The Monthly Momentum Planner helps you get your arms around the monthly level of perspective, the crucial and first level where we really see creative momentum start to happen. It’s also the level of perspective that many of us haven’t figured out yet. Think about it: you can probably easily plan your day and maybe your week. But the month might get away from you.
The video above walks you through the key elements of the Monthly Momentum Planner. We keep the most up-to-date version of all of our planners on the Free Planners page in case you want to download one to follow along with this post.
Quarterly Objectives are collections of projects that all go toward a certain goal and that contain a bunch of other projects. Fun fact: the English language doesn’t have a word for “big project” like it does for big house (mansion).
(Note: If you’re using the Annual and/or Quarterly Momentum Planners that come exclusively in our Momentum Planners Bundle, you will be able to simply transfer your quarterly objectives from those planners to this one.)
For instance, “Write The Awesomesauce Ebook” is an objective that’s broken down into component projects like “Write Chapter 1 of Awesomesauce Ebook.” The project “Write Chapter 1 of Amesomesauce Ebook” is broken down into discrete tasks.
While we’re on categories and organizing, you may find it useful to associate the levels of actions with timeframes. So:
- Objectives relate to months and quarters.
- Projects relate to weeks.
- Tasks relate to days.
To be clear, I’m not saying that projects take weeks to accomplish – rather, I’m saying that projects should be the main focus when you’re doing your weekly planning.
Yes, these conventions violate GTD principles, but I’ve found that they’re a lot easier to understand and use.
Okay, so now that you’ve got the skeleton of your month laid out, you can move onto…
Below the aforementioned block is a block with space to write down what goals or projects you plan to work on during the month.
The little numbers do not necessarily relate to the numbers in the “Objectives” block. However, the goals/projects that you put in here should relate to the objectives you listed.
For instance, let’s go back to the objective “Write The Awesomesauce Ebook.” That’s a great objective, but thinking about writing it won’t get it written. Writing it will get it written, and to write it, you have to allocate some time to it. Otherwise, it just becomes a bee that sleeps during the day and stings you at night.
These blocks may frustrate the hell out of you because there are only five slots. They are intentionally limited, though, for two reasons: 1) to keep overwhelm down, and 2) to force help you make meaningful stuff the priority. Time and resources are finite – make ’em count.
Scheduled events are the types of events that are going to disrupt your weekly flow. Oftentimes, either they’re their own projects or they’re distracting enough to keep you from doing some things that you otherwise would.
Do you have any of the following events coming up?:
- Significant medical events
- Moves – as in, moving from one house or apartment to another
- A new job or a significant change in your current job responsibilities
If so, mark down when they happen. For instance, if you have a vacation that’s going to last two weeks, mark down what it is and when it will be in the Scheduled Events block. Make sure that you put only vacation-related goals down in the weeks you’re going to be on vacation; realistically, you’re probably not going to do anything else anyway, so you might as well get real about it now rather than beat yourself up during and after your vacation.
In work as in the rest of life, things pop up unexpectedly. Here, you can gather your thoughts on any projects that emerged this month. For better or for worse, it’s good to know what happened so you can better plan for the future.
Weekly Breakdown of Projects
In the right column is the weekly breakdown of what projects you’re going to do that relate to what you’ve already committed to in the left column. Here is where you can slide your projects over and convert them into smaller chunks. Your Scheduled Events are important here, because they will tell you how much time you’re going to have.
Get Inspired with the Monthly Momentum Planner
Strategic thinking, done correctly, helps you push the ball forward in a meaningful way because it helps you project effectiveness further into the future. Effectiveness comes from linking today’s action to this month’s objectives – that way you can work “in the trenches” with the confidence that it’s worthwhile.