The Planning Challenge

Discussion in 'Events & Challenges' started by Force Majeure, Jan 30, 2020.

  1. Force Majeure

    Force Majeure Fapstronaut

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    The goal of this challenge is to get better in achieving goals. The challenge is simple: decide a time in the morning when you should begin your planning of the day at the latest. You write a plan about what you want to achieve for the day, try do make it as detailed as needed and have implementation intentions in mind so that it gets easy to act upon various situations when they arise. When you check in, summarise how well you executed the plan for the last day.

    Background:

    Since the last six months, I've had a hard time struggling with inefficiency during the working hours. The reason behind this is that I am nowadays working from home and it's just too easy to do something else and just ignore my long term goals. I'm trying to go under the radar when my wife asks me how the day has been and I'm trying to dodge specific questions about how my progress has been and so on. I'm feeling ashamed of myself and the self-discipline I have developed in other areas doesn't seem to have any effect when it comes to working performance.

    It's really time to do something about this. Thanks to @Philosophical_Dad for suggesting me to look into implementation intentions :)

    Rules:
    * Decide the number of days to do this challenge and stick to it. E.g. 30 days. Also decide a time when you should have started your planning at the latest. Also if you're doing it Monday-Friday or anything else.
    * Check in every day (preferably, not strictly needed)
    * You check in by saying you have made a plan for the day and you summarise how well you accomplished the plan for the last day.
    * Any violation of the rules results in a reset :)
    * If any rule above doesn't fit you, make the change, write the modification down when you join (or reset), then commit, execute.
    * you start from zero and reach one when you have made your first plan.

    Optional: if you want to share your plan to others, feel free to do so.

    Tip: I'm going to have a dedicated log book where I write down my plans and follow ups. Then it's going to be easy to track my improvements over time.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2020
  2. Force Majeure

    Force Majeure Fapstronaut

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    And with that said, I'm in, 0/30

    Starting from tomorrow with a 30-day challenge, doing it Monday to Friday and the planning should have started five minutes after I get home from leaving my kids at school, at the latest.
     
  3. Philosophical_Dad

    Philosophical_Dad Fapstronaut

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    I like this--I'm in!

    I'll start my planning by 10:30 a.m. Mondays-Fridays. I'll shoot for five straight days (a M-F stretch) to start with and see how it goes.

    I start work late in the morning because I take care of my daughter until 9-9:30 and meditate for 30-45 minutes after that. I'd like to start working earlier but I've found that taking that time to meditate is worth it in the long-run (maybe even in the short-run).

    Implementation intentions:
    - One of the main things that can delay my planning, funnily enough, is the idea that I need to meditate first. But then sometimes I procrastinate on meditating. So if it's past 9:45 and I haven't meditated yet, I'll just plan my time for the day and include meditation in the plan.
    - Another thing that delays my planning is feeling like I'll just get one little bit of work done first. Then one thing leads to another and I never do any planning. If I feel like I need to do one little thing, I'll make that thing planning.
     
  4. Philosophical_Dad

    Philosophical_Dad Fapstronaut

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    I didn't quite succeed yesterday. Around lunchtime, I got distracted helping my wife get our daughter to each lunch. Today I have a deadline so I'll have to stick to my schedule.

    I think I need another implementation intention:
    - If I feel family or household stuff pulling me off track, I'll give my daughter/wife a hug, tell them I love them, and say, "I really need to get back on schedule now. It's what's best for our family."
     
  5. Force Majeure

    Force Majeure Fapstronaut

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    1/30.
    I did a large mind-map of everything I'm going to do and then I used this when I planned my day with the most important thing first. I started to work afterwards and unfortunately I got stuck pretty fast and was trying to solve a certain thing in various ways but nothing worked out. I have not yet come up with a solution on how to solve it so after post-analysis of the day I cannot really see how I could have done anything better. I took short breaks every hour and had a decent lunch break (~50 mins), so when it comes to planning, I think I did an ok job.

    I'm really happy to get some company here, thanks!

    Yeah I've been reasoning quite the same for as long as I can remember, I have always just started to work on something that would lead to another thing and so on. No planning at all. However, just because I have never planned my work before doesn't mean that that is the right way to go for me! Maybe it's exactly the planning that is missing for me being awesome when it comes to work. Also, just by doing a plan in the morning will be an implementation intention in itself so I'm curious to see if this will lead to better results anyway.

    Wait a minute, are you working from home while your wife and daughter is at home at the same time? That must be tough... I was working like this for nine months when my two daughters were three years old and it was quite challenging. How does it work for you? Hope it works out for you :)
     
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  6. Philosophical_Dad

    Philosophical_Dad Fapstronaut

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    That's right. They're gone most of the day. But yes, there are stretches where I'm working and can hear them downstairs. It works okay. I go in my office and shut the door. But it certainly leads to the occasional distraction.

    0/7

    Failed again yesterday.

    But succeeded today! (I'll put in that 1 tomorrow.)
     
  7. Force Majeure

    Force Majeure Fapstronaut

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    2/30. I did a good plan and got through the big obstacle I was facing last Friday. Feels great.
     
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  8. Philosophical_Dad

    Philosophical_Dad Fapstronaut

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  9. Force Majeure

    Force Majeure Fapstronaut

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    The day before yesterday: reset. I had a meeting that took the whole day in practise so I didn't have time to plan anything. I will add a rule:
    I'm allowed to pause the challenge if I have a good reason to do that, as long as I specify when I should start the challenge again.

    For example, I got home from the meeting at 2 pm and didn't even think about writing a plan as the first thing to do. It took me one hour before I wrote the plan. If I had specified how long the pause should be, I had decided it to be until I got home again plus five minutes.

    Yesterday: 1/30. I did a good plan, however, I got stuck at a task along the way and didn't know how to solve it, so I took quite a long pause. It actually helped me much since I managed to solve the problem, however, I didn't really execute the last hours in an effective way so I could have been doing that better.

    Today: to be executed.
     
  10. Philosophical_Dad

    Philosophical_Dad Fapstronaut

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    0/7

    I keep telling myself to work with the pomodoro technique but don't follow through on that. When I do poms, I exercise in between work intervals. This seems to help with my focus, mental health, and physical health. When I don't do poms, and just work and work for stretches of whatever length, my back ends up feeling worse and I feel more frantic. So that will be my big goal for today. It's the part of my plans I've most consistently failed to implement.
     
  11. Force Majeure

    Force Majeure Fapstronaut

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    2/30. Did a lot of work last working day so happy with the result. Looking forward to continue tomorrow.
     
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  12. Philosophical_Dad

    Philosophical_Dad Fapstronaut

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  13. Force Majeure

    Force Majeure Fapstronaut

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  14. Philosophical_Dad

    Philosophical_Dad Fapstronaut

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  15. Force Majeure

    Force Majeure Fapstronaut

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  16. Force Majeure

    Force Majeure Fapstronaut

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    How come you didn’t write a plan?
     
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  17. Philosophical_Dad

    Philosophical_Dad Fapstronaut

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    I wrote one out but didn't stick to it. That tends to happen. I think I should write more flexible plans to increase my chances of sticking to them.

    On the bright side, I haven't been procrastinating. It's more that I get carried away with one task and don't follow my plan. For example, I often don't do poms, though my plan says to do so. While this may not dramatically reduce my productivity, I think it's worse for my health, mental and physical.

    So yeah, today I'll try a more flexible plan.
     
  18. Philosophical_Dad

    Philosophical_Dad Fapstronaut

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  19. Force Majeure

    Force Majeure Fapstronaut

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    What I had in mind with this challenge was to get better in planning the day, not necessarily following the plan strictly. Of course that’s a good thing to do, but after reading about implementation intentions I realised that just by making a plan will increase my probability of success. After these few days I must say it has been working really well. So my aim is to get more and more productive while I’m doing this challenge and executing the day is what I’m working on to improve.

    As long as I’m writing a plan in the morning, I will not make a reset - regardless of the outcome of the day. That was at least my point, of course it’s up to you how you modify your rules to fit you the best. I think for me it would be too hard to reset whenever I think I haven’t been productive for like seven or eight hours, so for me it’s necessary to start like this and then level up after the first month :)
     
  20. Philosophical_Dad

    Philosophical_Dad Fapstronaut

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    That makes a lot of sense. I'll try my more flexible plans. If I'm still unable to stick to them I'll switch to your approach.
     

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