The Importance of Process and Practice
The importance of having a systematic process and practice for your daily planning can’t be underestimated. It’s critical not only to have a process for daily planning that works for you but one that is easily incorporated into your life as a daily practice.
My morning ZenJo workflow (depicted in the sketch below) is the one that I find most beneficial. I’ll explain in detail so you can see how to pieces fit together and just how simple it can be.
Let’s get started and soon you’ll be planning like a Zen Master!
A. Review of the DTLs
The first step in the process is to review my Discipline Task Lists (DTLs), the master lists at the front of my ZenJo. In this example, the list displayed in my DTL for work. But as I explain the set-up guide and in this post, individual DTLs might include Health/Fitness, Family/Relationships, Creative/Hobby as categories, it’s up to you. Each is set up as a two-page spread.
- I scan all the DTLs and transfer those tasks that remain uncircled into the Quarterly Look Ahead (QLA) You’ll recall that the QLA serves as a monthly look-ahead containing the tasks that are most relevant for them to be worked on.
- Be sure to read this post describing ‘The Relevance Filter’ as it’s Zen-Journal’s superpower and what sets it apart from all other planning systems!
B. Migration of tasks to QLA
- After I migrate tasks from the DTL into the QLA —using the unique ID tag (page #/ task #)—I circle the task on the DTL; This lets me know I’ve already migrated it to the QLA. Those that remain uncircled remain that way until I’ve listed them in the QLA.
- I take my time migrating tasks into the QLA and don’t feel pressured to list them all; since I perform this review each morning I’m always aware of what needs to be worked on.
- In my experience, trying to schedule everything at one time leads to bad task karma and over-scheduling…that’s not very Zen-like.
C. Scheduling tasks for the day in the DAATWA
- Looking now at the QLA, I can see what tasks remain incomplete for the month at hand.
- I review my smartphone’s calendar to see what meetings I have for the day and the events that were previously scheduled. By doing so I can act only on those tasks that are relevant for the current day.
- Whichever tasks are relevant for the day at then listed on the Day-At-A-Time Work Area (DAATWA) as a Most Important Task (MIT) limiting those to no more than three.
This exact workflow is my superpower
This morning workflow is the foundational reason why I get so much stuff done on a regular basis. It represents a meaningful process and practice that’s key to a productive day. It’s also one that rarely leads to having to migrate incomplete MITs from one day to the next thereby preventing any over-scheduling.
Give it a try and let me know how this workflow works for you!