Planning Your Day by Ann Gomez
When we are tight on time, we naturally do things that streamline a task. We write out a grocery list; we print out a map; and we plan our menu for the big family party (so we don’t forget the ice again!)
So why wouldn’t we plan our day? As professionals, most of us find ourselves short on time. And we intuitively know that making a plan saves us time.
Read on for my top ten tips for planning your day like a champion.
- Be realistic about your daily plan. We are only setting ourselves up for disappointment if we list too many things on our plan.
- Supplement your daily plan with a more long-term To Do list. That way, you won’t be tempted to write too many things on your daily plan.
- Block off time. If you suffer from serial over-committment, make a note of the actual time that you plan to work on each task.
- Allow time for the unknowns. People often call these the unexpected. I prefer to call them the unknowns. We know things will come up, even if we don’t know what they are.
- Differentiate between the urgent and the important. Steven Covey so wisely recommends that we spend time each day working on important things (and not just the things that are urgent). Writing, business development, professional development, investing in relationships … If we consistently bump the important things in favour of the urgent things, we likely won’t achieve our long-term goals.
- Consider planning a week at a time. Some people prefer to think about a week at a time. Contact me [firstname.lastname@example.org] if you would like a weekly plan template.
- Compare new tasks to your original plan. When a new task tries to pull you away from your original plan, make sure to evaluate it against your original plan. If the new task warrants re-arranging your plan, then by all means do so. But resist the urge to ‘react’ to the new task if your original plan is still the best. This is perhaps the hardest, but most important of all ten tips.
- Plan your day the night before. One of the last things that you do each day should be to plan the next day. As you are wrapping up your day, you are likely already thinking about what you need to accomplish tomorrow. Capture this thinking by crafting your plan. This allows you to leave your work confident that you have a plan in place for tomorrow.
- Plan to work on your most difficult task first. Build momentum in your day by getting rid of your hardest task first.
- Write out your list. And cross things off when they are completed – because it just feels so good to do so! Recycle your plan once the day (or the week) is done.
So there you have it – some simple tips to make for an outstanding daily plan. Imagine what you’ll be able to accomplish now!
© Ann Gomez, Productivity Consultant, Clear Concept Inc. Ann Gomez is a corporate trainer, focusing on personal productivity, project management and delegating. She is an avid blogger and is currently working on her book: Work Habits. www.clearconceptinc.ca
And if you liked these tips feel free to check out the webinar Creating Grace, Space, & Pace with Your Own ‘Just Whelmed’ Calendar. This friendly and focused 90-minute webinar is for those who are ready to gain a sense of control over their schedules and to-do lists.