How to Avoid Getting Lost - Make Your Own Map

Recently, I began to notice that I was making less progress than I was used to on the path towards my goals. I seemed to be getting less and less done each day and I found myself becoming unmotivated and caring less about my dreams.

Initially, the feeling crept up on me without my noticing, but as soon as I realized it, I began to search for the reasons why things were going wrong. At first I thought it was just a temporary lull and that I just needed to give myself time to pick up again, but that didn't make any appreciable difference.

And then it hit me. While looking for obscure reasons for my apparent failure, I had forgotten to look at the fundamentals. I suddenly realized that, for the last two weeks, I had completely omitted making a daily plan. For some reason, and I don't know if it was forgetfulness or complacency, I had fallen out of a habit which had previously been ingrained in my psyche.

Here is how I got myself back on track.

That very evening, I sat down and planned my tomorrow, by listing all the things I wanted to get done, from the smallest to the largest. I broke down the larger ones into manageable chunks and then I prioritized and chose the tasks that I could reasonably perform next day.

I then time-sliced the hours I would have available and made sure that I allocated a slot to each of the tasks. I allowed a few minutes margin of error around each one, to compensate for things not going quite according to plan and I also made sure that I gave time to other important things like a doctor's appointment and some time with the family.

Finally, I wrote the whole day's plan down on paper, pinned it up next to my workstation and went to bed, secure in the knowledge that whatever happened tomorrow, it wouldn't go wrong due to a lack of planning.

Since then, I am back on track, completing all my allocated tasks and enjoying every minute.

  • About

    headshot: David Beroff in St. ThomasDavid Beroff started writing software at the age of 11, and was teaching Computer Science at Rutgers University by the time he was 18. After designing software for two decades, he started his own Internet marketing firm in '95; one of his company's earliest successes was, a free feedback-form service that was later sold to Wondermill.

    Beroff had bought and sold four million voluntary, opt-in email leads generated with properties like LeadFactory and SuperTAF before the business failed in '07. He is the author of the book, Turn Funny Email into CASH!, and is currently developing a new social media site,

    He has two grown children, and now lives outside of Scranton with his girlfriend and five cats.

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