It doesn’t matter how a day begins.
It matters how it ends.
8 in the morning. Everything’s planned and under control. I love it!
I prefer to plan my day on the same day, better than the day before.
Planning the day the same day allows me to organize myself based on my mood. For me, that’s key.
When you can fit your plan into your mood and how you feel that day, always maintaining a coherent behavior to keep on accomplishing your goals, things get easier done. The flow runs through your veins.
As a goal achiever, my procedure is always the same (very simple, as you can see):
- Defining strategy.
- Defining high-level goals.
- Defining low-level goals.
- Defining tasks (if a lot of them are inside a similar or higher-level concept, I group them using a project).
Noon. Chaos comes into my life.
A meeting with a potential client takes me 2 hours and a half, instead of the planned hour, which usually happens here in Spain.
How the hell do I keep on schedule one-hour meetings?
Remember: human beings always stumble one trillion times (forget about twice) on the same stone.
When I was coming back to my office, my business partner rang me and told me we need to have an important meeting right now and for the whole afternoon, evening, and night, if necessary.
Didn’t I ever tell you he’s the creative one, and I’m the one who manages (or tries to manage) control and organization?
At that moment, I felt terrible because my Medium’s writing streak was in real danger.
I decided to start writing on Medium on September 8th, 2020. I planned to write daily, except on weekends and holidays.
Since then, as a habit believer that I am, I had perfectly accomplished my goal. Not a single failure in one day. That’s why I write before my day begins. It guarantees I’ll always achieve my goal.
Yesterday I couldn’t write at the beginning of the day (mistake) because my potential client’s meeting was scheduled very early.
Now, it was noon.
Time never stops, especially when you’re busy, in a non-stop mode.
I was lost.
Now, I’ll show you how I handled this situation and how a terrible theoretical day finished up being a wonderful one.
STEP 1: DON’T PANIC
First of all: don’t panic when these types of scenarios appear.
The world is not perfect. The world doesn’t care about you.
This cannot be your daily scenario because that would sign that your life is in “reactive-mode” rather than “productive-mode”.
You have to try to be in control of your life, avoiding letting yourself be carried away by a river that you don’t know where it will lead.
But this is a scenario that you need to manage because it will appear several times each month.
So, stay calm, stop everything, and think.
STEP 2: MINDSET
As soon as you can, assume your day will be totally different from the one you had in your mind.
That’s basic for your brain.
You need to release all those negatives thoughts that are bombarding and collapsing you.
It’s imperative to start controlling the situation.
If you don’t do so, your brain will be killing you because it’s not comfortable. It’s doing what it didn’t think it was going to do. That produces that feeling of guilt that is not easy to overcome.
You always need your best mind status to focus on things, to perform at your highest level.
So, tell yourself the day has changed. You got a new day ahead. Let’s go for it!
You have to learn to accept your defeats with humility. Accepting that sometimes you can lose. You don’t need to whip yourself.
STEP 3: RE-PLAN
Before re-planning your whole day, be sure that the new tasks have a higher priority than those you won’t do. This is key!
In my case, I had these two tasks:
- Business meeting with a potential client. That directly affects sales, one of the most critical areas inside any business. It’s worth it!
- Meeting with my business partner. The meeting goal was to create and define one of our companies’ strategies. Without a strategy, nothing can be done. It’s worth it, too!
I still felt bad about my broken streak, but I had no doubt comparing my writing goal to these other two. It wasn’t a tragedy to stop writing for a day.
After that thought, I really started to feel better.
- Now that your mindset is in the right productive mental position, forget about your plan, and just leave what is indispensable to do today. These items have to be a MUST, in capital letters. I mean, if you really don’t do them, you’re dead. Be as radical as you can because you need to create space (time) for your new tasks.
- List your new tasks.
- Plan all your today’s tasks (old ones and new ones), evaluating length, priority, and when’s the best moment to do them.
STEP 4: FOCUS ON YOUR NEW PLANNING
You should be more relaxed now.
Everything’s under control again.
One o’clock. Let’s start doing.
STEP 5: ENJOY YOUR DAY
Since you start doing, you have to enjoy your day:
- Everything’s under control.
- You know you’re doing what you MUST do. Your mind is quiet and calm.
- You’re doing even better things than those you had planned at the beginning of the day. They will make you move forward towards your goals.
I did really feel happy, even though I broke my Medium’s streak.
STEP 6: GO BACK TO YOUR PLAN, HABITS, AND ROUTINES
Last but not least: it’s essential not losing your habit’s track.
Go back to your habit as soon as possible. If you miss a day and then another one, you’re in real danger. Losing a habit is as easy as that.
Failing one day, objectively, is not a drama in a long term goal.
Failing one day is only dangerous in case you fail the day after. The third day, you’re out. You stop doing that routine, and you will never achieve your goal. That’s why breaking a streak matters.
But if you recover your habit soon, nothing happens.
Here I am, writing again today.
At the end of the month, instead of 20 articles, I’ll have 19. Not a drama. My goal remains intact.
I’m still on my way. No problem. I can sleep relaxed.
You cannot be a rigid item inside a messy world, full of unplanned situations.
The world’s spinning and you have to move with it.
If you don’t do so, you’ll be frustrated, unhappy, bitter… These moods will only take you to underperform, and you won’t move towards your goals. Be sure of that.
Feel proud of what you’ve done throughout your day, even it wasn’t what you have previously planned.
The key point is goal achievement. Never forget that.
As human beings, we love control. It gives us security.
But we cannot control the world, we can only manage it, tackle it.
Now you know how yesterday I went home very happy, even though it was one o’clock in the morning. Two critical tasks to achieve my big goals had been done.
Nothing else matters.