Your week is perfectly planned? Each slot in your calendar has a label and all upcoming tasks have their place? Then nothing can go wrong. Can't it? Well - have you ever had a week where nothing
went wrong and no unplanned events got in your way? I haven't.
Better not make a plan in the first place then? No, no, we don't want to go that far either. It's good to have a rough time structure to start with. You have to start somewhere. But it's also clear that no matter how well thought out the planning is, reality always gets in the way. And that's not always a bad thing.... So, don't close your eyes to this simple fact of life, but rather plan with it in mind!
Make Room for the Unexpected!
Always block no more than 80% of your time in your calendar! And don't let anyone tell you to fill these empty spaces. If necessary, simply enter an alias for these time buffers... This strategy will save you a lot of nerves and help you stay cool even if there is an unexpected setback. You'll have enough time reserves to make up for it. And you'll be able to meet all deadlines in spite of everything. Congratulations!
Maybe you also don't want to be only reactive in the way you work and just work your way through all those tasks that are thrown at you. Maybe you have long-term goals and visions of where your professional future should take you? It's all too easy for these ideas to get lost in the daily work routine. And then you wake up a decade later and ask yourself what actually happened to your vision.
Time for the Island
Here is my tip for not letting that happen: Make time for strategic planning! Sometimes you just have to take an uninterrupted window of time to step back and ask yourself some critical questions.
• Where do I stand in my professional journey?
Which of your goals are you still on track for? Which subgoals have you perhaps already achieved? If, for example, you have always dreamed of becoming an aircraft engineer, then a partial goal could be a successful degree in mechanical engineering, or even your first job in the industry.
• Is my current job (still) bringing me closer to my long-term goals?
Let's say your first job is in the supplier industry. Does your field of activity still have something to do with the actual aircraft, or do you work on components that are actually used in other machines? What is the typical career path from your position? Does the that plath lead you to stations that are closer to your dream, or in completely different directions?
• What's the next step that will bring me closer to my goal?
Are you still missing a particular additional qualification? Could you take courses or attend events that address the topic of my vision? Is there a chance for you to meet a certain key person?
Only if you consistently keep asking yourself such questions you can be sure to keep focused on your path, counteract undesirable developments early enough and recognize upcoming opportunities. For example, come in to work an hour early on Monday mornings before everyone else shows up. Or plan to deal with this for half a day a month at home. Plan these "luxury" time windows early on in your professional life! This will ensure that you'll be able to achieve your goals some time and enjoy the fruits of your dreams!