compile them and look back on what you accomplished over a span of time. Your planning sheet becomes a detailed journal of your progress.
Please try this exercise out at least once right now to get the hang of it and share the results of your experiment here.