Wellbeing | Personal Development | Productivity
The ideas in this section could help you become a lot luckier. It’s not magic, it’s about doing what you can to stack the odds in your favour and be prepared when opportunity comes knocking. You also need to know what you want to do and how you're going to make it happen before you start any personal development push.
Simply visualising your perfect life, or wishing that the universe delivers something to you, is very unlikely to achieve anything and may even make you feel worse. Identifying specific goals and the practical steps required to make them happen on the other hand should help you get closer to where you want to be.
How to Be Ready
The aim of this section is to help you work out what you want to achieve and what you'll need to do to make it happen. It takes us beyond daydreaming and reduces the risk of crushing disappointment when things don't work out the way we expected.
It's about stacking the odds in our favour and doing everything we can to make sure we can respond when opportunities arrive.
From simple things like not having a CV prepared when you're offered a job or not doing enough exercise before a charity run, we're all likely to get caught out every now and then. It's even worse when we feel we've failed to achieve an important life goal because we just didn't do enough to make it happen.
Effective planning and identifying the key skills we need to succeed is only part of the process though. We should also develop an awareness of what our bodies are capable of and what we need to do to reach our full potential.
Just gaining basic understanding of our natural energy levels, peak times and low points should allow us to achieve a lot more in life and 'be ready' when opportunity comes knocking.
What Do You Want?
We’re going to start off by creating something that will not only help you be ready, but also be aware of what you want to do in future and where you’d like your life to go. It can also help you build a solid foundation for your personal development push and it will really come into action when you integrate it with the ideas in the 'Plan & Organise' section.
I’d like you to start off by thinking of all the things you’d like to do in future and as it’s your list, you can do anything you want. Are there any skills you’d like to acquire or hobbies you’d like to start? Is there a project you’ve always wanted to do or are there any organisations you’d like to join?
Don’t censor yourself and put everything down, even things you’d like to own in future or holidays and days out you’d like to go on.
Finally, you should try to group these together if you can. You could have categories like ‘places to visit’ or ’DIY projects’. You could also have a ‘Get Active’ category with all the fitness activities you’d like to try and the things you'd like to achieve.
You should also focus on the skills you think you’ll need to develop in future as well, as this is the ‘Be Ready’ section.
You then need to give each thing you'd like to do a specific colour, that relates to when you’ll probably need to focus on it. I would use:
- Red - For any anything within 3 Months
- Blue - 1 Year
- Yellow - 2 Years
- Green - 2-5 Years
- Purple - 5 Years +
This will really bring your map or document to life, as you should already see the things you should focus on now and what can wait for another day. In case you're wondering, I haven't added screenshots to guide you as it's your list and it needs to be unique.
Your version of 'The Road' will be a great resource to develop and I suggest you take a quick look at it at least once a week. You should also make a calendar appointment to review and update it every three months.
The main thing it should show us is what we need to focus on now and what we can leave in place for a later date. This means you really only need to consider the red 3 month tasks in your productivity planning.
Now we know what we we need to do to be ready for opportunities when they arise, let's not make any unnecessary mistakes.
Be Aware of Your Limits
How we feel can really make a difference when it comes to being ready to take on challenges. There's nothing worse than feeling too tired, agitated or unfocussed when we're presented with an opportunity or an important job to do.
Just being aware of the importance of sleep, natural energy levels and physical limitation can really make life a lot easier.
There are so many thing you can to be ready and be a lot easier on ourselves. Just reading the Night School and Willpower books I've included below should really give you a good understanding of what's going on in your body.
The Simplicity System
So to sum it up simply, if you want to be ready you should:
- Be aware of what you really want to do
- Have clear goals and objectives
- Identify areas you need to improve
- Focus on what’s important right now
- Be aware of your limits
Just getting a basic plan in place and knowing where you'd like to go should really make a difference. When you really understand what's going on in your body as well, you should start to become a lot easier on yourself. There's usually a good reason for those negative, intrusive thoughts or a lack of energy and motivation.
Good luck with everything and I hope it makes a difference. I’d also be very interested to hear any feedback you have as The Simplify System will always need to evolve and improve.
Your Be Ready Resources
Follow the links below to learn a lot more
Your Be Ready Golden Rules
Be aware of your peak times
Keep noting down when you feel full of energy and when you’re starting to flag. You should soon see some patterns emerge and start to work out when you’re likely to be at your best.
You can then schedule things around these times to be as effective as possible.
Are you a night owl or a lark? Do you also fade a bit after meals and what are you like when you start working?
Level playing fields only exist in heaven
A lot of people spend a huge amount of time resenting other people’s good fortune. The truth is, we all have very different journeys through life with very unique challenges.
We also have different levels of natural willpower, due to the way we process glucose, as well.
The best advice is to run your own race and focus on what you need to do to achieve what’s important to you. Don’t presume people are better off than you either, as there’s probably more going on behind the scenes.
Be aware of decision fatigue
If you're working hard or doing things that require a lot of self control, you could find yourself doing something stupid. As we deplete our natural willpower, we're less likely to push back against negative impulses.
If you’re aware of this though, you can recognise when you’re likely to be vulnerable.
When you’re having to make tough decisions and really using all your natural willpower to keep yourself on track, it’s so easy to do something very out of character. Just look at how many leaders suddenly get caught up in scandals.
Your Be Ready Slots
Try to regularly set aside time to read the things that can help you develop and learn new skills. This could be all the interesting articles you’ve saved on your Pocket app or amazing books and magazines that can really move you forward.
Try to set aside at least an hour a week to do this or better still, a little bit of time each day.
You could even watch some TED talks or helpful videos. Take a look at the blog for some great ideas.
3 Month Review
When you’ve created your version of ‘The Road’ document, it’s important to spend some time with it every 3 months. This is where you'll keep the wheels turning and make sure all your systems are up-to-date.
It’s also a great opportunity to review all the long-term plans you have as well.
As part of your productivity plan, try to map out the month ahead. Focus on the basics, but make sure you identify all the big things you’re going to have to think about or anything you need to prepare for.
It’s a great idea to just look over your version of ‘The Road’ document once a week to keep it all close. You can do this as part of your weekly productivity review.