Ever feel like your day is drowning you?

Here’s how you can stay ahead of your day, and boost your productivity by over 30% in just 21 days.

I recently shared some thoughts on how perceptions shape our reality, and one reader’s comments got me thinking.

I had two experiences that were nearly identical, except for my vision.

Compare the first experience → The perfect light detailed each frozen edge and nook on the trail with a crisp outline. Each of those nooks communicating through the sled to me as I went by. Each rich piece of the experience passed at about forty miles per hour and yet it seemed to be happening in slow motion.

To the second → The sky was blanketed in low clouds, and the texture of the ground, once so richly detailed, was now … replaced with a puffy, muted, flatness. What had only an hour before seemed like slow motion now seemed terribly fast. The vibrations … were no longer a physical confirmation … but rather a series of surprising announcements.

The two experiences felt completely different because of my limited perceptions in the second case.

One reader responded with this: “Great post! And spot on! Growing up my dad and I raced hydroplanes. If you were calm and “ahead” of the boat, it all felt like it was going slow. But the moment you lost focus and got “behind” the boat it felt wild and out-of-control.”

And he really nailed it with this: “Funny, it didn’t hit me until just now that maybe, just maybe, this is something I should consider when life seems to be driving me….that if I can refocus and get that split second of control back, things will feel like I’m driving them.”

Here is how I stay ahead of my calendar. I use my own optimal weekly planner: The Block and Tackle Sheet. Its title is a play on words. Block out your Time & Tackle any Derailers!

The document is a two-page productivity booster which I prefer to fill out on Saturday or Sunday before my week starts. You can adjust to your own schedule as needed. It is built out in these five sections, and it is a fillable PDF which lets you keep track of how you are doing.

1) The first section is an assessment of how you did last week by ranking five key parameters that lead to higher performance on a scale of 1-10. We do this because this week’s gains are boosted by leveraging last week’s momentum.

2) Next you switch sides of your brain and briefly journal about your previous week. There are three questions, and I usually write about two of three sentences for each. First question: What meaningful successes did I have last week?

3) Follow-ups and reminders come next. These are the people that we need to contact, and the ones that we are waiting on. Treat your relationships like gold, because they are.

4) Now pick three high-value goals that you are working on this week, and break each one down into specific action items that move those goals closer to completion.

5) Then block out your time by assigning each of those action items a block in your calendar. Set yourself a reminder and then . . . . follow your plan!

Do this for a week and compare how you did vs. your plan, and use that to fill out the next week’s Block and Tackle sheet.

If you stick with this for just twenty-one days, most people see a 30% jump in their productivity; many see a 50%+ bump.

Get the Block and Tackle sheet here and let me know how it’s going. Cheers!

Block and Tackle Sheet – Optimal Weekly Planner

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