Most of us understand that being busy and being productive aren’t the same thing. We can create busy work for ourselves all day long, but is that work moving you towards your goals? Is it accomplishing something? Or is it just filling up the white space on your calendar?
The answer to your lack of productivity isn’t working more – it’s working more intentionally.
How can you be more intentional so you can get more done in less time? Consider the Intentional Calendar Mapping Method, a simple method of identifying your goals and priorities then creating an intentional plan to make sure you always have time to focus on them.
Step 1: Create a clear vision of success
If you don’t know where your ultimate destination is, how can you map out a way to get there?
Ask yourself these questions to get crystal clear on what your vision of success looks like:
- What does your business and life look like when you’ve “made it”?
- What does your work day look like? Script out “a day in the life” schedule of your perfect work day.
- How much money are you making?
- How do you work with the clients or customers that your business serves?
- What does your personal life look like?
Step 2: Create measurable goals based on your vision
To set realistic and achievable outcomes, we can use the SMART method for setting goals based on what our vision of success is. Remember, SMART stands for:
Specific: What do I want to happen?
Measurable: How will I know when I have achieved my goal?
Attainable: Is the goal realistic?
Relevant: Why is my goal important to me?
Timely: What is my deadline for this goal?
Step 3: Understand where your time is currently going so you can make room for more important things.
Sometimes, to understand where we’re going, we have to first look at where we’ve been. The key to being intentional with your time (and accomplishing more as a result) is to prioritize the things that matter most to you.
More often than not, this means saying no to things that aren’t going to move you closer to your vision of success, and creating time and space for the things that will.
If you already feel short on time, make the effort to review your last 30 days and see where most of your time has been spent.
If you’re already a Pav*r user, running a report would be a great place to start. Remember, good data in = GREAT data out. Pav*r can tell you exactly how and where you’re spending your time.
Step 4: Create your Intentional Calendar Map
Now that you’ve set your SMART goals and created time on your calendar to work towards them, you’re ready to create your Intentional Calendar Map! Here’s what you’ll put on your calendar:
1. Implementation Intentions for working towards your SMART goals.
An implementation intention is created by saying I will work on [goal] at [day/time] in [location]. Create implementation intentions for each of your SMART goals then add them to your calendar and remember to treat that calendar event just like you would any other important meeting or event – meaning you would never cancel it unless absolutely necessary.
2. Reactive Time
Reactive time is time for doing things like checking emails, taking last minute meetings or phone calls, and for any other “fires” that might pop up during your day. By creating space for these tasks ahead of time, you not only guarantee they get done, but you take back control of your time by saying “I can’t do this right now, but I have time for it at (whatever time you’ve scheduled a reactive block)”.
3. To-Do List Tasks
There’s always going to be things on your to-do list that aren’t necessarily part of your SMART goals. There’s work that needs to be done to keep your life and your business moving forward. Make time for these tasks throughout the day so you ensure you stay on schedule and don’t have to worry about what’s slipping through the cracks. Once you’ve scheduled your SMART goal Implementation Intentions, Reactive Time, and To-Do List time, you’ve got a calendar map that can be exported from the Pav*r application! Our goal with an Intentional Calendar Map isn’t to fill every second of your day, it’s to create time for the things that are going to create that vision of success and give you back time to spend however you want. The only thing left to do is to review & revise your calendar map as needed. Create reports weekly, or monthly, in Pav*r to see where your time is going so you can plan better for the week/month ahead.
Need a little extra help creating your Intentional Calendar Map? We’ve got a free 3-Day Challenge that will walk you through each step and ensure you’ve got a solid map for your next 90 days.