23. Daily Planning for Operators

Tuesday, September 05, 2023

Smooth Operator/Podcast/23. Daily Planning for Operators

23. Daily Planning for Operators


Every day is a new opportunity for excellence. To put ourselves in the best position possible to tackle the challenges of the day with enthusiasm and from a place of strength.

While there’s no “right way” to do daily planning, there are a couple of things that I’ve put in place this year that have made a huge difference.

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The Greatest Opportunity Of A Lifetime...

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​...And I’m Personally Inviting You To Be One Of Them!


Welcome to a new week, it's Monday, the show's coming out. Monday is my absolute favorite day of the week, I don't know why I just get all jived up and I can't like Mondays usually my long day, I tend to try to work a little like I'll take some time during later in the week, maybe work a half day here and there. But Monday, I'm all in I just am like opposite Garfield, I love Mondays, it's my favorite day of the week, it's when I have the most momentum, the most energy fresh off the weekend. And also, when I've just finished my weekly planning, which I do every Sunday, I go through what I have coming up in the week and what I really want to accomplish. And that just fires me up, man, it just really gets me going. And I want to come into the week and just or just go crush it. So if you're anything like me in that, let's talk about planning a little bit and daily planning specifically. So we can go into weekly and more the quarterly and, and that kind of stuff. That's a whole nother subject. But let's start with the most simple fact of planning. And that's planning our day. So you know, there's that very common, overused cliche of the importance of planning, I'm not going to say it, but you all know what I'm thinking. So just pause this quietly say to yourself, Okay, so you got the cliche, but let's just say that I recognize the difference in my own energy. And what I bring to the table based on the amount of time and effort I put into my daily planning each morning and night. And it's made such a huge difference, especially when I'm in a whirlwind, the busier I am, the more things I have going, the more irons I have in that fire. That's the days when I need to plan the most I need to spend the most time in my planning system. It's when things are crazy when things are rough. Taking that deliberate time to think through that will really help you to approach your day with the greatest amount of energy and enthusiasm, but also clarity, and what's coming up next. And most days in growing online organizations, it's always crazy, right. So always take the time out of your day to do this.

And there is a million different planning systems out there. So I'm not gonna endorse one or the other, I do have one that specifically works for me. And that's what it's about. It's about what works best for you. You know, I have mine. And I'll be likely to be using it for the long haul. I like it so much, I got the subscription. So I get a new planner every single month in the mail. And I keep a couple on hand just as emergencies in case the mail gets backed up. So I'm kind of all in on this one particular planner. It doesn't make it perfect, but it's really perfect for how my mind operates. All that being said, I absolutely hate, hate planning things in a digital format. I want my planner to be this I want. I want paper. I want something physical, I want something I can touch, something I can bring with me on the computer all day long. I don't want to be on the computer planning. You know, that's about the last thing on my mind. And there is a psychological thing that happens when you actually do pen to paper. It's like a commitment that you have to put in when you are using a pen to paper. There's some psychological thing where they actually, you know, unveil why that happens. I don't know I didn't do the research for that. But it is a thing. And then I can have my digital my paper planner, it's out on my desk all day long. I never shut it. It stays with me. And somehow it's more real and connected to the rest of my life than just spending more time on another digital platform. I do something physical, and I have a good friend His name is Alon. He runs a site called 90x 90x planners. It's not the plan R Us but Alonza good friend. And he does something really interesting where when he finished his planning, he actually signs it. So he'll sign his plan for the day which is like this like not so micro commitment that he's going to do what he put down into his planner I always love that so I have to give a shout out to my buddy Alon it's 90 x.co I believe I'll I'll check the link out i'll put a link into the show notes just get my my buddy Alon a link back to his planning system. So planning should be for the whole day and it's really just not the spent the time that you're spending in the office when I get in my planner. It's everything. If I have date night with the wife coming up I put that in in the planner if I have to pick up my kids from from cross country practice or band I put it in the planner, everything that's going on in my day goes in the planner, not just my time in the office, and I'll be totally honest, partially because I feel Like somewhat of a hypocrite, because I'm not perfect for to record this, I'm still figuring it out.

And that's kind of the point. We're always figuring out. We're just, we never stop progressing, changing and evolving. There's always something new to learn to try and try. But I want to share some of the things that I've really, that have really helped me and I think might help you. So the first thing is, I start the night before. So my success start for the day starts the night before, where I finished my day by going back into my planner, reviewing what was done. And what then remains for the next day. Reflecting on where I won today, where did I have my big accomplishments? And what am I thankful for? Where did I crush it? And where do I need support? You know, going through that and starting to let the day kind of coalesce in our brains. And what we're going to do next really helpful. So you wake up and you have that time to, you know, that time to let it set, you don't need the answers right then. But by reviewing it, you give your brain time to think about it time to consider what you need. But write it down, make it real, just manifest the shit out of your own success. There's an interesting quote from Cooper Cup, the wide receiver for the Los Angeles Rams. And he said from the moment this postseason started, there's a belief every game that was written already, I just had to play free knowing that I got to play from victory, not for victory. So they said that after they won the Super Bowl, I thought that was really cool. So forecasting my own victories, and spending the next day playing from that place of victory. That's really cool. I am kind of hooked on that.

And I'm gonna, I got a little post it note in my office because play from victory. The other thing I tried to do every day as sweat equity man, I love my morning time in the gym, and I really noticed when I don't get it. So heavy hard workouts often give me my best performance at work. Because my endorphins are running super high, I got that energy out, man, it pumps me up. I don't like to work in the evenings. I'm a morning person, I got to wake up and go hit it. Because I got a super high afterwards. And if nothing else, it's time with podcasts, it's time for I can be with myself even just turn off everything and just run in silence for 45 minutes to an hour. Just be with myself, I really need that to start my day, it gives me my momentum. And his plan. It's all my schedule, not only the time of day I'm going to work out but what I'm going to do, I follow a workout plan that takes the guesswork and decision making out of it. So get that set sweat equity in as part of your daily planning. Also do try to take deliberate quiet time in the morning. Just some want some quiet reflection. Before opening up my planner I have a couple books that I'm reading from one of them is called the daily stoic, which is a really short reads. But they're really powerful. read some Scriptures. And I always have another book that I'm reading on. Depending on what it is right now. It's it's a book called The War of Art, really good book, highly recommended for anyone in the creative space. So I'd spent some time in that quiet reflection, read a little bit, just some time to myself. And then open up my planner, I'll get into that. So one thing I've really noticed is that I get my quick wins done first. So they're not nagging me throughout the day, if I had those little three minute tasks, I put them right at the top of my to do list. Because what I'm doing, then in those first days of the hours of the day, I'm just checking things off, I'm getting them done. And I'm continuously amazed at how much momentum that gives me. And as the added benefit of not having to look at it all day long and variant, that little task where you just look at it all day long gone. Got to do that thing. Just get it done, especially if it's uncomfortable.

I try to tend not to focus on more than one big project per day. One big project, if I'm, if I'm setting aside time for it, and I'm really diving into it, you know, I don't have the brain capacity to do more than one really big project per day. And I'll try to do as much as I can on that project. Really four to six hours is a really good chunk of time, you can get a lot done, especially if you get everything else done that you need to so you're able to really focus in and get your big project nailed down. And in the Dan Sullivan world, they really call that focus time, you know, plan for your focus time, put it in your calendar, make it a thing and be amazed at what you're able to do. So this level planning really starts with my weekly planning and I'm continuously going back to that as I go into my dailies. And just making sure I give myself that space. Finally, I do have team time every day where I'm looking inwards at what my team is doing, imagining the next structures and processes that I can get created for them with the time that I have available. I always also plan for improvement. So that's my that's my fourth biggest big thing here.

A goal of mine is to include professional development into every single day. A apart from podcasts that I have continuously queued up on my iPad or my iPhone, I'm really trying to always be improving planning for improvement. This year, my focus is on reading. I've taken all the online courses I can possibly stomach for now. So it's taken a lot of them. But I'm really trying to read more. So I'm already up to, I think I've read at least 15 books so far this year. I'm sprinting through a couple right now. But I'm trying to make a more deliberate approach to reading more regularly. So while it's not written down, the book that I'll be reading, it comes into my office with me, I bring the book, whatever book I'm reading at the moment, always comes with me wherever I go. Because I know if I have time, and I need to take time away from the computer, get my eyes refreshed, I can jump into my book and get 20 to 30 minutes in really comfortably.

And then I have some my reading and for the day. Another thing I always tried to do is acknowledge where I was uncomfortable things that came up to the day that made me feel that level of discomfort. Discomfort is a good thing. Don't get me wrong, I give you're not pushing yourself into discomfort you're not trying. It's good to be uncomfortable. Uncomfortable is where we achieve growth. I remember one time I was asked, Are you comfortable doing this one particular task? And I said absolutely not. Which is why I had to do it. I have to do it because I'm uncomfortable. And I know by being uncomfortable and facing it anyway, that's how we all grow. But the first step to overcoming this is recognizing where we are, where we are uncomfortable, and what that does to us. All right, another thing I like to just do is make sure I start the every day the same way. Start the same way every single day, I have kind of a recurring task in Asana that feeds me what I'm doing to start the day, and it's always the same thing in the same order. And by doing that I try to avoid first day first have day meetings like the plague. And I know if I have, if I have a meeting at 8am, like I need to be in the office by like 730 to get through my list. So I'm ready for that meeting. Because I if I don't have that stuff done, it's gonna mess up the rest of the day. And really, it's kind of warm up task. I mean, you were warming up to work. I was reading something a Stephen King was talking about. And so I mean, Stephen King novels are ridiculous, right as I just picked up a hard copy of the stand, which is my favorite novel of all time, and it's ridiculously long. But the funny thing is what Stephen King said is that he'll often do warm up writing, like, he'll write many, many pages of what he calls throwaway junk every morning before he really starts writing. And I'm not talking like three, four pages, I'm talking 2540 pages of writing that we'll do, just to get warmed up. I mean, for most writers that's like their whole day that Stephen King's warm up. That's crazy to me. But it really kind of inspire me like man, what kind of warm up tasks can I do to get myself into my best place where I'm able to do the focus, the focus work and the real deep level work.

If I had those Man, what a difference it can make. En la dee da it has. Having those warm up tasks has made a tremendous difference. And man, it's it's something it's not in your planner or anything like that. It's just in your daily struggle. So you get through every day, and you get to accomplish things, and have things accomplished from the moment you step into the office. General McRaven or Admiral McRaven said, something like that was like if you want to have massive success in your life, make your bed. Start every morning by making your bed because before you even came out of your bedroom, you've already accomplished something for the day. I think that's really cool. So that's just something I definitely recommend have those startup task. So overall, why this matters, like your daily planning how you're focusing on the day how you're getting started, it's going to impact everything else that you do throughout the rest of the day, if the your day as a shitty start, like it's going to be crappy for the rest of the day, it's just going to be you need to control that that's the one area you can control 100% You can control your daily planning control your your your task list, you can control what what emotion you're bringing into the business by what you're doing as preparatory work for it. If that's the thing you can control why wouldn't we try to control the heck out of it, because there's so many other variables in the day man. Anything that we can take out of that variable equation is a winner winner chicken dinner. So go for that and find ways to build these things into your into your day for you. Alright, so that's pretty much it on daily planning on some things that I've found to be really helpful just to kind of refresh from the top.

Just some things I found is I always start the night before I always get my sweat equity in. I do take deliberate quiet time in The morning, always planning for improvement, acknowledging where I'm uncomfortable. Having startup tasks really get me going and get me warmed up. And recognizing that this matters, this will impact how I show up. And the attitude that I bring throughout the day and the energy that I bring. Alright, man, well, I hope that really helped. Yeah, if nothing else, like so often these things like onesie twosie is ideas from various disparate people. We don't remember where we got it, but we got the idea. So go ahead and check some of those things out. Like I said, I will link to the show notes to my buddy Alliance page. If you're not using a written daily planner, do check his out. It's really a legit planner that he has. And I love his idea of just signing it and taking full ownership over your task lists for that day. All right, well, I'll see you tomorrow. Have a good one. And yeah, get after it. Yeah, real quick. Before we bounce out here. I put together a free training on how you can run your business like a special operator through five simple universal truths. Get started today at www dot Adam liette.com/song That's a d a m li e TT e.com/s o f

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