TRACKTION PLANNER: GETTING STARTED
The TRACKTION Planner isn’t a project planning tool, a calendar replacement or an end-to-end productivity system. It has ONE job – to create the clarity, focus and accountability you need to find and transform the ONE area of life that’s most holding you back.
That’s why TRACKTION isn’t like other productivity systems: it doesn’t baby you, it won’t drain your time or your energy and it doesn’t try to do everything. Instead, all it does is help you track your satisfaction, your progress, your time and your actions. It doesn’t judge. It doesn’t tell. All it does is reflect.
Why? Because it knows, as you’ll soon discover, that all the creativity, knowledge and power to unlock your potential are already inside you. All your missing is simple, data-driven clarity.
You don’t need a back-seat driver. You need a GPS.
And that’s exactly what TRACKTION provides.
A. STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE
This section gives a short, practical step-by-step guide to getting started with your planner right away. For more detailed tips, tricks and ideas for each page, see section B. Detailed Page-By-Page Guide.
TO SET UP WEEKS 1 – 4:
- Complete your first Wheel of Life on page 8.
- Note the ONE area of life you’re least satisfied with on page 8.
- Pick one OUTCOME that if you could achieve it tomorrow…
- Pick one HABIT that if you did it consistently…
- Pick one VALUE that if you already had it…
- Pick one METRIC that if you measured it daily……would move this score’s area significantly closer to 10.
- Write your chosen OUTCOME on page 8.
- Write your chosen HABIT, VALUE and METRIC at the top of the first columns on pages 9, 10 and 11.
- Add up to 4 additional HABITS, VALUES and METRICS in the remaining columns.
- Set units for each HABIT and METRIC (e.g., ✔ / ✘, minutes, tally marks) TIP: for values, we always tally the events in a day where we failed to embody that value.
- Set ideal targets (counts, totals, averages) for week 1 and the 4 week period on pages 9, 10 and 11. TIP: don’t worry about targets in your very first week. Start at week 2 based on how things go in week 1.
TIP: this process may seem long-winded at first. But, with practice, it will take no more than 15 minutes each day.
The night before:
- Review your one OUTCOME on page 8 and write one ACTION that would move you closer to achieving it on page 13.
- Review your master calendar and to-do lists and fill the remaining 5 spots in “TODAY’s PRIORITIES” by asking yourself: “If I only had time to do 5 thing today, what would they be?”
- Number your final list of actions from 2 – 6 in order of priority (#1 being your one ACTION).
- Plan your “IDEAL SCHEDULE” using this list and your calendar on page 12.
In the morning:
- Review your “IDEAL SCHEDULE” and “PRIORITIES” for the upcoming day on pages 12 and 13.
- (From day 2: Review your “OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT” from the previous day.)
During the day:
- Track your “ACTUAL SCHEDULE” as you go through the day on page 12.
- Cross off the actions in “TODAY’S PRIORITIES” as you complete them on page 13.
In the evening:
- Record your day’s performance in the HABIT, VALUE and METRIC trackers on pages 9, 10 and 11.
- Review your trackers, priorities and schedules then reflect on page 13 on:
- What went well today?
- What lessons did I learn?
- What opportunities do I have to make tomorrow 1% better?
- What are you most grateful for today?
- Transfer any incomplete “PRIORITIES” from today’s tracker on page 13 to tomorrow’s tracker on page 15.
- Complete the actions in “The night before” section above.
TIP: The best time for the evening review is between 16:00 and 18:00, before shutting and winding down for the end of the day.
AT THE END OF EACH WEEK:
- Calculate and note your final HABIT, VALUE and METRIC scores for the week on pages 9, 10 and 11.
- Reflect on page 26 on:
- What went well this week?
- What lessons did I learn?
- What opportunities do I have to make the next week 1% better?
- Set HABIT, VALUE and METRIC targets for the week ahead on pages 9, 10 and 11.
B. DETAILED PAGE-BY-PAGE GUIDE
Each TRACKTION Planner allows 12-weeks of tracking over 8 different templates:
- Wheels of Life;
- Habit Trackers;
- Value Trackers;
- Metric Trackers;
- Ideal vs. Actual Schedules;
- Daily Priority Actions;
- Daily & Weekly Reflections; and
- Notes & Ideas.
The following short guides offer some brief tips and tricks to make the most of each section.
1 – WHEELS OF LIFE (p8)
Personal satisfaction (“How satisfied am I compared to where I want to be in this area right now?”).
Not perceived satisfaction (“How am I doing in this area of life compared to how I think others are doing?”)
To prioritise between two equal scores, take the area closest to 12:00 when moving clockwise around the circle. I.e., in this order:
- Health and Vitality
- Thoughts and Emotions
- Friends and Family
- Love and Partnership
- Growth and Learning
- Productivity and Performance
- Business and Career
- Wealth and Lifestyle
2 – HABIT TRACKERS (p9)
Habits are yes/no behaviours that you’d like to be (but aren’t yet) automatic. They include things like, did I exercise? did I wake up early? did I do my PM planning?
Your first habit must relate to your current ONE area. The remaining four habits spots can relate to other areas you might like to work on (or help sustain previous areas of focus).
Don’t bother tracking habits that are already automatic unless you catch yourself lapsing on them. Instead, pick new behaviours that you’d like to ingrain in your operating system.
Can probably set targets right away.
See the cheatsheets for a list of ideas and thought starters.
3 – VALUE TRACKERS (p10)
Values are principles or standards of behaviour. They include things like discipline, patience, kindness, generosity and temperance.
To track values, take a moment to reflect on the events of the day and note a single tally mark each time you recall acting in a way which failed to live up to the value.
Your first value must relater to your current ONE area. The remaining four value spots can relate to other values you might like to work on.
If this is your first week of tracking a habit, don’t set a target right away. Instead, collect a week of data, then set next week’s target at or below this week’s total to slowly start improving performance.
See the cheatsheets for a long list of potential values to choose from.
4 – METRIC TRACKERS (p11)
Where habits are yes/no behaviours, metrics relate to anything you count or measure. They include things like, how many calories did I eat? what time did I wake up? or how many mindful moments did I take today?
Your first metric must relate to your current ONE area. The remaining four metric spots can relate to other areas you might like to work on (or help sustain previous areas of focus).
With metrics, you can either set targets right away or collect one week of data, then set next week’s target based on this week’s performance to incrementally improve how your performance.
See the cheatsheets for a list of ideas and thought starters.
5 – IDEAL VS. ACTUAL SCHEDULES (p12)
The ideal vs. actual schedule page is one that many people struggle with at first. It’s also their most powerful tool later on. Here are a few pointers to help make things easier.
1st – The ideal schedule page is NOT a fixed plan for tomorrow. It’s an IDEAL. I.e., “If you could wave a magic wand and have tomorrow be a perfect day, what would it look like?”
Don’t worry if your ideal schedule feels unrealistic compared to the chaos of an actual day. By creating an ideal image you can keep coming back to (and use as a tool for reflection) you are doing incredibly valuable work.
You’ll unlock priceless insights as you work through the challenges, bottlenecks and opportunities that await. You’ll spot ways to create time for deep work, delegate early or batch similar types of tasks together. You’ll think creatively about how to fit everything in and still work on the ONE area that’s most holding you back.
What’s more, comparing ideal and actual schedules is an immensely powerful tool to aid reflection. Compare what you wanted to do with what actually happened to uncover common obstacles, patterns and warning signs that you’ll fast learn to solve in advance. The clear, objective feedback you’ll create will also greatly improve your ability to plan, visualise and set expectations for your day.
2nd – You don’t need to record your actual schedule in minute-by-minute detail. 15-minute blocks are the smallest units you should use. Not only is this plenty of detail, but it will also encourage you to work on one task, or one type of task, for at least 15-minutes at a time.
One last tip – Don’t be afraid to use colour to help you draw insights from your day. For example, one great hack is to highlight all the blocks in your actual schedule that involve deep, focused work on your most important (or weekly) goals. Or use a different pen colour depending on which of the four quadrants of the Wheel of Life you were working on.
This kind of markup will help you rapidly spot how and where you’re investing your time. By using colour in this way, you can even flick through the pages of your planner like a flip book to get an idea of how much that’s changing over time.
The overall message is this, the harder you find it to plan your ideal and record your actual schedules the more pressingly you need to be doing it. Yes, it will feel tough to start with. But over time it will also get MUCH easier. And once you’ve broken the back of it, you’ll realise what an incredible source of insights and improvements the exercise is.
6 – DAILY PRIORITY ACTIONS (p13)
To decide on your top 6 daily priorities, first review your calendar and your to-do lists for actions that if not completed tomorrow will have major consequences on you or others.
Next, set ONE next action that if you completed it tomorrow would take you one small step closer to realising your ONE outcome. Write this next to the (1) in the table.
Finally, reviewing your master to-do list, ask yourself the following question “If I only had time to complete one thing on this list tomorrow, what would it be?”
Write this one action down in the table. Then, imagining that action were completed, keep asks yourself the same question until all 5 spots in the table are filled.
Finally, review the 5 actions and reflect on their order of importance. Is it sill in the order you wrote them in? Use the empty circles next to each action to label them from 2 – 6 in order of priority for completion tomorrow.
Depending on time and context, you won’t always be able to work on your highest priority action at any one time. But whenever you have a choice between two or more actions, you should ALWAYS work on a higher priority action before a lower priority action.
At the end of the day, incomplete and still relevant priority actions onto tomorrow’s top priority table. You may find it helpful to reflect on why those actions weren’t completed and what you can do to avoid the same thing happening again.
7 – DAILY & WEEKLY REFLECTIONS (p13, p26)
Conscious and consistent reflection on each day and week’s wins, lessons and opportunities for improvement is one of the most valuable habits you can build.
Review your daily trackers, ideal vs. actual schedules and priority actions for things to celebrate and things to work on.
Make your opportunities for improvement concrete and actionable, then add them to your master todo list.
This will ensure you take action and get the full benefit of your reflection rather than settling for impractical fluff.
8 – NOTES AND IDEAS
One of the best parts of the TRACKTION planner is the wealth of creativity it will unlock.
You’ll think up new metrics, values and habits that you’ll want to start tracking. You’ll have ideas for new projects to solve long-time obstacles or opportunities you’d never previously spotted. You’ll make notes about how you’re feeling, what’s working and what you may want to change.
Aside from the margins of every page, the notes and ideas section at the end of the planner is the perfect place to capture those sparks of inspiration. Don’t be afraid to fill them and get everything you can out of your head. Putting stuff down on paper is the best way to make room for even more insights.
C. HABIT, VALUE AND METRIC CHEATSHEETS
HV – Daily Exercise.
HV – No Processed Food.
HV – Sleep for 7 – 8 hours.
HV – Nap for 20 minutes.
TE – Meditation.
TE – Journal meditation.
TE – Gratitude journalling.
TE – Laughed till I cried.
FF – Tell a friend how much you appreciate them.
FF – Catch up with a friend.
FF- Talk to somebody new.
LR – Speak to someone of the opposite sex.
LR – Go on a date.
LR – Tell your partner how much you appreciate them.
LR – Organise a Date night.
LR – Quality 1-on-1 time.
GL – Read 10 pages of a life-changing book.
GL – Learn 5 new words in a foreign language.
GL – Worked on a hobby.
PP – Morning routine
PP – Evening routine
PP – Weekly review
WL – Spent less than daily budget.
WL – Paid myself first.
WL – Made time for a hobby.
WL – Walked in nature.
HV – Resting heart rate (bpm)
HV – Body weight (lb/kg)
HV – Body measurements (in/cm)
TE – Mindful moments (#)
GL – Reading (Pages/minutes)
D. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
E. MORE FEEDBACK, ISSUES, HELP & SUPPORT
For now, please send all feedback, issues help and support to me at [email protected]