The To-Do List, Quartered: A Tactical Guide to 2016

by Michael Pietrzak January 05, 2016

The To-Do List, Quartered: A Tactical Guide to 2016

This is Part 2 of a 4-part series on taking control of your time 
(Read Part 1)

Think of TV crime dramas from the early 2000s. What line of dialogue did Every. Single. One. share in common?
“Can you enhance that image?”
In last week’s post, How to Take Charge of 2016: Your 365-Day Master Plan, we got into the nuts & bolts of the Yearly Plan, a tool that will help you take control of your time in 2016.
Let’s enhance. Zoom. Zoom. A little to the left. Enhance.
If the Yearly Plan is the 40,000 ft. view of your life, then the Quarterly Plan brings us down to smooth sailing at 10k. Think of the first as your strategy, and the second as tactics.
Here, we focus. We set our intentions for the first 3 months of 2016. This is our chance to zoom in on our most valuable goals from our yearly list.

Why the 3 month timeline? 

I’ve found that it’s enough time to expect your projects to bear some fruit, or at least to start budding. It’s also a good resting place to reflect, and take stock.

After a quarter of a year you’ll have ample learning under your belt to make a decision to pivot or persevere, or to drop the project entirely.

We narrow our focus, and get specific.

  • Prioritize your goals: it’s tough to play favorites with a long list of wants, but trying to do everything will help you do nothing.
  • Choose concrete steps: list up to 5 of the top actions you can take this quarter to carry you to success.
  • Set deadlines: Be realistic and flexible, but be as firm as you can with your calendar. Budget more time than you think you’ll need.
  • List your minor goals (again, less is more). Last year I was hell-bent on planting a garden, but had no time to tend it. I pulled only 4 zucchini and 1 potato out of the ground.

At the end of the quarter, reflect, alter course, and bask in the roar of your wild productivity.

Bonus points: don’t sweat it! This process should be a lot of fun; working to exhaustion is frowned on.

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Michael Pietrzak
Michael Pietrzak


1 Response


November 01, 2016

This is so good to start, i’m going to use all you said!

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