Day 5 of #10DBC #FreedomPlan: Setting Yourself Up For Success

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I’m participating in the #10DBC #FreedomPlan challenge. This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 5.

DAY 5: Setting Myself Up For Success

Today’s challenge involves creating a daily success plan to help us accomplish our MIAs: Most Important Activities (I really like this acronym Natalie!! Fun & quite witty!) This challenge couldn’t have come at a more opportune moment as I am trying to plan time to take a course for a professional license exam, study, and take the certification exam by the end of 2016. I currently have less than 100 days to pull it off, but the issue is (as Natalie eluded to): time.

My mornings are shot as I get up, get ready, and go directly to work. Some days I have to be in by 6am (sometimes earlier), and if I’m not at work by 7:45 I’m late. When I’m at work, it’s a complete zoo. There is no down-time, no free time, no time for me to take 25 minutes to study or squeeze in a Pomodoro session. The 30 minutes that I get off for lunch are mostly spent trying to fight the lines in the cafeteria to get my food so that I have 15-20 minutes to actually eat and mentally let my brain recharge before I have to jump back into the fire once again. Most days I don’t leave work until at least 17:00, sometimes it’s closer to 18:00. So unless Natalie has suggestions or tips to change this situation, I don’t have spare breaks at work where I can instead use 10-15 minutes for a mini personal success session.

If you’re following the math, that leaves the evenings. Interestingly enough, I was officially introduced to Pomodoro sessions 2 weeks ago in our weekly #bufferchat on Twitter. What I found surprising was that although I had never heard of the term before, I actually have been doing my own versions of the technique for years! When I started my classical training on the violin when I was 4 years old, we always focused on 45 minute sessions of intense concentration, followed by 10 minutes of rigorous activity (get the blood flowing), and then 5 minutes of meditation to help focus that energy. We would then jump straight into another 45 minute session. This soon transferred over to my studies as well, and I have found it to be quite beneficial to look at my free time in “units” as opposed to long stretches of time.

So here’s My Daily Success Plan and how I am going to structure my weeks for study sessions while using Pomodoro sessions:

Sunday, Monday, Wednesday: 18:00 – Begin three 25 minute Pomodoro sessions, interrupted by 15 minute recharge sessions. End at 20:00. Focus specifically on watching online teaching videos, taking notes, making Anki flashcards as I go, and learning the material. Resume at 21:00: one 30 minute session to study / review Anki flashcards. End at 21:30.

Tuesday, Thursday: 17:30 – Begin two 25 minute Pomodoro sessions, interrupted by 15 minute recharge sessions. End at 18:50.  Focus specifically on watching online teaching videos, taking notes, making Anki flashcards as I go, and learning the material.

On Tuesdays, mental break to participate in weekly #bufferchat at 20:00. Resume at 21:15: one 30 minute session to study / review Anki flashcards. End at 21:45.

On Thursdays, mental break to go play basketball at 19:00. Resume at 22:30: one 30 minute session to study / review Anki flashcards. End at 23:00.

Fridays: 15:00 – Begin three 25 minute Pomodoro sessions, interrupted by 15 minute recharge sessions. End at 17:00. Focus specifically on watching online teaching videos, taking notes, making Anki flashcards as I go, and learning the material. Resume at 19:00: one 30 minute session to study / review Anki flashcards. End at 19:30.

Taking breaks is a good thing, so Saturdays will be my recharge day.

When am I going to start this? Terrific question! Sunday September 25, 2016! If you’re feeling up to it, I would welcome all support! HOLD ME TO IT!!

It’s going to be a busy few months ahead, but it needs to be done to lay the foundation for a greater future. It’s always about hard work and continuing hustling more than the person next to you. This is me pushing the envelope further. I’m looking forward to the journey!

How about you? What does your Daily Success Plan look like?

Finally, what’s with the photo? This is from one of my favorite places to eat in San Diego: Extraordinary Desserts! This photo serves as motivation for me! When I finish taking that exam in December, I am flying back to California and will be having a nice “Treat Yo Self” session back at Extraordinary as celebration of my accomplishment! If you like the photo (I took it last time I was at Extraordinary), be sure to hop over to my Instagram page for more of my shots / features of my photography hobby!!

~R

Have feedback on my post? Feel free to comment below! Be sure to follow along with us as we continue to explore Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 5.

Be sure to check out the hashtags #10DBC #freedomplan on Social Media to see what others are writing about!

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