Hey guys – welcome back.
In part 1 of this series I taught you the basic of designing your life, how to get started and some really amazing hacks for designing the life you want.
I will now teach you how to stay organized, plan out your future, and manage your life.
If you get good at planning, your life can run pretty smoothly.
If on the other hand, you suck at it, everything will always feel like an uphill battle.
Let’s start with organizing your laptop…
#1 – A Simple Way to Manage Your Tabs Effortlessly
Most people suffer from having way too many tabs opened at the same time.
Always switching back and forth completely messes up your attention span and makes the thing you work on much more confusing than it has to be.
Workona is a free Chrome extension that will literally change your life. It allows you to organize your tabs and move around them swiftly and without confusion.
I can’t recommend it enough, definitely check it out by clicking here.
Click the link below to learn how I use Workona to maximize my productivity and organize my life.
#2 – How to Optimize Your Phone For Self Improvement
Have you ever thought about how much time you spend on your phone?
If your answer is “yeah, I look at my phone sometimes” or “I use my phone only for calls…” Then you are probably over 60 years old which is great!
You can still get lots of value from this article…
But chances are you that if you’re like 80% smartphone users, then checking your device is the first thing you do after waking. It is also the last thing you do before going to bed, right after you fap… (fapping is bad man, definitely stop it!).
Imagine a peaceful calm lake in the morning – this is your mind.
Now imagine an atomic bomb dropping into the lake creating a massive mushroom cloud of chaos and debris.
This is your phone landing on the peaceful calm, morning lake.
OK, I might have over-exaggerated, but you get the point.
If you start the day pissed off because Jenny didn’t answer your text message last night…then how do you think the rest of your day is going to unfold?
An endless stream of notifications from Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, Snapchat, and all of your other social apps will do you no good over an extended period of time.
It also pisses off everyone else you talk to at how little attention you pay to them while keeping you constantly glued to your screen, unable to focus on anything productive.
Yet the phone is just a tool.
Like a knife, you can use it to hurt yourself, or slice bread and make a delicious sandwich.
Let’s try to slice some bread, shall we?
The way you start your day will determine how your day will unfold. If you start it by laying in your bed, scrolling through your phone mindlessly for the first few hours, then later during the day you are more likely to:
-Get distracted too easily
-Be You don’t see results fast enough
-You always consume lots of information but never take enough action
-You procrastinate way more than you would like to admit
I wanted to propose to you a radical notion. First, you need to understand that you can’t improve something that:
1. You don’t clearly specify
2. You can’t measure
If your parameters of what constitutes success are fuzzy, it will affect your motivation.
Few months down the line you will feel like no progress has been made and you are better off trying something else
(new diet, new gym routine, etc.) or stop trying altogether.
The radical notion is this…
Fu*k your goals. Build systems instead!
Ok… maybe, don’t completely fuck your goals – you still need a sense of direction. But, since everyone tells you to set those big fat audacious goals (and it’s good to have challenging goals, that’s how you grow as a person.
But when it comes to the art of achievement, hitting those big hairy goals is similar to eating an elephant.
One bite at a time.
Once your mental GPS is set, you need to focus on what is in front of you. It’s all about the small incremental improvement, that 0.1% a day.
If you keep waiting for that one big change, you will undoubtedly be disappointed and frustrated.
Let’s say you’re overweight and your goal is to get fit.
Your system is to go to the gym and stick to a particular diet that will facilitate your fitness goal.
Those are only two pretty simple things you need to remember, so why do so many people fail at it?
Habit gravity keeps you in its shackles making you return to your old ways. Results never come as fast as you want which causes frustration due to no immediate notable change.
Frustration makes you slowly lose motivation and reverts you back to your old habits. The cycle repeats itself periodically. You are always getting back to square one no matter what you do.
Here is the thing…
We live in a technology-driven era – the age of constant distraction.
But if you use the technology, instead of letting it use you, you will discover, that everything can be set and measured, including your personal development. Imagine plugging your self-improvement information onto a dashboard.
Put a system in place that would keep you accountable, and remind you of the reasons why you started in the first place.
If large progressive companies use analytics dashboards to make better, wiser, and more accurate decisions over the long run, why can’t we do that for your own personal goals?
It takes all the guesswork out of the equation and makes the intangible art of personal achievement into the quantifiable science of self-improvement. You need to have your mental GPS firmly set on your clearly specified goals.
You also need to have a measurement system in place to tell you when you deviate from the desired path. All of this can be achieved with your phone. It’s personal development driven by data, not gut feelings.
How is your phone set up?
Do you get informed about every little Facebook or Instagram notification?
Do you nd yourself scrolling through a Facebook wall or Instagram feed endlessly?
I have bad news for you. Not only it ruins your productivity, but it also completely drains your brain. Don’t believe me? Check this article right here: Notifications Literally Drain The Energy Reserves of Your Brain
It’s time to redesign your phone’s internal architecture. Here is how I set up mine.
As you can see, everything is organized and designed with a purpose in mind.
I have apps that allow me to train my brain, read books, track health, finance, and many other aspects of my life, all clustered together so I don’t forget to use them.
This allows me to never lose focus on what’s important and be able to always know where my edge is and lean just beyond it.
#3 – The Zen State of Deep Work
Now that we got the phone and technology issue out of the way, let’s get back to organizing your day.
Once you are done with your morning routine, it’s time to get to your “Most Important Thing”, or MIT for short.
For some of you, it could be showing your best self at work, others might be working on their own business, or you may need to attend high school or college.
The time right after your morning routine is the most important time for you to capitalize on. You have about 4 hours of your prime time when your brain has all the energy creativity, focus you need to do some real damage.
Think of it as bars of energy and creativity that get slowly depleted over the course of the next few hours.
When you get to the bottom of the bar it starts to ash and becomes red – your focus and creativity start to dwindle.
As I said previously you have around 4 hours of prime time. It doesn’t mean that you can just work 4 hours non-stop. You have to strategize how to distribute your mental energy in a way that’s sustainable.
#4 – Enter the Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro Technique is all about managing your focus and segmenting your time into chunks of productivity and scheduled distraction.
If your “focus muscle” is out of shape right now, you can build it up by starting with a small 25-minute productivity chunk followed by a 10- minute break and build it up from there.
Once you get pretty good at it, you can easily bust 2 hours of undistracted, deep work session followed by 10 minutes of break.
If a lack of focus is something that you want to delve deeper into I recommend you read a book called “Deep Work” by Cal Newport.
-The most important thing is that you never get stuck in the grey zone of distracted work or multitasking. When you work, you want all of your attention to be focused on working, when you’re recovering you want all of your attention on anything but work.
-Instead of trying to focus for long stretches of time (which leads to distracted work), all you have to focus on is just one block of time then take a break.
-Never feel guilty about taking a break. Your brain is physiologically wired to be able to focus for only a certain time before it runs out of fuel.
#4 – The Strategic Planning System
“You either run the day or the day runs you” Jim Rohn
So by now you hopefully are tracking your habits and nothing slips through the cracks.
But, even though you got this handled, you still may feel stressed out and overwhelmed. A lot of stuff that you’re doing might be getting done at the last minute, you may still feel like you’re always putting res out.
The next key skill is the ability to think long-term.
You might be used to thinking in the span of what’s happening today or maybe today and tomorrow. If you want to truly master your life, you have to expand your ability to plan to at least a week ahead.
Once you learn how to plan your weeks it will take a lot of pressure off because all of a sudden you won’t feel like you have to get everything done in one day.
This skill comes in handy especially if you have a tendency to be overly ambitious and always over-plan your day, but always finish with a laundry list of things to do that has one or two things checked off (out of 10 or more!)
#5 – Strategy vs Tactics
If you take a purely tactical approach to your days, you are only concerned with a single battle (taking it one day at a time) without paying attention to the overall war (the larger context of a week, month, year, etc. that this day is situated in).
The problem with being good only with tactics is that you can win every battle, but you can still lose the overall war.
That’s why there is a whole nother level of mastery for you to get good at – strategy.
At the level of strategy, you take a top-down overview of all the battles (weeks or months). This meta-level perspective allows you to decide what would be the most strategic way to accomplish your long-term goals.
Thinking long term is easily one of the most important skills for anyone to master and yet it’s very much under-appreciated.
If you want to get good at anything, your ability to think long-term, strategize and delay the immediate gratification for the sake of a longer-term vision is going to be your #1 asset in life.
GetPlan – this is the best tool I have found to strategically manage your time – bar none. By using Getplan you will always know what is the most important thing for you to do now.
The reason why it’s so effective is that it allows you to train yourself to think long term as well as:
-Store your vision and your goals for next year, and upcoming months so you can always keep them handy.
-Gives you a structure to prioritize things in the most effective way
-Strategize your weeks and months around your goals with surgical precision by keeping your to-do list and your calendar on one screen
There are more benefits of using Getplan than I can count, it’s the holy grail of productivity.
I hope that by now you can realize the value of systematizing your life in order to get what you want out of it.
What I am about to give you is a custom system that will allow you to easily prioritize your tasks.
Not just tasks related to your work, but stuff related to all areas of life – health, wealth, relationships, and happiness.
This system will allow you to zoom out, take an elevated big picture perspective, and set priorities for your next days, weeks months, and even years to come.
#6 – Action Item: Brain Dump
Before you sign up with GetPlan (click here to sign up for free), I want you to first take everything you have stored on other to-do lists, or stuff you have in your head and dump it into one document.
Ideally, put it into an electronic format, but it doesn’t matter what tool you use.
The goal of this exercise is to have all your vision, goals, plans, tasks, and actions in one place (yes also the ones that you wrote down in previous exercises).
Remember that diagram?
Now it’s time to put the vision and goals you created before into a system that will keep you accountable.
Before you can do it, first get to know the GetPlan fundamentals by checking out their tutorials.
Once you get to know the platform you can then set up a basic custom template like in the image below and start putting your vision, goals, and actions in a strategic format.
Click on the video below to see me explain the Getplan custom template in more detail.
How to Use GetPlan For Planning Out Your Life:
Before you watch the video, I strongly suggest you get familiar with native Getplan tutorials and get comfortable with how the app is set up.
I hope that by now you start to realize the value of having a system like that. This is what will get you to start thinking strategically. You have an overview of everything, an overview of the entire territory.
From that place, you can make the best long-term decisions.
Think of yourself as a general on a battlefield who has to win the entire campaign instead of just the battle.
A successful general is one that has taken the time to formulate the proper strategy, instead of winging it willy nilly, always acting on your emotions and slacking off when you don’t feel like doing it anymore.
This allows you to live on your agenda, not just reacting to things chronologically as they come, without being aware of what is their impact on the big picture of your life.
Now you are equipped with a tool to respond to things in a strategic way without being overwhelmed and with a clear headspace.
#7 – Action Item: Start Using GetPlan
The next thing you need to do is to create your own strategic planning system based on GetPlan.
Get back to the exercises we’ve done previously and started putting your vision and goals into the system in the same way it was explained in the video.
PS. Hey man, thanks for reading – I hope you found this information valuable.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
Also, share it with a friend that may find that life-changing information to be of value.
Speak soon, man!
I help men evolve into a person they want to become by giving them a personalized roadmap to success.