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Turn off distractions – Stay focused with your planner

Has it ever happened to you that you find the time on a Sunday night or Monday morning to set up your planner and write down all the things you need to do for the week? Then the week comes and you find yourself migrating or transferring some tasks on Monday to Tuesday and then from Tuesday to Wednesday and so on until the week ends. Sometimes, we actually manage to accomplish our daily goals and manage to complete at least our top priorities, but often we also don’t get there or are even close.

New year is one of my faaaaaaavorite, most fun celebrations, I have always liked it because that is an opportunity for everyone to come together and celebrate or at least try. It gives us a chance to re-set our lives in a big way, make up for mistakes and try to get back to track or initiate new things, plan new things, start anew, change our lives. We are inspired by endless possibilities of change. Aren’t we?

It now it is already April and with the beginning of Spring comes, we all begin to wonder “what am I doing?, this is not what I had planned on January 1st!”. The initial motivation that had us with a huge sense of hope on January starts to fade. In addition to our motivation wearing off we also have all these pictures and Facebook or instagram or pinterest or email notifications remind us of what we want and don’t have. These are also called: DISTRACTIONS. The good new is that we can always re-set our lives – I believe so – and go back to basics, where we can focus on our goals, on our plans and on the things that make us happy. After all, what did we come to this life for but to be happy?

Happiness starts with connecting with yourself, with being in touch with your fears and your dream, the ups and downs. Happiness also, doesn’t just “come”, we ought to work for it, we ought to get up early, to go bed early, work out, be mindful, eat healthy, nourish ourselves, spend time with family: DO WHAT MAKES US HAPPY.

It is not a cliché, this really is how we can become happy. Also, planning and sticking to your tracking chart, changing the way you plan (maybe), changing your habits, staying on track with your goals, and most important setting up actionable – little steps – that you can take to achieve your goals, to be happy.

Because I know the struggle I came up with a few things that I think can help you and me to stay on track with those goals that we set on the even of December 31st of the previous year. I hope they will help you and that you can actually bring yourself to be more aware, more conscious and more focused and intentional about your plans. Because remember, your day to day appointments and to dos have  A LOT to do with your final goal. The one you will revisit every month or every week, and then every end of each year.

  1. Turn off your mobile devices: I do remember those days when mobile phones were not as prevalent in our lives and at times it feels like there’s no escape but there IS. Simply turn off your notifications and be mindful about your time. Set yourself a goal of working for periods of time without checking your phone.
  2. Work more effectively, not harder: Set yourself a goal of working for 50 minutes on something and take 10 minutes break. Stay focused during those 50 minutes and set a goal of staying at work for those 50 minutes before you can take a break. This is a great way to work and finish something if you need to.
  3. Be aware of your habits and thoughts: Really there is no magic formula to staying motivated and the only way to do things is to actually do them. On your planner write down the things that you tend to do that are distractions such as watching tv when you should be starting a new project, not sticking to your plans, feeling down when you don’t know how to start or even giving up when you feel a task is too large or too complex to even bother. Be mindful about your mental patterns and change them. Mindfulness and awareness can make you adjust your actions to developing good habits and finishing things so that eventually you can reach your goals.
  4. Use your planner as a tool to help you plan your time: Time is precious so waste it wisely! A planner is a great tool to help you know how much time you have, what appointments you have and when and how you can work on something. It will help you know how your days look like and what you need to adjust to get things done.
  5. Write it down! It is proven that when we write things down it is easier to stay focused on the things that need to get done. When you write things down, you empty your head to make more space for the things that are important. Also, by visually seeing a list of tasks or events, you will know how much time you really don’t have or do have to do something or waste it on a distraction. Use your planner to create a section for notes, reminders or a brain dump and use it to guide you through your planning process.

Distractions are everywhere and it is up to us to stay on track by revisiting our goals, our thoughts and our intentions. Stay on track by continuously being aware of your thoughts and change them by positive ones. It really becomes easier when you do it often.

I hope this was useful and that you will let me know what your thoughts are on these suggestions. Thank you for reading!

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