Myth 3: I need to plan my work first, then the rest of my life
Once upon a time, planning life before work would have been heresy to me, as it might be to many of you who are work and career focused.
But I would STRONGLY advocate taking a fresh calendar, and planning and blocking out the really important things that matter first: time for self-care including health, wellness and fitness; close relationships; spirituality, however you define that; and contribution beyond work.
THEN plan out your work goals in the remaining time.
You may think you don’t have enough time to meet all your work commitments, but this approach will force you to be more strategic about work, get rid of non-productive work, and become much more focused – not just busy!
I realized that I had fallen into the trap of confusing activity with outcome. Activity meant I looked busy and had a full calendar and long lists of things to do; outcome meant I had positive, tangible results to show for my efforts.
So I made a radical change to list and track my outcomes: every day, week and month. Then I asked myself whether I could have achieved the same outcomes with less effort. Slowly, over a decade, I kept increasing my productivity.
Today, I believe that even though I’ve always been a reasonably high achiever all my life, I have 400% greater productivity and far deeper outcomes than I had 10 years ago.
A key secret has been that improved and increased self-care has led to better health, energy, relationships, spirituality, and deeper happiness. We all know that happy, healthy people have tons of positive attitudes and energy and can accomplish oodles more than unhappy, unhealthy people!
When coupled with working more strategically (outcome focused), these two factors have led to huge gains in productivity, with much better life balance.
So consider shifting your perspective to: I need to take care of myself and then work will take care of itself.