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  • Stephanie Haynes

Work your plan... or get worked over.


This week has been a fantastic week... and a mess.


I have been productive and getting things done, just not the right things.


For example, on my to-do list for the week has been this action item: Complete social media scheduling table for Mia the Intern by Friday at the latest.


Seems straight forward enough, but as I write this post Friday afternoon it's still not completed. Neither are two other A-level priority action items.


Why?


I chose to allow the "urgent" to take over the "necessary" in my week. (insert frustrated grimace here)


Does this happen to anyone else out there?

I start with a well-thought out plan based on my goals and action steps, my requirements and my priorities, and then end up NOT honoring it.


UUUGGGHHH!


Frustration, shame and anger have set in. How can I, the woman who taught 10 sessions on goal development and planning this week, fall so far from my own plan?


Do you ever feel the same after a week line this?

My emotional self wants to hide away, but hiding will only keep things in the dark where they can grow ugly.

So, I am sharing my flaws and faults and maybe, together, we can both overcome this tendency to be worked by our plan instead of working it like we know how to.


Thi has been the process of my days this week:

  1. Finish morning routine and then check to-do list and planner for the day.

  2. Map out tasks according to free time.

  3. Open email and deal with what's there. (Problem #1)

  4. Check Facebook Group to see if I need to respond to any new postings. (Problem #2)

  5. Consider working on A-level item #1, but think it will take too much time and can be more productive getting smaller action items done first so put it off. (Problem #3)

  6. Get smaller action items done, but now it's too close to a client call to work on a larger, more important A-level task. Use time instead to re-check email and Facebook... (Problem #4)...

You get the idea...

And this has happened every day this week, in different variations, all day long.


Here's what I have learned from allowing my plans to work me and how I am committing to working my plan next week:


Problem #1: Checking email is not a bad thing in itself, but doing so without planning for it AND not limiting my time to focus only on the most important messages is.

  • New plan: Add 15 min to check email each day in the morning, mid-day, and end-of day and then close the tab until the next scheduled email break.

Problem #2: I ran a class in a private Facebook group this week and wanted to make sure those who couldn't attend live felt served. A good intention, but a total disrupter in my day because... Facebook! The ultimate black hole of time stealing.

  • New plan: Add in 15 min every 4 hours to check to see if there are any messages in that group, and schedule time to "troll" my FB feed after my A-level action steps are completed so my productivity is not disrupted. CLose that tab each time and turn my phone to "Do NOt DIsturb" when working on tasks.

Problem #3: Avoiding items in favor of feeling the productivity rush of getting more small tasks accomplished was my big derailment this week. The result is that now I am working on Saturday, something I do not want to make a habit.

  • New Plan: breakdown bigger tasks into smaller chunks and work on one at a time, and choose to not them off in favor of a productivity rush.

Problem #4: It seemed like a good idea to use a small chunk of time as time to check FB and email... and yet it totally stalled my productivity and distracted me from the next appointment.

  • New Plan: Stop believing that if I can't finish a task in the time I have it's not worth starting. Instead, start and save and come back to it.

Overall, I am not beating myself up too badly. I know I am in the experimentation phase of creating new routines and processes as I build my business. I am grateful for the "lesson learned" experience on a week when I didn't let a client down or worse, my family.


How do YOU recover from weeks like this? Leave a comment below and let me know!

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Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina
stephanie@stephaniehaynes.net
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