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Make interval plans work for you.
Use the theory behind interval training to maximize your planning effectiveness. Just as runners train and gain strength and endurance by running in short, intense bursts and then going at a slower pace for awhile, so we can follow the same pattern in our day-to-day lives.
Breaking up your year into intervals, with rest periods in between, is a great way to keep your head wrapped around what you have to do and also keep up your energy as you do them. Planning for a space of time that is long enough to complete a small project or at least accomplish milestones in a large project helps you retain focus and the benefits of deadlines and end-of-season pushes that usually only happen at the end of school years, fiscal years, or calendar years. You never get to slump into the “I have plenty of time” mentality as is so easy come February for those annual goals.
Deadlines motivate, and intervals are a way to consistently bring deadlines to bear, increasing our self-discipline and effectiveness in the things that matter to us.
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Follow the bibliographic trail
These are the books that inspired me to plan in short bursts rather than with long-term goal setting.