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Scheduling Your Success

The role a schedule will play in optimizing your work-life balance.

Maintaining balance is a skill that can be honed and developed through practice and patience. Our social environment can seem fast-paced and exciting; in many cases, that statement holds. However, when we understand how this "go with the flow" mindset can put individuals years behind in developing critical skills, we can begin to understand the importance of establishing a routine to combat our desire to wing it.

When we think of almost anyone who has developed into an elite in any category, from your favorite athlete to a famous chef, or writer, these individuals will certainly have the talent they have been born with. However, to be the best version of themselves for either your entertainment or their gain, a process is in place for them to succeed.

Plan Reasonable Steps.

The first step is to think about the goal you have in mind and whether that goal is obtainable in the short or long term. Whatever the task at hand may entail, we are looking to break down what needs to be done into more digestible bodies of work. This is a tool that I have implemented in my personal and professional career. Becoming overwhelmed with any given task can cause stress and affect your production. This becomes even more of an issue when you work with others to complete a project.

Take time to break down each step; from that point, the goal is to prioritize them. This is where you can get creative. These sub-tasks can be prioritized by difficulty, level of engagement, the time required to complete, etc. This will allow you to understand your workflow as you check off each assignment you bring to completion.

We seek to satisfy ourselves through the progress we are making, which can be visually apparent as we work through our goals. To take this step further, share your idea with a friend, loved one, or even a coworker. Walk them through your process and have an external motivating force to hold you accountable. This may seem awkward at first, but showing others your progress shows your progress with a bit more skin in the game.

Give yourself a timeframe.

Action steps mean nothing without a timeframe to abide by. Setting your objectives with a specific time to accomplish a set goal is an added layer that will allow your efficiencies to be tested. This is how you can hone your skills and understand areas of improvement. Time is a reference point for talent; use a timeframe as the finish line, and when you cross, how does your work look? This is where you can review to understand where improvements can be made for the next piece of work you take on.

Efficiency is valuable; the same can be said for precision, and a balance between the two will, without a doubt, lead to success.

Reward yourself.

Always pat yourself on the back and set a reward for yourself in your planning phase. There is nothing wrong with enjoying the fruits of your labor. This is a powerful way to continue your push throughout the steps you have set for yourself. I am even in favor of scaling your reward to the accomplishments. The more challenging or laborious the task, the greater the reward.

As I have mentioned in "Waiting Is Costing You Your Life," this period of enjoyment is not permanent but a pause to reflect on your accomplishment and to prepare for the next. Use this time of celebration to not only reflect on the past but understand this is a feeling you will strive for over and over by having processes in place to help you do so, much like the hiker who reaches the mountaintop to take in the beauty of his surroundings. It becomes abundantly clear that his mission is not complete as there are taller, steeper, more challenging mountains to conquer. But this feeling is only present when the hiker reaches the top; from below, the focus is on the mission. At the peak, the task is complete; what comes to mind is what will come next.


Lastly, we have come from the most critical part of this process. I am a firm believer in consistent, relentless effort. Success for me starts in this repeat stage of planning. Don't get me wrong starting is never easy to do. However, when I think about the meaning of a successful person, I lean towards the idea of someone continuing to accomplish their goals. I find the accomplishments associated with longevity more profound than the one-hit wonder. This section separates "luck" from "skill"; there is no doubt a connection exists between being in the right place at the right time and using that to propel oneself.

Keep a log of your accomplishments as you progress through them. Keep a file of how you perform each and how you have adapted to new challenges. This will allow you to review your process to improve them and provide a visual representation of your achievements. Your trophies, if you will act as motivation in themselves to help your journey.

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