Hate planning? Try these tips. – Pick Dave’s Brain

This week’s question comes from Joe in Toronto, Canada.

Q: I watched your course on Time Management and loved it! However, I feel like a calendar takes too much time. I hate planning because I often would rather do something easier than the scheduled task. What should I do?

Click to tweet this: Your money is earned through your most valuable activities. Celebrate by calendaring them. @DaveCrenshaw

Does it ever feel like planning things on your calendar is just a waste of time?

This week’s question comes from Joe in Toronto, Canada. He asks:

I watched your course on Time Management and loved it! I’m creating events on my calendar and spend lots of time trying to plan, but I can’t seem to follow the schedule and the plan. I feel like a calendar takes too much time. I often find I would rather do something easier than the scheduled task. How can I bring structure to my life?

Dave:

Thanks for the question, Joe! I completely understand that feeling.

If you watch the Time Management Fundamentals bonus video on LinkedIn Learning, you get a glimpse into my back story. I talk about how I was diagnosed as off the charts ADHD and how I overcame that challenge. So, when you mention the impatience and aggravation that comes with taking the time to get organized, I feel your pain.

I recommend that you go through a different course, Enhancing Your Productivity—also on LinkedIn Learning. In this course, I talk about focusing your time on the most valuable activities. This will help you move away from the mindset of just checking things off, toward the mindset of increasing your value per hour.

At work, we’re tempted to do the easiest tasks available. These are our “least valuable activities.” The things that challenge most people, but you are great at doing, are your Most Valuable Activities. When you spend the majority of your time doing these, you will grow in your career.

Now a couple of tricks to help you follow through on that. First, when you schedule something in your calendar, also include the estimated value per hour. For instance, one coaching client that I worked with had a most valuable activity that was worth hundreds per hour. So, when he scheduled the task that he needed to do, he included the value per hour in the subject line. That reminded him when it popped-up on his calendar, that he shouldn’t skip it, because it was incredibly valuable.

The second trick is also in the subject line—call out the first minute of activity in your schedule. In other words, when that task arrives, what’s the first thing that you need to do? One salesperson I worked with would make sales calls. The first thing that he needed to do was just open the list. So, he put that in the subject line.

When you do that, it tricks your brain to go past all the pain and difficulty of doing something and just gets right down to taking action. You trick yourself into moving ahead.

I hope those suggestions are helpful for you, Joe!

And if you have a question you’d like to ask me, all you need to do is go to davecrensha.com/ask.