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Knowing the port one is sailing to

September 27, 2020

If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable.

Seneca the Younger

For the past couple of months, I've been doing more planning and reviewing. So far, the most useful review session was also the longest one — the one I did for the current year. It gave me a kick in the butt to change things with my work and made me realize that I needed to change things.

Not doing these reviews results in being in the autopilot mode. Since it's hard to find time to reflect because of all the work that needs to be done, this leads to not questioning day-to-day activities. Because I'm heads down, I don't have time to take a step back and ask myself if I'm going in the right direction. But, sprinting in the wrong direction is worse than standing still.

Because of the quote mentioned above, that keeps ricocheting in my head, I like to visualize myself as a ship. Not as the ordinary ship, but as the one that can either go forward or change direction. When I do the planning, I change the direction. When I execute the plan, I go straight ahead. That's why it's a good idea to spend some time planning and thinking about my goals. This time pays off.

Planning has given me much-needed guidance, and I'm more deliberate with my day-to-day. I don't let weeks go by. It guides my daily habits. It's much easier to be intentional and know what needs to be done when there's a plan.

Currently, there are four types of planning I do:

  • mid-year planning - the big-picture planning
  • 42 days plan - planning for longer projects that need to get done
  • weekly plan - planning for the current week
  • daily plan - journaling for reflection and habit tracker for execution

Every planning type guides the one below it. So the mid-year planning guides the 42 days plan and so on. The planning session duration gets shorter as the plan period gets shorter. I spend a week thinking about my mid-year plan, a day thinking about a 42 days plan, half an hour for the weekly plan, and a couple of minutes for the daily plan.

So far, I'm thrilled with the results and feel much more confident with my day-to-day decisions. I have found more direction in my day-to-day. I find it much easier to stick with my habits when I know why I'm doing them.

Reflection and assessing my success from week to week makes me take this planning more seriously. It's not something I write down and then forget about.

I don't want to be like a ship that doesn't know to which port it's sailing. Goals are my port, and the planning is the map for how to get there.

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