Interruptions, emergencies and crisis are part of life. They are inevitable, and often times they seem to overwhelm us, if we do not know how to deal with them.


What You’ll Learn?

In this short article, I am going to outline for you different techniques that you can use and apply TODAY to minimize the distractions so that what you’ve planned is not completely wasted. In fact, I am going to show you a way of planning that does not depend on your available time throughout the day, and it is completely independent from deadlines. Thus, your plans are never going to be affected by unexpected events and circumstances.

When we plan in a short term, and that is for 1-7 days ahead, almost all your plans are going to be affected in a certain way. Why?


Because Distractions, Crisis And Interruptions By Definition Are Urgent And They All Have Short Term Consequences

Let’s say, you got a phone call from a friend to do something. But you had already scheduled some plans for today. You do not want to disappoint your friend, so you accept the request. What that means is your plans for today are RUINED, because you abandon your schedule.

First of all, plans are just a theory. You create plans to set the direction of a particular action, but this does not mean you have to do it today. In case of emergencies like this, you want to allow yourself MORE TIME completing that plan. This will take the pressure off.

Most people give up, when a plan is interrupted once, twice or even the third time. This shouldn’t stop you from implementing things, especially if you correct the course of action. The reason why all your plans are ruined is because you haven’t established clear objectives of the plan. If there are no objectives, it is REALLY HARD to stick to one. It is actually impossible to stick to a plan without any objectives in mind.

There’s a little psychology behind this, because executing your planned activities require self-discipline and determination. However, you do not want to stick to the plan as it is exactly. Unexpected things you did not plan may always show up.

All you have to do here is to stick to a plan and adjust its course from the new learned lessons. Introduce new pieces to the plan, like a version 2.0, and follow the new one.


Planning is a learning experience, it is NOT an exact science

All plans fail the first time. But who cares, since based on the ones that failed, you can always create a better ones.

Planning is flexible. Do not think of it as a strict routine that you have to follow closely. It should be designed to give you overall idea of where things should be going.

And you can be as creative as possible with your plans, because action without planning is the reason of every failure. This is the Brian Tracy’s favorite quote :-]


So here’s what to do about it…

1) Always plan long term, at least 30 days ahead, but implement that plan twice as fast to validate it.

If you have an interruption on Saturday, you can always do this another time (let’s say on Sunday), because you allow yourself MORE TIME to finish the job. However, you do not want to wait until the last moment to do things, that’s why you may want to execute fast.

Let’s say you planned something important on Monday. If you know that you may finish with it at the end of the day, do not make any plans for Tuesday. Because if interruptions occur on Monday, you can jump and do your work on Tuesday instead. Always allow yourself more time.

2) Schedule your interruptions. I’ve learned this from Eben Pagan. All you have to do here is that you always want to start early so that you know there may be something unexpected along the way.

You can even schedule unexpected visits, how?

Do not set any conditions that may lead to unexpected visits.

Example: lock the door, turn off the phone, turn off the Internet connection, isolate yourself from the world as you work, because this is when you are going to get a tremendous amount of work.

If there are weird sounds from a nearby construction site, get ear dampening to eliminate all noisy vibrations around you to establish a certain noise control. :-]

Distractions are simply the enemy of progress.

3) Always expect interruptions. If you do not go that crazy and completely isolate yourself from all your surroundings, then you may want to expect interruptions as the worst possible outcome.

You want to psychologically or MENTALLY prepare yourself when an interruption occurs. Simply, you are going to take it more “lightly” than when it is not expected and pisses you off instead :-]

You are simply accepting interruptions and emergencies as part of life, and there’s nothing you can do about it. It is about the attitude here toward the distractions that matters. You will be amazed how more positively you are going to take unexpected events and circumstances along the way, if you actually expect and accept interruptions as part of life.

Always imagine the worst thing that may happen, so when something not that bad happens, you’ve already seen the worse possible outcome (in your mind). This is a little mental trick that I use, and it serves me quite well :-]

4) Know your deadlines. If you want to allow yourself more time, scheduling interruptions and unexpected things that may happen, this may affect your deadlines.

What that means is simply, you can increase the deadline of the project. If you do not have control over the deadlines, and that means they are set by an event or somebody else, then it is important to know them in ADVANCE. So you can act accordingly to set backs when you allow yourself more time for the overall period to get things done within the project.

You need a “flight plan” to be successful. It’s amazing how many people fail because they just don’t have long term plans . And having a plan isn’t enough. Just like an airplane pilot you must make course corrections to arrive at your destination – the things you desire the most. You should really get your hands on Brian Tracy’s Flight Plan Book + Bonuses – to unlock the power within you.

I highly recommend this book, you will really get a lot out of it!


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If we do not determine the “bottlenecks” of our projects, we are going to be running in circles and eventually we are going to finish from where we started. This is when we always seem busy, but at the end of the day we do not see any progress at all.


Being Busy, Does Not Always Mean Productive Work

It seems like there’s always something that’s more important than anything else, and these are the things that determine the speed of your current project completion.

In this article, I am going to show you how to determine your priorities that are associated with your highest outcomes. Often times, it is not an easy thing to do, because for most people everything is a priority. But that’s not the case … the key is to follow the things that slow you down the most, and working on them, in order to get to the desired outcome.

This is like hiking a mountain. The biggest chunks of rocks are your obstacles, if you want to reach the top. As you overcome the biggest rock, you get one step closer to the desired destination.

Guess what?

It turns out that if we want to reach the outcome of our business, we have to determine the biggest rocks and obstacles that are in our way, and working toward overcoming them is going to move things forward.


Should You Care About Priorities?

The answer is simple. You do not have to care about priorities at all, unless you want to get the things moving in the direction you want them to move. If you do not establish priorities, we are hoping to get lucky.

Luck itself is an idea that describes certain events that we can’t explain. If something positive happened that we can’t explain, we say that we got lucky.

You can be lucky anytime you want, as long as you determine the bottlenecks that are preventing you from getting across, and get to the desired destination.


How Does This Work?

Begin with answering those questions on a piece of paper:

1) What’s the most important thing to you? (e.g. family, business, health, relationships with others, inner development)

Determine the order of those values. Which one is #1, #2, #3 … Wrong order of values leads to underachievement and dissatisfaction. Have you ever had a job that you did not like, but because the money was good, you stayed at it? This alone represents misalignment of values.

To make sure your values are aligned, you need to have COURAGE to follow the things you want always wanted to do, even if this means that you have to get some enemies along the way.

People who stood up in their lives get a lot of enemies, but we call them heroes. Because they stood for something they believed. Those are the core values you need to look for within yourself.

2) Determine the things (tasks) that waste most of your time. You have to be honest with yourself. What are the activities you currently have that are INCONSISTENT with your goals? Once you are clear about your values, it becomes much easier to establish your priorities.

3) Separate the urgent from the important. Urgent things have short term consequences, important things have long term consequences.

Example of something urgent: phone calls, unexpected visits, quick trips, unexpected interruptions etc.

Example of something important: creating more videos for your marketing campaigns, creating content, building relationships with other people, etc.

If you mix both the urgent and important, you are not going to get much done.

In order for you to overcome the urgent stuff, schedule your interruptions. If you schedule them, you are always going to have a piece of mind. Always allow yourself longer time for doing IMPORTANT things.

If something would take 3 hours to do it, allow yourself 4 hours. This alone is going to take the pressure off.

4) What’s the future impact of every action you make? Something that has high priority always have higher future impact. This alone is going to show you what’s important and what’s not.

Let’s say for example, you get an email from someone you do not know. What’s the future impact of opening that email? If it is low, then, do not even bother opening it. If you always treat your actions, in terms of determining the impact of future consequences, you are going to determine the biggest bottleneck that has to be done.

The important things are usually the bottlenecks, that slow things down. You want to do them first, no matter how much time this would take. Even if you neglect completely insignificant stuff, you are going to get massive progress along the way.

5) Procrastinate on the low impact activities. If you ask yourself about the future impact certain action is going to take, and if the impact is low or there’s no impact at all. Learn to procrastinate those activities, because they are not going to give you any value.

Busyness is addictive, and it is often determined by the low insignificant things. Remember, being busy does not always mean real work.

6) Formulate a process. As you’ve determined the most important things, now it is the time to plan them out. Formulate a strategy that’s going to set the direction of your work. If you want to get more details on planning your work and formulating a strategy – go here

You’ll find the real secret to planning in Brian Tracy’s Flight Plan. It’s an easy-to-read, practical step-by-step approach in accomplishing your goals and getting the job done.

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If you just start out planning different things, making to do lists, or plan everything in advance, we are NOT going to achieve as much as we want to.

Let me say that again, if we first start with planning our work and outline the big picture of what things would look like, it is not the most effective way of doing things.

As I mentioned in my post, How To Organize Your Work Without Getting Distracted By The Small Unproductive Activities, planning is just a theory, it is not a proven strategy.

To be more effective and getting things done, it is critical to start with your time. You do not want to start out planning. You need to know where your time goes first, known as “time logs,” and cut all unproductive activities from it. I’ve learned this concept from Peter Druker, who wrote his New York Times best-seller, “The Effective Executive.” He says that effective people do not start with tasks, they start with their time. They see where they spend most of their time, and make corrections based on the already established routines and habits.

We are habitual beings, and almost 90% of what we do is based on patterns and routines that are happening outside of our conscious awareness. So what we do often is “under the radar,” and we do not know for sure where we spend our time, just based on memories.

If you create a time log of yourself, you’ll be surprised at the end of the month to see that some of the most important things you KNOW that has to be done, are often neglected and procrastinated. But our memories are telling us a different story.


I do not want to weird you out.., too much :-]

But in this article, I am going to show you how to create a “time log” of yourself and see where your time goes. This is a critical skill that you need to have, if you want to use your time effectively, BEFORE you start planning things.

In fact, you want to plan things, based on the time log’s evaluation, and simply replace unproductive activities with better, planned in advance action steps.

As you consciously notice where you spend the most of your time for a week, a month or even for longer periods of time, you are going to determine your key weaknesses that are really holding you back from the success you want. We all have some habit preventions that are either holding us back, or moving us away from the success we want. Creating a time log will help you NOTICE those things, and eliminate them completely.


How does this work?

There are 3 simple steps to create a time log.

1) Recording Your Time – you want to get the entire insight of where your time goes (the entire time frame)

2) Managing Time – cutting off the unproductive activities, that tire you out, and suck out your energy

3) Consolidating Time – organizing the remaining of your daily, weekly or monthly routines, after you cut out the “bad activities” (this is what we know as traditional planning)


What can you do about it?

As you determine your key areas that you need to focus on, and contrasting those with your active time log (testing if you actually did them in the first place), you can have subordinates that are around you, you may ask them to do the time log for you, like a secretary, and archive your activities on daily basis, without you having to think about it at all. You are just doing the usual approach and things throughout the day, and you simply have someone else do the recording for you – which is a better way of managing your time log. All you have to do is to revise it monthly. Longer periods of time tend to give you a better picture.

The creation of a habit lasts about 24-29 days, depending on the individual, so if you revise your time log every month, you should be able to see your habits in place and see what you can put off the table.

If you do not have a person that you can rely to for managing your time log, then there’s a way of recording it yourself. Before I tell you how to do it, I’d like to give you some questions that you may ask yourself as you revise your time log on a monthly basis.

As you look at each activity, ask yourself:

1) What would happen if this were not done at all? If the answer is nothing, then stop doing it.

2) Which of the activities on my time log could be done by someone else, if not even better than myself? This is where delegating the work to other people comes into account. I’ve outlined some hiring mistakes and principles here

As you’ve identified the time wasters from the time log, you’ll be able to manage them better.

If you want to learn more about how to use the time log, and record your daily activities effectively, then you can get more information about this from Peter Druker’s best-seller Effective Executive in chapter 2 (Know Thy Time). Most of the ideas that I use and work effectively are from that book… It is the best $10 you will ever spend – guaranteed! Get it in Amazon here

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If there’s a single, biggest time waster that overwhelms, distracts and creates a sense of false completion, and that’s, starting the day with the unproductive small things first (like checking social media stats, emails, phone calls, and even browsing on Internet).

It turns out that we do this on auto-pilot, almost automatically. And it is harder to deal with things that are happening without consciously noticing them. But the wasted time is never going to come back…


What You’ll Learn?

In this short article, I am going to share with you four functions of planning that are going to set the stage for your day so that you can almost, without effort, force yourself to do the things that matter to you the most FIRST.


Why this is important?

Well, as you probably know, when doing the small things first, they tend to multiply.

For example, if we check the email early in the morning, that seems to be a small activity that usually may take 2-3 minutes, but it turns out that we stay longer, checking out stuff which other people send us to (videos, articles, news, TV shows, politics … ). This is quite frustrating, because as you check your email first, as you wake up in the morning, you are simply going to be consumed by it. That’s why doing the things that are important to you FIRST is of a major necessity. And obviously, email checking is not, unless you get paid for checking your email :-]

You are going to accomplish tremendously, if you are doing the important things first. And planning itself is going to help you find and execute those important areas, in fact, this structure of planning itself is going to MOTIVATE you to do the significant stuff first.


How does this work?

The process is quite simple. And I’ve learned this from Brian Tracy and Wyatt Woodsmall – the two most influential time management experts on me.

The system goes like this:

1) Establish your goals and objectives – the more clear you are about them, the better.

2) Formulate a strategy – what’s the process of reaching those objectives and goals? Step by step process that’s specific enough to outline the action steps that have to be taken to make it happen

3) Implement the plan – simply you take action toward the process you have outlined previously

4) Evaluate the success of the plan – adjustments are always needed, when it comes to planning. That’s because no plan is perfect, unless it is proven to work.

I’d like to give you more guidance and details on how to use these four aspects of planning. But before that, I’d like to tell you more about different ways that you can use this aspect of planning, because planning itself IS NOT a system. And that’s the biggest misconception out there.

The system is simply PROVEN PLAN that WORKS.

As you create a plan that has a particular outcome, there’s no way of knowing if that’s going to work. Even if you borrow a “proven strategy” that worked for somebody else. Well, this does not mean, it is going to work for you, because your situation may be different, and what works for somebody else, may not work for you.

You do not want to make things perfect, when it comes to planning, because that’s just the theory. I used to do this mistake so many times that wasted a lot of time along the way.

The best way is to approach your plan with “whatever” mindset. If the plan does not work, who cares. All plans I’ve personally formulated FAILED. But this did not stop me, and it actually allowed me to create even better plans as a result of that.


The bottom line is …

Planning is a LEARNING PROCESS, rather than a strict “to do list” to follow.

So, you do not want to waste time on making a “perfect plan,” because there’s no such thing, since the plan is just a theory, not an application.

However, planning is going to determine the direction you want to move through, and re-adjust that path as you revise your plan. It is the direction of which you are going to do the important things first, rather than the smaller insignificant stuff.

Planning does not work for those, who want to make the plan perfect. Instead, trying to make the plan work over and over again, by revising it often, and eventually we want to create a SYSTEM from it.


The Four Steps (Components) Of Successful Planning

The First Component On Planning – Establishing Your Objectives

1) It is quite necessary to know what the outcome of that plan is. This is going to move you toward the plan and sticking to it. The more clear you are about the outcome of the plan, the more you’ll get your hands on it, instead of doing things that do not matter to you, like checking emails, and doing all sorts of small activities. Busy does not always mean real work!

When it comes to establishing your goals, you have to MEASURE, all activities that are associated with that plan. Otherwise, you won’t be able to tell if you are going somewhere, and test the validity of the plan. Because planning is about what would cause something else to happen. It is a chain of events that are going to lead us to the desired outcome, not the goal itself. Because we know what the goal is, but we do not know how to get there.

That’s why we want to create a plan that is going to help us finding the way to get to the desired outcome.

The Second Component Of Planning – Formulating A Strategy

2) When we formulate a strategy, this is nothing more than a sequence of actions that are going to take place, in order to acknowledge the accomplishments of the initial objectives.

It is important to note that we want to experiment with different things, and getting the necessary feedback to determine the results we are getting. It is simple as that.

As you formulate your strategy, you want to ANTICIPATE the possible scenarios (pros and cons) – this alone is going to allow you to build alternatives to SUPPORT that plan.

The Third Component Of Planning – Implementing The Plan

3) This is where we want to TAKE ACTION. We have to implement the plan, based on our objectives and the formulated strategy.

As I mentioned previously, we may have the best plan in the world, but if we do not put it into action, and test it, there’s no use of it.

Almost everything would require some kind of adjustments and as you go along, you have to monitor everything. Here’s more information on measuring and testing.

The Fourth Component Of Planning – Evaluating The Results

4) Based on the measurements we make, or based on the results we get, we need to evaluate the validity of the plan.

A plan is nothing more than a hypothesis. If we want to prove that hypothesis, we want to evaluate and measure its components (action steps), if they are consistent with our objectives.

If you want to learn more about planning, and a specific methodology successful people follow…

Get the RISK FREE “Flight Plan” book by Brian Tracy

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