About ten days ago I wrote, in Michael Hyatt’s words, “a great, honest review” of the Full Focus Planner. And, Joel Miller, Chief Content Officer for Michael Hyatt, & Co. said it was “a solid review of one of our key products.”
And, with the release of a new podcast from MH&Co, called Focus On This where they talk about just using the planner, I thought, why not write a post on how you can maximize your use of the planner.
As I said in my previous post, the Full Focus Planner is a little daunting at first. In fact, I didn’t event open my first one out of sheer intimidation. If you’re thinking about using the planner, I want to help you get the most out of it. Don’t be intimidated like I was.
Zero, start with the right mindset
By purchasing the planner, you already have said that you’re either tired of not being focused on getting your goals accomplished for the year, or you are just looking for a better way to stay organized and productive. I’d suggest that you adopt a mindset not of perfection, but of play. Experiment and know that you’re not always going to get it right when you first get started. It’s more about the process than the result at the beginning.
First, go through the tutorial videos
Hyatt and his team created a library of videos to walk you through the features of the planner, and a little fun exercise to ensure that your planner lays flat on your desk or work surface. Because this planner is a new concept among planners, I think it will warrant a bit of a process to onboard yourself to your new purchase. So, I’d dedicate some time, maybe one afternoon or evening to learn about your new planner.
Second, don’t get hung up on the details
Over on the Full Focus Facebook community, you’ll see lots of conversations about pens, pen loops, custom covers, etc. All that is great and you want to make it your own. Heck, I’ve even seen planners with wasabi tape, decorations, and real fancy painted covers. For me that’s overkill. All you need is one pen, and you can even clip the pen to the spine of the planner. No muss no fuss. Just get started using it. If you want to get crazy and color code things with different pens, do it later.
Third, you’re going to need community
This might be the most important aspect of getting the most out of your planner. You need someone to join you in this new approach to planning and goal setting. I meet weekly (when schedules allow) with a fellow FFP user. We meet usually on Sunday evenings, and catch up on the week, go through our Weekly Preview, and share with each other our biggest wins in the past week, and what we hope to get done in the following week.
I used to feel alone when it came to using the planner. I have to tell you this story. When I went to a workshop with a best selling author Jeff Goins, I saw that he had the FFP, and several others did too. It was so cool to see the planner in the wild, as if it were the next tech gadget. (I am such a dork…)
The best way to find a fellow user is to go to the Facebook Community and just ask if there are any users in your area. In my area (roughly region, I know about maybe six people who are FFPers. Ask them if they’d like to meet once a week.
If you don’t have anyone in your area, search for one person in the Facebook group that you could meet virtually with once a week.
The benefit of knowing that someone else is working on their goals just like you are and the accountability it provides you is something that can’t be overstated.
Fourth, complete your Life Plan
Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy, cowrote a book called, Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want. The book is meant to walk you through the necessary exercises to create a life plan. Your Life Plan is simply a documented guide to help you determine your priorities for your life in several domains, i.e. financial, spiritual, relational.
Not completing a life plan means that you’ll probably still be drifting through life and may not get to the destination you want to. Even if you use the planner, you might still drift to an unplanned destination.
Fifth, take it with you everywhere
When you have your planner with you you can always jot down notes, write down tasks to do, and write down tasks you’ve already done just to have the satisfaction of checking them off. Also, it’s an important means to make sure that it’s always up to date because you can make notes, add dates to the calendar, and keep things organized. Part of the work here is to make it part of your lifestyle. It’s part of the process of becoming more focused.
Bonus Tips from Others:
This one comes from Oscar Silva, a member of the FFP community. He says to not leave any page blank in the planner. Use the notes section of the daily view to capture notes and ideas you get from listening to podcasts, videos, and other things throughout the day.
For users of the Full Focus Planner, you can maximize your use of the planner by starting with the right mindset, going through the tutorial videos, not get hung up on details, get in community with others, completing a life plan, and take the planner with you everywhere you go.
Now it’s your turn! How have you maximized your use of your Full Focus Planner? Let us know in the comments below.