Ostruk's planning workflow description

Planning is crucial for achieving any significant goals. It helps us utilize our resources effectively and maintain focus on what truly matters. However, finding a suitable methodology for effective planning can be challenging. Many existing approaches often boil down to mere lists of tasks, lacking depth and long-term perspective. This is where Ostruk's planning methodology steps in, offering a simple yet powerful framework for effective long-term goal planning and personal development.

Ostruk's planning workflow, a part of the broader planning methodology, aims to distill key ideas and recommendations for simple and effective planning and execution of long-term goals. It provides a roadmap for creating a more balanced life and achieving significant results in personal growth.

Some of these ideas have been incorporated into the bPlanner  (link: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.abstractplanner) Smartphone Application, currently available as Android App with plans for an iOS release in December 2017. While the app doesn't delve into the full methodology of idea creation, planning, and reasoning, it offers an abstract framework to streamline the planning process.

Background and reasons

The human brain faces challenges in solving complex problems with numerous components. To overcome this, problems need to be broken down into smaller, manageable pieces. Additionally, the brain can effectively focus on only one task at a time, necessitating the need for task decomposition and time management. Continuous engagement is essential for meaningful results, but prolonged focus on a single task can lead to mental exhaustion. Therefore, tasks should be spread out over time and interspersed with activities from other areas of interest to maintain productivity.

While many planning techniques and apps exist, they often come with significant overhead. Ostruk's methodology challenges traditional planning approaches by focusing on goals rather than timeframes. It emphasizes proactive task completion, ensuring that tasks contribute to meaningful outcomes. This approach encourages individuals to prioritize tasks based on their value and relevance to overarching goals.

General description

The process of planning can be done on a piece of paper or using dedicated Android App.

Key Workflow Ideas: 
  • Define Development Areas: Identify 5 to 8 areas of personal development, each representing a significant long-term goal. These could include professional projects, skill development, or personal aspirations. It's good if they cover different areas of your life to ensure your sustainable growth and keeping you motivated due to the different types of activity.
  • Daily Task Setting: Assign one main task for each development area every day. Focusing on a single task per area ensures clarity and prioritization. It's recommended to set only one task per day per area to keep you focused in a short term and save your energy for a long term. 
  • Evening Planning: Plan tasks for the next day or next week in the evening, allowing for intentional goal-setting and preparation. 
  • Task Completion: Complete tasks by the end of the day to avoid carryover. Uncompleted tasks become top priorities for the following days, ensuring accountability and progress.
Additional Task Recommendations: 
  • Proactive Tasks: Tasks should involve creation or active engagement rather than passive consumption. 
  • Task Value: Emphasize the value of tasks by ensuring they contribute meaningfully to personal or professional growth. 
  • Focus and Alignment: Maintain focus on one task at a time, aligning each task with overarching area goals. 
  • Quick Tasks: Maintain a separate to-do list for quick tasks that can be completed within two hours or may not be related to any of the long-term areas.

Android App description

The bPlanner app offers a user-friendly interface, featuring a Calendar Grid for setting day-to-day goals aligned with development areas. It prompts users to set goals for the next day and notifies them of any uncompleted tasks. The app's main view (Calendar Grid) displays pending day-to-day goals in respect to you Areas of development, allowing users to mark them as done or set reminders effortlessly. 

The app will remind you about setting your goals for the next day as well as uncompleted goals if you have such. Setting goals in advance and completing them in time is very important if you want to get some results.

When you open the app for the first time, you'll also see the main view, where tasks that are not done yet (until today) are listed. You can easily mark task as done or set a reminder for it by swiping right or left respectively. 

Also in the new version of the App there's possibility to add "quick tasks" (small tasks, that can be done today). You can do that using plus button on the main view.

If you find this methodology interesting, consider trying out the bPlanner app and sharing your feedback. Feel free to rate the app and leave reviews, or reach out with any questions or comments about the workflow. Let's embark on a journey of intentional planning and meaningful growth together!

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