Plan The Life You Want To Live

Randall Davey

 Do you ever end the day feeling like you did not do all the things you wanted to do? Are you frustrated that you did not have time to return a call, respond to an email, go for a walk, read a book, take a class, or play golf? If you answered yes, you are not alone. My clients regularly say, “I just can’t get it all done, there’s not enough time. I am utterly exhausted in mind, body and soul.” Can you identify? 

When the to-do list is undoable—when emails go unanswered, when deadlines are not met and results not produced, when you are tired, lonely, and hungry—you are headed for a meltdown. You may start to entertain the idea that a new job, a different boss, another opportunity may be the solution. But there is probably something else getting in the way: a life unplanned. 

I know professionals who manage their life by emails and tasks. They begin the day by reading and responding to emails, followed by returning or placing phone calls, after which they start tackling tasks. They do all this with no strategy in view. They accept appointments whenever they have an open space, do not have a fixed start, or stop time to the day, and generally carry work into the weekend because they simply can’t get it all done Monday through Friday. Instead of planning the life they want to live, they react to the life others create for them. But there is an alternative. 

“Time is what we want the most, but what we use worst.”

William Penn 

Create a calendar putting yourself first. Plan for self-care and personal responsibilities such as sleeping, eating, exercising, music lessons, mowing the lawn, family time, church, oil changes and vacations. Next, think work. Consider spending the first and last half hour of every workday reviewing your calendar, emails, to-do list, LinkedIn, and social media. Plan one-hour blocks of time during the workday, separated by 30-minute gap time after every session. Gap time is your time to prep for a meeting, debrief from another, transfer notes, assign tasks or return an urgent call. Open blocks are available for appointments essential to fulfilling your commitments to yourself and your colleagues or clients. 

Before you load up on appointments, designate time on your calendar to work on tasks, projects, conduct research, read, and make phone calls. This is the principal way to control your schedule and complete the things you have agreed to do. 

At the end of each day, revise that day’s calendar to reflect how you actually spent your time. Then plan your tomorrow, informed by what happened today. The more accurate you are in recording what you did each day, the more valuable it will be in planning your future. Whereas your calendar reflects tomorrow’s plan, it can also reflect yesterday’s reality. Finally, realize, you simply cannot get it all done. You cannot meet everyone with whom you want to meet, complete everything on your to-do list, or visit every place to which you want to travel. But you will increase the odds of doing the most important and meaningful things by planning, prioritizing, and protecting your time. If you do not protect it, no one else will. 


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S:A Situational Awareness B:T Business Tasks B:C Business Calls 

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Randall E. Davey, CAP® is a financial advisor with Guide Advisors, Inc. In certain circumstances, he may offer insurance as a sole proprietor or through Guide Advisors, Inc. Randall can be reached at or by phone at 206-486-2477. 

Advisory services are offered through Guide Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor in Washington, and other jurisdictions in which it may conduct business. The information contained herein should in no way be construed or interpreted as a solicitation to sell or offer to sell advisory services to any residents of any State other than the states listed above or where otherwise legally permitted. All written content is for information purposes only. It is not intended to provide any tax or legal advice or provide the basis for any financial decisions. The information contained in this material has been derived from sources believed to be reliable but is not guaranteed as to accuracy and completeness and does not purport to be a complete analysis of the materials discussed.