Sticking to your daily agenda/schedule
This post, I hope, will help you relate to your daily agenda and your big goal a little differently. My suggestion is to view achieving your goals similar to planning a road trip and every part of your goal as part of that journey. When you think of planning a road trip you automatically think of the destination and how beautiful it is. Maybe even think of how it will fee once you get there. Then it slowly sinks in that you have to create a plan.
Once you start planning your trip, you realize there's way more than what you remembered to have a successful journey. When do I want to get there? How long will it take me? Which is the easiest or fastest route or the most scenic? How many and how often do I take breaks? Can I do a chunk of hours one day and enjoy 2 days at a small town? When you're about to set off after a well deserved break, do you check if you're going the right way or is there a faster route out of that city?
Your daily route, breaks and map checks to see where you're headed are crucial to chip away at your big goal. Below I outline what each one means ...
Your daily tasks are a detailed mini map (towards your big goal) with flexibility build into it. The idea is that you can't get upset if things don't go your way instead you can pick up where you left off very easily.
Create your route for today: What do you want to accomplish today? Maybe today you want to focus on writing original content for your blog so in thinking with this road map as your guide your intention should look like this:
Today--> Write blog post
topic- the best way to bathe your dog
talk to Stacy and Lauren about the topic
write rough draft
look for pictures
have debbie proof read it
review draft the Wednesday or thursday
publish it by friday
The first part of this "route" can be done today but the rest can be accomplished other days as projected by your plan.
When and Where to take breaks:
Adding breaks will force you to add these natural deadlines within your day and will force you to put times to our schedule so you can know when to take them.
Knowing when you start your journey, what times are ideal or convenient to take breaks or if you have lunch at a certain time, this naturally structures your day. I suggest to take a look at your route before taking the break so you know how long your break will be and once you get back to know how much you need to get done in the next block of work.
I'm a huge fan of breaks because I create mini challenges to see how much I can get done by a certain time. I also suggest that adding fun breaks to your day such as hobbies or things you enjoy doing like reading or exercise. The typical breaks or what I call, natural deadlines, are bathroom breaks, coffee/tea breaks, snack or meal breaks, exercise breaks, pick up the kids break, prepare and eat food break.
Extra breaks are things like: meet with a friend, read a book, read fun articles, work meetings, etc. I look forward to breaks as they help me keep inspired and focused.
Check your route often: I suggest that on any journey you check your route as often as possible to make sure you're headed in the right direction, if it's the most comfortable route for you and to stay focused on the end of goal. Your daily agenda is a way to chip away at your big goal but your daily goal should have a good feeling at the end and this where feeling of accomplishment will take over by giving us a rush of the feel good chemicals in our brain. Believe me, it's a great rush knowing you did something you set off to do!
With the breaks you put into your schedule are meant to make you feel re-energized in order to start back up so right before you set off again you must check what's next, what's in the schedule for the next couple of hours? When's the next break? If you're like me, you'll say, "Let's see how much I can get done before the next break!" Imagine you have 4-5 breaks in your day, this is how often you'll be checking if your agenda.
Creating small work bursts, sprinkled with quality breaks, you'll get to enjoy the feeling of accomplishment every day which will reinforce (reward or consequence in the habit loop) doing your work this way more often.
For more questions to help you on your journey, check out my Daily Roadmap Worksheets with Questions in my resource page.
This exercise will take time so give yourself time. Remember, try it, observe and tweak. Good luck, I know you can do it!
Behavior Analyst and Personal Life Coach. Changing behavior one step at a time. Keeping things simple because it's easier that way.