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Google calendar and an hour each morning to move actions related to long-term goals into your short term todo list (notebook in your case).

However, bear in mind that plans are rarely followed to execution perfectly. You may meet someone who wants you to stay, or you may get a really good offer. You might experience financial hardship and need to settle down for a while.

When I go on a hike, I spend a good hour or two studying maps (topographical, orthophoto, etc) before picking a trail. It means that I can decide on a whim to follow another trail halfway through if conditions call for it (mud, rain, wild animals, etc). Planning is about mapping out all possible outcomes, and not so much about following one plan to the letter.

I agree that regular assessment sessions are crucial.

If you, like me, are vaguely afraid of facing the future, it's enormously helpful to have a todo list, and to set aside a small part of every day for tending the todo list.

It's hugely helpful to have a moment in the day when you tell yourself you're not actually going to do any work (you are off the hook), but you're going to look at your list and poke and prod it in advance of such time as you're ready to work again.

Simply forgiving yourself the need to actually take action on any given item, and focusing on organizing what you've got, is immensely freeing, and sets you up pretty nicely for the next morning.

Thanks for this. I usually rush through planning/organization because I think it shouldn't take long, especially just for day to day things. But you mentioning that you give an hour is eye opening. Do you do this at work or before? How do you stay motivated/consistent to do it everyday?

An hour seems quite a bit much for day to day. If you have trouble organizing things, a Bullet Journal might bea good starting point.

In any case, long term goals often don't require much day to day action. Let's the long term goal is to save money for buying a house. That involves making a budget and sticking to it. Once a week you go over expenses and see if you need to make corrections.

If the goal is to travel the world, you start by planning where to go to. Then you figure out what medical actions you need to take, what VISA you need to apply for, ect. All of this requires some timeframe - you have to plan this and put it into you calendar. And once every month you go over what you need to do this month, and every week you go over what needs to happen this week.

The motivation to do this is the end goal. I wish I could tell you something magical, but it is dedication and deciplin. Make it easy for yourself, do it while you have a nice cup of coffee or whatever you like.

An hour is a bit of an exaggeration. I come in to work early every day, and sift through operational alerts/clear out easy tasks in that hour. I do this while eating cereal, making and drinking coffee, etc. If I have some time left over, I read the news (usually finish everything up in about 20-30 minutes).

Of course, we do a technical rotation, and there's a lot of small tasks to do, most of which require a very quick grep of the logs.

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