A huge part of having good time management skills is getting things done in an efficient manner, however, it’s easy to get caught up in day-to-day planning and lose sight of your overarching goals. Having a big picture plan can help refine your focus and give you the peace of mind that you are on track.
This week I started to get antsy. I’m juggling multiple projects right now and I was starting to feel increasingly worried that I didn’t have a handle on how everything was going to be finished. I was being productive each day, but my days felt disjointed and haphazard. (Sound familiar?)
I knew I needed a clear, big picture plan. I sat down with a calendar and mapped out which projects I was going to be focused on each week. I sketched out my plan all the way through August. Now, I must say, I feel far less anxious about my workload.
Rules for a Big Picture Plan
1) Use a New Sheet of Paper
Your big picture plan can’t be on the same calendar you use to keep track of normal deadlines. That is far too cluttered.
2) Don’t Write Down Every Single Obligation
The purpose of the big picture plan is to show you broad projects to focus on. This is not the place to script out exactly which hours you’ll devote to which project.
3) Try to Pick 1-2 Focus Tasks
No doubt you will still need to juggle multiple tasks at once, but choosing one or two tasks that will be your priority during a set time period really helps to rein in your focus. This doesn’t mean you can’t work on other things. It just means you’ll know what your priorities are.
Here is an example of the tasks I put in my big picture plan for May.
May 1st-5th: Prep Time Diet Workshop
May 6th-14th: School concerts
May 15th– 25th: Record online class videos
May 26th-31st: Work on summer class
What tasks will you add to your big picture plan?
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Photo Credit: Chanpipat