Inspiration is equally important for your blog as a practical approach to blogging. Blogging shouldn’t be a P.E.S.T. – meaning that it costs too much Pain Effort Stress and Time. This is my main reason for drawing inspiration and practical support from entrepreneurs. So, I’ve decided to go for the win-win by blogging with another expert, so that I can help & support two experts and their readers, in just one blog post. As I have benefitted so much from the tips and workshops by Elfriede Krauth, and since we’ve known each other for years and we wish each other the very best, I wanted to share the same smart strategies I enjoy so much, with you.
Planning can be hard, time-consuming and a chore. Which system do you use, what does work for you and what doesn’t? Your planning feels off, regularly, appears to become a goal by itself, is some ways, or is it a great tool? There is so much to keep track on… many interruptions you can never plan for. So, in essence, how do you solve all that? I know from myself that I am pretty good about gauging the time my tasks will take. And that’s great, of course. For me, that is. However, for that exact same reason, I never took a serious look at my planning system…. until I heard Elfriede talk about the power of planning, that is. I discovered how you can make planning work for you in a simple and highly effective manner.
I plan my time per task really well. So I thought (unconsciously) that I was a good planner. Eventually I discovered that a lot of what I did, I did well, but that there was much room for improvement. I want my planning to work well for me, instead of me working hard for my planning. Does that ring a bell? Would you like to plan you activities in your business, your activities and your life, in a simple way that leaves you shutting the door on your office at the end of the day’s work, feeling totally zen?
That is what Elfriede has brought me. The biggest realisations for me were:
One big pile
If I could throw all my tasks and activities into one big pile, then I will experience peace and quiet in my mind. Then, I am convinced that the things I want to and have to do won’t be forgotten or overlooked. I will never forget the moment – and this is years ago – when Elfriede was talking with so much compassion and love about one big pile as a trusted, kind, non-judgmental friend. Imagine, if you had such a friend in your life, who will keep all of your tasks safe, and only show them to you when you want to? And that you won’t have to see all those tasks every day, feeling the pressure of all of those, and having that restlessness running through your mind? Well, I certainly did want to have a friend like that. Ever since that day, “my big pile” is my best planning friend.
Not this week
Whenever I divide my tasks into two lists, one that is called “this week” and the other “not this week” wonderful things happen. First, this means for me that I can clear my mind. The tasks are in a safe place, and I don’t need to think about them anymore. Then, just before the start of my next working week, I run through this list, and choose the tasks that I wish to move from “not this week” to “this week”. This gives me clarity and peace of mind. And every week – according to Elfriede – each of those tasks get a new opportunity to be honoured by a move to the “this week” list.
The brilliant benefits for me, include:
- I don’t have to fret about “if I don’t do this, this week, when should I be doing this?”
- It’s a simple choice: this week or not
- No need to think if things should be done next week, next month, in 6 weeks’ time…
- I have instant peace of mind and clarity
“This week” feels just as inspiring to me as “Today” from Winnie de Pooh
“What day is it?”, asked Winnie the Pooh
“It’s today,” squeaked Piglet
“My favorite day,” said Pooh”
One Move Moment
Throughout the week, new tasks will be added. They will go straight onto the big pile! And they will stay there until that one moment in the week when I ‘move’ my tasks. I move the tasks I want to move, only once a week. Such simplicity! Such calm. Such a relief!
What Elfriede says about this:
The P of Pile is the first letter of PEACE – my method for optimal productivity and laser sharp focus.
I enjoy that the world pile has various meanings, and that the big pile that Saskia mentions, offer multiple advantages.
When Saskia told me that she can gauge the timing of each task so well, I thought to myself: wow, I can’t do that… and I would love to be able to do that, too. This goes to show that each of us has his or her own challenged and talents. Also when it comes to planning.
Entrepreneurs such as yourself, often expect from yourselves that you can plan yourselves and your tasks like you are a machine. But you’re not a machine! You must want to and be able to dive into new opportunities, tend to the needs of your clients, allow your creativity to bubble and flow. Who know how much time that will take? In what state you’ll be leaving that task behind you, and what else you can manage to fulfill that day? It is just hard to predict, and I personally have the same need for variation and unpredictability as you have. A ‘big pile’ offers that flexibility, overview, and space in your head, required to make choices that make you happy.
So: if this weekly success habit resonates with you – and if you can read Dutch – you could choose to order Elfriede’s book from Amazon. I have it and I love it. This will definitely help you to create and nurture your weekly success habit. Click here to find out about the book:
And, I also have a question for you
Think for a moment about your upcoming working week. What are some of the tasks you would like to complete, yet don’t have the biggest of priorities? DO Share those in the comments, so we can show each other what’s in our big piles. *pun intended*
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