Accelerate Your Growth




When the new year rolls around, we have shining new dreams for us to complete, new selves to work towards.


This spreadsheet helps you get there.


If you use it consistently, you’ll be reminded of your goals and be able to track your progress!


Some people are passionate about art, others about people, and still others about tracking progress towards goals. One of those groups is less likely than the others but I fall into that category.


What I’m about to share with you has been for my eyes only for so long. It was only after a handful of clients asked me to share with them the process that I decided to write an article and share it so that more people apply what they find useful.


I don’t think this will work for everyone. I’ve tried an endless number of apps and modified this spreadsheet every year for the last 5 to get me to this final product. Likely, I’ll make more changes in the future again so stay tuned for a 2023 version.


History


I didn’t start off with such a detailed spreadsheet to organize my work and life tasks; like most, it started off with lists of things to do on various pieces of paper, which consolidated onto one piece of paper and turned digital.


I’ve played with all the popular task management tools like Meister Task and for a while, it worked. Especially in team projects, it helped to have a central location to share progress and the integration with google calendar was great.


But as I progressed into individualized work, I found it to be ineffective.



Desk with journals, and laptop
Bullet Journal - one of the MANY ways to be more productive

On top of that, I read so many books on various methods to optimize your productivity that wasn’t reflected in my to-do list.


I went back to the ever-customizable spreadsheet. From there, I have added, taken away, and modified to better optimize my productivity and adapt to my ever-changing moods.


As you read forward, don’t think you need to use all of these at the same time. I only use the second sheet when I feel like I am spending a lot of time on unproductive tasks.



Weekly Planning - Free Download
.xlsx
Download XLSX • 91KB


TO DO | Sheet 1


First and foremost, the simple To-Do List that is very similar to the setup in MeisterTask.


There are 2 basic sections:

  • To-Do

Screenshot of Sheet 1

Tasks I would like to do during the week, one’s I have dragged over for today, and the Done column of completed tasks.

  • Priorities

Screenshot of Sheet 1

Here I have 3 lists. The first two remind me of what is important in my life and the third is a running list of ideas so I don’t forget.

  1. Productive: A few hobbies or activities that I like to do that aren’t time-wasters in my mind. I find often when I am bored or stressed, it’s hard to think of what else I can do other than scroll on social media so this list helps me narrow from anything in the world to a shortlist. Always easier to do some multiple-choice rather than open answers.

  2. People: A list of the most important people in my life. When I have a spare moment or two, I’ll look at this list and see who I can shoot a text to. If I know I have a free afternoon, I may schedule a lunch. I’ll fill the box in green if I have recently talked to them to further track.

  3. Date Ideas: This can be a running list of anything, books or movies you’ve been recommended, hikes you want to explore, videos you want to play. One place to keep track of all of it.


How To Use


Pretty straightforward but here are some tips for using it.


Shattered Mirror

  • Break down large tasks into small

ie. Finish Project becomes:

  • Meet with Angie to go over the final draft

  • Revisions

  • Final Look Over

  • Write report and findings

  • Send Final Copy to Team


  • If something is sitting on your list for more than two weeks, reflect on why.

  • Are you feeling anxious about it? How can you remove obstacles?

  • How can you make the task easier? I find breaking it down into 10-minute tasks makes it much easier.


  • Bonus: Add time estimates in brackets so that if you have a spare 15 minutes, you can see which task will likely take you less than that to complete.

Day by Day | Sheet 2


This was inspired by time-blocking, where you plan out every 30 minutes of your day, and the Pomodoro method, where you work for 25 minutes and rest for 5.


Two tomatoes on a green background
Pomodoro = Tomato

I love this combination for a number of reasons

  • Like budgeting money, it allows me to see how I’m allocating my time so I can better spend it. Unlike money, you can’t make more time in a week so it is that much more important.

  • Some tasks can seem daunting but if you break them into smaller tasks and give yourself a 25 min time limit to do as much as you can, it is manageable. I’ve been amazed at how much I was able to do in 25 minutes, tasks that I would have thought would take me at least 2 hours.

  • Multitasking doesn’t exist. Our brain has to use energy to switch between tasks so it is more efficient to stick to one task at a time. Scheduling time to check notifications has lowered my stress levels and allowed me to get more done in a day.

  • Tracking helped me figure out my optimal sleep, social, and rest levels. It took a lot of tweaking and checking over weeks to help me adjust and see the long-term effects.

  • Once I saw how many hours I was spending on social media and other ‘entertainment’ that didn’t actually make me feel relaxed and refreshed, I was more motivated to find new things to do.

This is NOT something I use every week, only when I am feeling like I am out of balance. If I’m not sleeping enough or find myself carried away with work or play, I go back to this and see where I am spending my time.


How to Use

Set-Up

Screenshot of tracking columns
  1. I have 7 categories of how I spend my time

  2. Column K is a manual in up of the number of hours I aim to spend in each category

  3. Column L automatically counts up the number of hours every week spent in each category. Boxes from Monday to Sunday should be ‘tagged’ for the different categories

  4. Sleep is represented by the word Sleep

  5. Work is represented by W-

  6. Housework is represented by the word H-

  7. Relax is represented by the word R-

  8. Unproductive is represented by the word U-

  9. Social is represented by the word S-

  10. Other is represented by the word O-

  • If you’d like to change the categories and tag, you can do so in Column L. Replace the tag in the quotations in the formula. If you’d like to change the colors in the Time blocking, you can do that under conditional formatting.

Weekly


Screenshot of sheet 2

  1. Fill in Column K with your goal hours for the week.

  2. Plan out your week by filling in the schedule with tags. Colors and count will automatically update.

  3. Fill in activities by order of importance. Sleep, work, and social engagements tend to be my top priority then working out and relaxation.

  4. Adjust to be as close to the goal numbers you’ve set up as possible

Daily

  1. Update with what you actually did in those time blocks. Sometimes you have a bad day and you aren’t able to do everything on your schedule, but that is okay. You’ll also have days that you are way more productive

End of the Week

  1. Reflect on how your hours were spent.

  2. What category feels satisfied? Which did not?

  3. What worked for the good categories and what didn’t for the bad ones?

  4. What obstacles were there and how can they be prevented or minimized in the future?

  5. What adjustments should be made for next week?

Goals 2022 | Sheet 3



Neon sign that says "Do Something Great"
Need some daily motivation to keep me on track.

This is probably my favorite sheet and the newest addition, so I’m going to go into a long exposition that I feel it deserves.


In 2021, I was inspired (by half a bottle of wine) at midnight to do more. After all, we were a year into the pandemic and I was watching my life stagnate. I came up with a list of 21 things I wanted to do and aimed to do 20 of them: 20/21, get it?


With that list, I ended up starting a business, exercising regularly, and doing more than I thought possible.


A few things I learned:

  • My goals at the beginning of the year were very different from the ones in the middle

  • Tracking was key to reminding me what I wanted to do


In 2022, I decided to only list out 10+ things and in the middle of the year, I would find another 10+ . I also added in day tracing as I forgot if I had tracked some of the daily tasks.


How to Use


Screenshot of sheet 3

Setup


Step 1. Write out your goals in Column B

Step 2. Input how many parts the goal has in Column K


=J Row Number/Number of Parts

ie.

Try a new craft is 1 part so K4 would be =J4/1

Read 30 books is 30 parts so K8 would be =J8/30


Step 3: K2 represents the percentage of goal that have been completed so far



=(SUM(K$3:K)/Total Number of Goals)


ie. 10 goals =(SUM(K$3:K)/10)

15 goals =(SUM(K$3:K)/15)


Tracking

Step 1: Every month , update K1 to be

=Month/12

ie.

January = 1/12

May = 5 /12


Step 2. Every time you complete a part of a goal, update under the day of the week and the total

Step 3. Every time you finish a goal, write the date you finished.


What do you think is missing?


I’ve laid my heart and years of work on the table so don’t be too harsh but what do you think is missing? Where can things be streamlined and what productivity method would I benefit from incorporating into my spreadsheets?