Making Your Plans the Time-Optimized Way

I used to windsurf. You can have a lot of fun on a board with a sail stuck in the middle. While getting set-up and going out on the water can be relatively quick, it does require planning and understanding to make the experience as enjoyable as possible. I learned a lot of valuable lessons. Because of poor planning, I wasted time and sometimes even cost myself money.

In our modern whirlwind of commitments, deadlines, and aspirations, time feels like a precious commodity constantly being blown away by the wind. By incorporating some strategic streamlining into your routine, you can transform from a frazzled planner to a smooth sailor of your schedule. Let’s surf our way through a time-optimized approach to personal goals, navigating meetings, and conquering assignments – key elements of planning.

Charting Your Course: Setting Personal Goals

Windsurfing is normally done close to the coast. While you don’t need charts and maps you need to decide where you are sailing. That depends on the direction of the wind. Therefore, follow the PBLAS system to set personal and professional goals to set your own direction.

  • P = Purpose statement. Create the ultimate assertion of what is important to you in life. What is your reason for getting up each day? What is your reason for standing on the beach wanting to get into the water.
  • B = Bucket List. What are fun and interesting things you would like to do but can’t put a time frame on right now?
  • L = Long-Term Goals. What do you want to do in the next 1 – 3 years? What direction will you go and how will you get back, even if there are heavy headwinds against you.
  • A = Annual goals. What are you committed to do this year? What are you ready to sail into with joy and enthusiasm?
  • S = Short-term goals. What are those late breaking activities that come up worthy of your time? How about diverting to catch some dolphins you see and then get back on course?

By breaking down your dreams into bite-sized steps, you’ll experience the empowering satisfaction of progress along the way.


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Mapping Your Voyage: The Power of Planning Ahead

While I never worried about getting lost windsurfing, the same does not apply to our life. Don’t set sail without a plan! Whether it’s a daily to-do list, a weekly planner, or a futuristic vision board, map out your journey. This might involve scheduling dedicated time for specific tasks, prioritizing commitments, and blocking out “deep work” sessions free from distractions. By visualizing your path, you’ll avoid the confusion of spontaneity and be ready to tackle unexpected currents with a sense of direction.

Avoiding the Storms: Preparing for and Attending Meetings Like a Boss

I once did not pay attention to the weather. The wind shifted and a storm came through and I ended up trying to get back to land in a raging thunderstorm.

Meetings can be like an unexpected cyclone. Conquer them with preparation. Read agendas beforehand, formulate questions, and arrive with a clear goal for your participation. During the meeting, actively listen, take concise notes, and avoid getting swept away by distractions. And remember, brevity is your friend: contribute meaningfully, but don’t hog the airwaves. By being an engaged and respectful participant, you’ll not only make the most of your time but also leave a positive impression.

Increase your Speed: Master Assignments with Efficiency

Nothing felt better than when I relied on the steps I was taught, catching the wind, getting my feet set towards the back of the board and leaning back against the pull of the sail. It felt like you were flying.

Committing to and completing your assignments can get you into a productivity groove that will make you fly with efficiency. Prioritize based on urgency and complexity, and schedule dedicated time slots for each step. Remember, progress, not perfection, is key. And don’t be afraid to seek help – collaboration can be your secret weapon!

Planning, Like Windsurfing Takes Practice

I never considered myself very good at windsurfing, but with a certain level of practice I was able to do it well enough to have a good time. The same can apply to your planning. Setting solid goals, mapping out your direction, preparing for meetings, and committing to completing assignments will have you sailing in the right direction, to smoother and more time-optimized waters.


Pre-order my book The Time-Optimized Life and let yourself have a tool that will guide you to raise your sail and start you moving to greater productivity.

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Learn about Time-Optimized Planning

Join me on Wednesday 02/07/24 on LinkedIn where I will discuss Time-Optimized Planning, highlighted in Chapter 3 of The Time-Optimized Life.

David Buck is the author of the book “The Time-Optimized Life, owner of Kairos Management Solutions, LLC, and founder of the Infinity Lifestyle Design program. As a certified professional retirement coach (CPRC), David works with financial services providers helping their clients create a post-career lifestyle strategy. To learn more, contact him at dave@kmstime.com or visit Infinity Lifestyle Design.

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