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Success Plan: Blog Challenge Day 5

Today’s challenge on the 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge is the following:

Create a daily success plan for yourself that takes only 15-20 minutes and schedule a time in the day where you can squeeze it in. Write a blog post about what you will do, when you will do it, and how it will get you closer to your dreams.

The advice Nathalie gives in her video today seems quite useful, certainly for me. My lack of focus is my biggest liability.

Success Plan Advice #1

Don’t work from the kitchen or living room. Designate a place for working, whether it’s an office or a co-working space, or even a café or airport lounge.

I’ve got this one covered. I have my work space, which is a mess, as you saw yesterday, but it’s mine. I also find that, when I’m traveling, I can concentrate quite well in a hotel room or lobby. Nathalie does suggest that it should be a clean, orderly place, which mine obviously is not. Would that help me focus? I don’t know.

My clean desk (a very old photo)

My clean desk (a very old photo)

Success Plan Advice #2

Choose three main activities each day–what she calls her Most Important Actions, or MIAs–and get those done first.

This just strikes me as nothing more than a To-Do list. I see her argument that it gives you a good feeling to get those three things done. It would free me to move on to other things. The problem is that even when I make a To-Do list, I tend to choose the items on the list that are the most fun or interesting and put off the others.

Success Plan Advice #3

Use the Pomodoro technique. Spend 25 minutes focusing on one activity, with no distractions allowed. Then take five minutes for a stretch or other activity. Then take another concentrated 25 minutes, and so on.

I had never heard of this technique till a few weeks ago, when my friend, Kate (she of the amazing writing yesterday), suggested we use it in our writing sessions. We were both having trouble facing up to revising our manuscripts. (Mine’s been sitting untouched for about two years, I’d guess.) We decided to meet regularly for revising sessions, and we’ve been using the Pomodoro technique. I’m not sure it’s the technique that helps me so much in these sessions, or if it’s the presence of Kate, and our agreement to push each other to do this. Either way, it seems to work. My revision is coming along quite nicely.

students working at the school where I teach

students working at the school where I teach

My Daily Success Plan

I can’t be specific here about what I’ll do each day because each day my needs are different. Some days I have to go teach lessons, while other days I’m at home planning lessons. Some days I need or want to get other things done, like write a blog post or meet with Kate for a revision session.

 

Here’s what I’ll commit to doing for the next three weeks as a trial period, to see if it improves my productivity:

  1. I will use the Pomodoro technique on the days I stay home and have a lot of school-related tasks to do.
  2. I’ll clean my desk this weekend, using the Pomodoro technique to keep myself on-task.
  3. I’ll put aside at least 15-20 minutes every day to keep working on revising my book. I won’t swear to this one right away. This blog challenge is taking a lot of my time each evening, and the evenings are when I’m most likely to have the peace and the time to work on this. However, I also tend to run out of steam at some point in the evening, so I don’t want to be unrealistic by planning too much.

Will this get me closer to my dreams? I don’t know. Certainly if these actions become habits, my productivity will go up, which implies I can achieve more. But I still haven’t figured out what I’m going to do to reach the lifestyle I’d like to have. If attaining that lifestyle requires increased productivity and better use of time, then, yes, it’ll help.

In any case, since getting my book published is one aspect of that dream, working on its revision has to help, right?

This blog post is in response to Nathalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 5.

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