I often get asked - how do I plan? I'm not claiming any system or holistic approach, but describing how I do it.
I started trying meaningful planning about 30 years ago, using different type of software, like MS Project, and consistently went through all those Gant-es, a bunch of different software, and countless organizers. Conclusion: All of the above has nothing to do with planning, but there are a few details.
Most people start planning with an idea of where you would like to be. I've been doing this for 30 years, and I've come to the conclusion that it doesn't work.
Setting a goal of where you would like to be is the second best thing to do, but overall it is weakly motivating. I'm sure I've made more life strategies of my own than anyone who reads me. All those beautifully detailed plans are quietly sleeping in the endless expanse of my archives.
In those rosy plans, I've become a billionaire many times over and moved the powerful from Olympus. But when I look on Olympus, even on the local scale, I cannot see myself even with a telescope and Zeiss lenses. So I've concluded that I'm doing something wrong.
A proverb says that only a Russian steps on a rake twice. That all changed when I changed the planning paradigm and now it goes like this:
First, I imagine what the most fucked-up hell I wouldn't want to be in looks like, including the popular set of poverty, fucked-up health, loneliness, regret for wasted years, disappointed friends, scorned children, inability to watch movies every day, heat without air conditioning and an old, glitchy computer with a sticky keyboard... That is, I draw a picture of a place I would really hate to be in.
Then I identify the actual prerequisites that are already in place and capable of pinpointing me in the castle of woe, if I don't at least somehow get my ass moved.
As soon as this poetic image establishes itself in my mind, I immediately feel a candle under my arse. You can appreciate my surprising discovery - it turns out that our head and ass are much closer to each other than how it is described in anatomical atlases.
Moreover, having a candle under your butt is more reminiscent of the principle of jet propulsion - as if something behind you starts pushing you forward, and if the movement slows down, just remember the image of personal hell, and the speed picks up again.
This is where I made my second revolutionary discovery in physics, namely, the conversion of hellish fantasies into real movement in objective reality. Do you feel greatness? All you have to do is conjure up an abominable image in your head, and your arms and legs start twitching at an extraordinary speed.
Which once again confirms the thesis that it is fear that is our main ally, carefully supplying us with cortisol, causing anxiety, panic and terror to the point of total immobility.
Alas, the old thesis that a candle under your arse motivates better than a torch on your head still works. There's a funny story on this subject, told by Milton Erickson, about how he was asked to make contact with a lady who had been in an asylum for 20 years, not talking or responding to anything. It took Erickson no more than 7 seconds to solve the problem, and I won't tell you about that because the topic is about something else.
When the fear flooded in, I went into a state of panic, which is very helpful for people with memory problems. YOU NEVER FORGET AN ASSHOLE IF YOU FIND YOURSELF IN ONE. Panic is paralysing, but it's needed to burnish all the negative emotions in your relaxed brain. Pain helps. Remember - Ray Dalio's words: "....Pain plus thinking about it = progress. Pain always shows you: something is going wrong. If you can quickly figure out what it is and fix the problem, you are progressing in the right direction....". Listen to Ray Dalio - he's a rich daddy, a real infomercial who made his fortune investing the money of the lazy and fearful.
Then I got out of panic mode, but she, panic, continues to help me more than all the motivational books put together. As I fall asleep, I REALLY remember my arse, and I wake up instantly. It's like an anchor in my head. Works great, better than notes to myself... (Hehe, notes don't hurt you).
Remember - anything that doesn't hurt you doesn't work. In general, moto works best: "A week of being ruthless to yourself." Maybe some people don't like it, but it works for me.
I mean, I only start planning when I'm fully awake and really want to escape from hell. Yeah, sure, I paint myself pretty rosy goals, but honestly, if you compare the level of emotion and impact, a candle under my ass is still better than a torch on my head. For the torch only shines, while the candle burns the body.
All, literally all, successful businessmen have acted solely under the influence of candles, fear, terror and panic, not some mythical motivation. Motivation only lives in books, while in life, fear and animal terror live on, and that is good, for fear is the first enemy, but when you conquer it, it becomes a friend.
Fear is an enemy when it prevents you from acting, but if you defeat it once, there is nothing that helps you to act better than fear. Andreessen Horowitz wrote about this perfectly, "When I was a start-up, I slept like a baby - waking up every two hours and crying!"
Planning needs a tool and a method. I use common sense as my method (I'm being sly, of course) and Notion as my tool. Because planning is about thinking, it's about forming the right questions.
When I started out, I used to set SMART goals before I realised it wasn't working. This is how employees in corporations set goals, whose main task is to get the budget out of their bosses. In business, I apply the formula:
S+ M+E+2F+A +T+U
S - Specific
M - Measurable
E - Excitement
2F - Fear #1 - Fear of the goal, because you don't know how to reach it + Fear#2 - Fear, because you know what will be fucked if you don't reach it.
A - Agility (Agility, Adaptability), because you know how to achieve, in the process of coming up with many objectives, you test, and you can not say in advance what will work and what will not - so the goal should be flexible + in the process of moving the goal may float. This is normal because business is about learning and learning new things.
T - Time - yes, the goal should be time-bound, otherwise nothing will happen.
U - Unstoppable. You have to set a goal that you can't unstoppable because if you don't, you're screwed.
When I have more or less defined goals, I additionally ask myself - how can I reach my goals 10 times faster and without resources?
There is usually no answer at first, and that's fine, so I don't stop until a solution arises. Never mind that it may be wrong. More often than not, this is what happens. You don't need a problem set to be sure, but to start doing something.
For many smart people, the problem with planning is that they can't start until they are sure. This is silly, because we live in uncertainty, and reduces it by action rather than reflection and analysis.
In the process, refinement still happens, tasks are cancelled, tasks are added. So planning is really a permanent process, part of the WEEKLY RUTINE. Therefore, as soon as you have an approximate list and priority of tasks, you can start doing them. And so every day - doing + adjusting plans to achieve the goals.
There is a lot of reflection, research - it's all part of the process. It is not directly related to the action, but without analysis, reflection, our movement can be ineffective. We look at metrics, trends, feedback from the market, change hypotheses and actions, so planning happens all the time. And the pain helps. If time goes by and nothing happens, it's pain. So I live by daily metrics.
People ask - what motivates and stimulates me?
It's very simple - during the day I look at Stripe dashboard 50 times, website dashboard, Mailchimp dashboard and + I check Facebook 10 times/day and now Instagram + Telegram already. That's not to mention that I check email + 4 messengers - FB.
Is it frustrating for me? Am I losing focus? Absolutely not, because I only get the information I need, I follow a plan that I am constantly adjusting and I see very clearly the goals I want to reach. And if I relax, I remember a few unpleasant situations - very helpful. All this considering the fact that I write an average of 2,000 words/day + do a lot of tasks for my business.
So, I develop my strategy in Notions, and gradually get to the financial metrics and task list. I get all the metrics from the services I use, I also keep tasks in Notion.
The key is the constant alignment of strategic, medium-term goals and current tasks reflected in my back log. The same applies to the tasks I assign to my executives. I spend 30-40 minutes a day on planning to stay focused. The main task is not to do something that is not on the task list. Of course, force majeure happens, but it's normal.
There was a time when I delegated a lot of tasks, even relatively routine ones, I delegated. Now I do 80% of them myself again. The reason? I do it 50 times faster, I see additional mistakes, I save an unreal amount of time and money. I am now more able to adequately divide tasks that I do myself and those that are more rational to delegate.
I don't waste time reading books on planning and project management. The key to moving forward is a clear focus and priorities, and that requires planning. Many people don't have plans because they think a plan is something that is done once. It is not.
Planning is an ongoing process that takes 30 minutes or more a day + usually 1 day a week of strategic planning, plus refining the next week and month. Planning helps me do 2 important things every day - something simple and something complicated:
Simple: - I have to do a certain list of tasks that I have planned in advance because: I understand the consequences they will lead to.
The really complicated: -I DO NOT DO ANY OTHER THING.
In practice, it takes 1% of energy to do what you need to do, and it takes 99% of energy not to do what you don't need to do. At least for me.
Here are a few thoughts:
Use Master's Solution: Goal Achievement to prevent the distraction of the focus on anything else.
Managing yourself means one thing - not letting yourself get sidetracked.
We achieve negligible goals, not because we're going slowly, but because we're distracted all the time.
You can go even faster, start killing yourself, stop eating, sleeping, trying to breathe faster, blinking and pooping, but it's all pointless if you're constantly veering off the road.
Life is like a forest with lots of paths. You can wander endlessly and never make it out of the woods, and still motivate yourself and beat your chest with your fists.
Our mind wanders, it is unable to concentrate. This is the normal state of the ignorant slave.
Corporations are more efficient than humans because there a minder stands over the slaves and tells them:
👉 Today you have to glue your daily quota, for example 100 boxes.
👉 Whoever glues 110 gets a delicious bun for dinner.
👉 Whoever glues less than 100 boxes gets a warning.
👉 And if some bitch glues more than 110, she gets a cunt and a dismissal. We don't need upstarts.
The foundation of any achievement is discipline of thought and discipline of one's own attention.
Wandering of the mind is not a property of the mind, but a result of a lack of skill and understanding - how important mind discipline is.
Therefore, to achieve at least something in the absence of mind discipline, people go for hire or hire a coach. A coach is not someone who teaches you. It's someone who helps you do the hardest thing of all: THAT YOU DON'T DO ANYTHING OTHER THAN WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO.
Understand, it doesn't take much intelligence to motivate someone. Read a couple of three fancy shout-outs, snivel-o'clock in the Instagram and you're already motivated. Really? For how long?
The point is not what you feel in the moment, but what you saw in the long run, every day.
Lots of people teach about mindfulness, but it's an easy business - a scam. So they explained everything and you understand that drugs and alcohol are bad and stuff like that or you got all these mantras and stuff like 7-10-25-100 principles of highly effective people. So what? It's no use if you're not able to convert your awareness into DAILY REGULAR ACTIVITIES.
Want to know how to achieve your goals?
Achieving goals = daily routine.
Get the Master's Solutions: Goal Achievement by clicking this link: https://mastersofuniverse.net/master-solutions/goals-achievement-/