Friday comes It’s been a long week you’re feeling it and looking forward to your long weekend as you know that next week is going to also be a busy week packed with client work, meetings, and side projects. In this article Andrew the founder of The Logo Creative discusses How to have a clear vision and plan of attack.
You’re passionate and devoted to your work and packed out with client work and meetings etc which is great but you love what you do and want to also keep up with putting out some good content and would like to devote some time into content creation if you can squeeze it in between your client work and meetings you have scheduled.
It’s Friday you’re sitting at your desk about to go into a 3 day weekend all your work for the week is complete, and your tired and relieved your hit all your deadlines all you want to do is rest but you know you have a busy week approaching and you are not due back in the office until Tuesday.
My advice is to use this time you have on a Friday to plan your approach going into next week and beyond, and don’t see Friday as an early finish day to leave for the weekend. Be happy and hyped that you are at the finish line for this week and you have a break lined up but you still need to be focused for the upcoming weeks and months and Have a Clear Vision and Structured Plan of Attack for what lies ahead.
I thought I would share my thoughts on Have a Clear Vision and Structured Plan of Attack leading into another busy week.
These things always hit us hard especially when we’re going to be going into a long weekend, and the majority of us just let our guard down, switch off for a well-deserved break from the work grind. We then go off for the weekend to relax and have some fun, and you’re not fully prepared for what awaits you the following week.
Stop and think about it for a second you leave the office get home your kids will be finishing school if you have kids their friends will be coming around or you will be getting things ready for what you’re about to be doing with your family and friends and things are going to get a little crazy.
When you return to the office after your break you will not have a clear vision and plan of attack for the week ahead.
How to have a clear vision and plan of attack
Spend some time right now if you’re about to break off for the weekend or your off on holiday or just due a few days off for a break utilise this time to prepare, trust me it’s worth it.
So many of us want to do certain things such as working on your business, landing a better job, complete or work on improving your portfolio, start a podcast, record and edit a video for your YouTube channel whatever it may be there is always something.
I personally have tones of ideas and things I want to accomplish, and sometimes I get that overwhelmed I get burnt out, in fact, I have suffered burn out several times this year, in fact, the last time which was a couple of months ago it was that bad I had to see the doctor as I had not experienced anything like it before.
I’m carefully preparing what I am doing so I have that clear vision and a plan of attack so when I do suffer from burn out again which I know I will at some point I can recuperate regain my motivation and get back on track because I’m prepared.
The main issue is when we don’t have that clear plan, and structured approach that we are abiding by we basically just go through our days, weeks subconsciously we’re just reacting to things that come about and we feel productive because we are doing something like answering emails or doing other things that just keep us moving forward.
When you get to the end of the week and you look back at what you did, did you really achieve something that you really wanted to do? Or are you spreading yourself too thin?
I feel that this can be the case when you don’t have a clear structured plan of attack. I still have to stop myself and sit back and think it through.
Such as where I’m I going within the next few months, where will I be at in the third quarter of next year as I have so many things that I want to complete I need to do this to the website, write all those case studies for past projects I have completed, keep up with the designer interviews and book reviews which are really time-consuming things while also doing client work, but I want to do it because I love to do it but I also have a million other things to do also, and if I don’t have that clear structured plan, things will get lost in the week or months ahead.
I’ll look back a week from now and think I was nowhere near as productive as I could have been if I had that clear structured plan of attack. It also helps to have a clear workspace as this will also help you be more productive by having a clear and more productive workspace, and as the saying goes a clean desk is a tidy worker.
How do I prepare a clear structured plan?
There is no right or wrong way of creating a clear structured plan of attack the only thing that matters is that it is documented and you understand the steps you have to take to complete that chosen task you also need to be focused on the task at hand clear your mind and focus on what you need to do.
I will share with you my simple way of creating a simple clear and structured plan, you don’t need any fancy apps to document your steps and stages the only thing you need is pen and paper that’s right you can do it the old fashioned way.
You can word process this as a document or in your note-taking app if you prefer but for simplicity and time, you can just use a pen and paper.
The below example is a document I created and have been using for a while now not all the time but when things start to get a little overwhelming, and when I feel that build up in my mind I use this sheet that enables me to focus on one task at a time giving me a clear vision and structure and the task at hand until its complete.
You can start with days, weeks or months with as many tasks as you like. To keep things simple and manageable I keep it to 5 tasks even though there is more I document theses as the most important tasks I want to accomplish first and forget about the other stuff on the list for now.
I use focused tunnel vision that i talk about below while going through each week’s line completing sub-goals that will lead to the completion of each week’s goal. You can have as many sub-goals as you need, I try to keep with 4 so I can do a sub-goal each day and still have a free day in the week.
I also have an annual one set out with quarterly goals that I check on each month to keep on track and monitor my milestones and overall goals for the year.
To save printing it off every time I want to use it I laminated it and use a dry wipe pen so I can keep it on my desk and reuse the next time I have a lot of things going on and I want to focus my tunnel vision on completing my tasks as productively as I can.
– You can click on the image below to enlarge
Having Focused Tunnel Vision to Achieve Your Goals
The best advice I can give you as this is working for me is to have a clear vision and a structured plan when you get back to the office from your break know exactly how you are going to approach what it is you have on your schedule to be as productive as you can.
Another tip I want to give you is as we have so many ideas and thing we want to complete and achieve in my experience it’s impossible to focus on all of them at once, and you could be like me and be really good at multitasking and working on several things at once but it’s not being fully productive and will lead to you burning yourself out quicker, and you may get a lot done but you will need a lot more time to recuperate and this is a vicious circle as you will lose so much time if you keep doing this method of working.
Gain that tunnel vision, and zero in on one particular task that you want to accomplish whether that be learning a new design technique, working on your website, improving your portfolio, completing that case study or recording and editing that video you just don’t seem to have time to finish whatever the task is set it focus and complete it one by one not all at the same time.
You have to get that tunnel vision going and constantly let things go, your mind will be telling you “you need to do this!” “you have to do that!” don’t listen let them go not forever just for now as we are focused on a task, and have a clear structured plan we are following to complete and achieve our goal.
Everyone that grinds and is successful at something will at some point had tunnel vision and they too will have had to leave a lot of things behind to push forward with what they are doing.
Those things you are not fully focused on let them go you will get to them next week, or a month from now or even a year they will be achieved just not right now. Do this and reap the benefits if you develop tunnel vision and stay focused on the task at hand.
Focus on one task at a time, let it consume you work at it and stick with that task until it’s completed and you will be happier in yourself and the other things that were piling up will not seem as important but you will get to them eventually. You may also find this article about Time Management Tips and Techniques for Freelance Designers helpful too.
The key is to have a plan and structure it then focus, focus, focus on that task and stick with it until its completed rather than trying to hit everything all at once this really does not help your brain function or help it focus on anything your just clogging it up which will lead to mental burn out and you will shut down and not be able to focus on anything as you will be mentally tired.
I hope this article about How to Have a Clear Vision and Structured Plan of Attack has been helpful, We are not machines and do the best we can, give it a try It works for me to keep focused on a given task.
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