How to Plan a Month
I went through my exact process of planning a month on an Instagram Live this past Saturday.
I learned a lot by doing it imperfectly, as you will see, but if you can look past that to use the steps, you will begin to get so much more done than ever before.
Here’s the step-by-step processes covered in the video:
Decide on your calendar platform
Have 1 place to capture tasks and new calendar items on-the-go
Do the thought work
Realize that changing your A line of your model is impossible without changing your thoughts and beliefs about calendaring, planning, and time
Step 1 • Gather
Collect everything that will happen in the next month:
Courses you’re taking
Launch plans for your side gig
Divide everything into Stephen Covey’s 3 categories:
Step 2 • Plot Big Rocks
Put the time on your calendar for your big rocks, for me that means things like:
Full time position work schedule
Regular movement schedule
Step 3 • Supporting Time for Rocks
Add the tasks and time that is required to ensure your big rocks are accomplished or that you show up to the level you desire to show up for them, this means add time for:
Showering and getting ready
Step 4 • Pebbles
Add all of the pebbles, the things that are still pretty essential to running life, but are not the main priorities, so things like:
Step 5 • Sand
Add in constrained time or decide on your protocol for fitting in the sand of your life, for me this includes activities such as:
Consuming social media
Buying new courses or additional learning
Step 6 • Obstacles
You’re going to have things that come up that appear to be the reason why you cannot use a calendaring and planning process like this. You’re going to want to believe your thoughts about why this is not working or is too restrictive. Don’t believe your brain, it’s just learning something new. You absolutely can create a process that works seamlessly for you, as you test and check your experimentation. Start now though, thinking through everything that may come up for you as an obstacle so you can plan for it ahead of time. Things like:
Waiting on staff or contractors
Your beliefs about time
A new shiny penny (new podcast to listen to, new book to read, new course to buy, new skill to learn, new planner to buy, new goal to take up)
Your tendency to indulge in emotions such as:
Step 7 • Strategies
Take your list of obstacles and turn them into your strategy plan with your calendar. Decide now how you’re going to just plan for all of those things happening. What will you do now, on purpose, to not let those obstacles hold you back from your unwavering commitment to your goals and calendar?
Step 8 • Schedule It All
Add every strategy that requires a calendar block to your calendar now (such as rescheduling tasks to more realistic times to work with family or adding in extra time for making sure you can have a date night with your partner)
Make sure everything is now on the calendar, including planned unplanned time
Step 9 • Exceptions & Backup Plans
Unless there’s blood, there’s really no reason to have an exception. Backup plans rarely need to happen if you are planning well, with appropriate strategies for your obstacles. Decide now though, if you don’t get things done when you plan on them, when will you make up for it? Late at night? Early in the morning? On the weekend? Cancel a social event?
Step 10 • Do It Anyway
Follow your calendar. No matter what. Find what your intentional model is, and decide that even when you don’t feel like it that you will follow your plan for the whole month. Take notes for what worked and what didn’t work, so you can recalibrate when you decided you have dedicated recalibration points. Count on not feeling inspired when you need to write or create. Count on not feeling like it. Count on overwhelm and self doubt coming up. You’ve planned for all of these, they’re not a shock.
Tell me how this works for you and send me all of your struggles and questions. I love hearing it all so I can help you dial it further.