If you want to be someone who can actually achieve what they plan, you need to start spending some time planning your day. Don’t worry, today you’ll find all the A to Z of why and how to plan your day.
These tips for planning your day will work perfectly for students, as well as career-oriented individuals. What’s even better is that you’ll learn all the expert tricks of how you can improve your productivity by planning your day accordingly.
Doesn’t it sound like a one-stop solution to all your work problems? That’s exactly what it is. So, keep reading to find life-changing tips!
Before we move onto the fool-proof formula of planning your day, first let’s convince you on why planning your day is a task you should spend time and energy on.
With a plan in mind, you know what’s coming. The responsibilities of the day are clear, unless an unexpected or urgent task comes up.
The point is, when you head to war prepared, there’s a higher chance of victory. However, if you’re attacked without a clue, you not only have to fight harder, but there’s also a very low chance of your success.
If you wake up knowing the things you have to do, you’ll be more motivated. Since there’s less time to procrastinate, you can’t do anything but focus on work. Your subconscious is prepared, and so you take on the tasks with full motivation.
This actually works wonders to get you to finish your tasks of the day promptly.
You can work all day long without accomplishing anything. This is a very rookie mistake that you need to avoid. How, you may ask. Well, planning your day is the answer.
When you plan your day, you have the opportunity to prioritize your work in a way that ensures that important jobs are fulfilled((Harvard Business Review: How to Focus on What’s Important, Not Just What’s Urgent)).
Without a plan, you start doing what comes to your mind. It is a very haphazard way of doing things because nothing is connected or coherent.
On the other hand, when you proceed with a plan, you can give more time to what needs it the most. If, for example, you’re going through a tough time in life, you can prioritize self-care that day. The great thing is that, since you have a plan, you can still squeeze in the urgent tasks.
So, it’s a win-win situation where you get what you want without compromising on your responsibilities.
One way or the other, productivity always comes down to one thing: time management.
What better way to manage every second of the day to its full potential than planning it out?
When you schedule your day, you’ve basically put every minute to use. Task 1 is designated for one time slot, task 2 for another, lunch-time for one hour, and so on.
All the needs and jobs are taken care of. Yet, nothing overlaps. Personal commitment, work deadlines, and everything else are perfectly planned out throughout the 24 hours. You don’t feel burdened, and you don’t waste any time.
There are days when you just want to wing everything. It’s great to be spontaneous once in a while, but it’s not something you should do every day.
As fun as this lifestyle sounds, it won’t be long before it starts taking a toll on your mental health. Surprises and urgencies are not that fun to deal with when they start affecting your personal life and work efficiency.
Planning your days brings an order. It makes your life systematic. Don’t confuse this with a boring lifestyle. A structured life means that you’re clear about what you want to do. It doesn’t mean you’ll follow the same routine every day. However, whatever routine you want to follow is pre-planned and well thought out.
Not only is it an effective way to boost your productivity, but a structured life also helps you get rid of bad habits while strengthening good ones.
It’s now time to finally talk about the easy yet effective method of planning your day for productivity.
The first part of your plan is to have a clear goal.
Never proceed with your day’s plan unless you have a goal for the day in mind. Daily goals are important when it comes to keeping you on track and helping you achieve something at the end of the day.
Your day’s goal should be in line with your week’s goals so that you’re moving forward instead of wandering around.
With this goal in mind, plan your tasks accordingly. Make sure that each task leads to the accomplishment of your goal so that by the end of the day, you have fulfilled what you have in mind.
Although you’re planning your day, don’t look at it individually. Consider one day to be 1/7th of your week. Similarly, do not look at one day differently than your entire month.
The point is that each day should contribute to your bigger plan of the week, month, year, and life. It should all be cohesive. Ultimately, everything you do in one day should be coherent with what you want to achieve in the longer run.
Don’t forget to keep the future and the bigger picture in mind when planning your day. Also, keep the previous day and the coming day in mind. For example, if a task from the previous day was left incomplete, make sure to carry it on the next day. If you know you have a deadline in the coming days, schedule a part of it in your current day.
A day is comprised of much more than just work. You have personal commitments, work deadlines, social life, house chores, and so much more. A perfect plan should include all these categories.
One major issue is that a lot of people tend to focus too much on work and too little on themselves. For the perfect daily plan, don’t forget to add in some personal time. Some alone time is necessary for mental strength, creativity, reflection, and other important things that help you keep going((Forbes: 7 Science-Backed Reasons You Should Spend More Time Alone)).
Having categories in your plan will allow you to balance it all out. You’ll know you have to set aside a certain amount of time for one category. This way, no part of your life will be neglected.
Don’t make a plan that’s too stringent. You never know what surprises life will bring in the coming day. Therefore, always have enough room in your plan for adjustments.
Mark the things that cannot be moved around at all so that you know you need to get them done no matter what. This way, you won’t have to think long and hard to make room for the unexpected urgencies.
Be flexible enough to accommodate an urgent work task, a mishap, health issue, uninvited guest, and other similar things.
One day is no more than 24 hours. Don’t overburden yourself by wanting to achieve more than possible.
A balanced plan contains no more than 1 or 2 big tasks. The rest of the day is divided into 4 to 5 smaller tasks. Some of these tasks are more time-consuming than others. Similarly, some are harder and more challenging, whereas the others are a piece of cake.
Also, maintain a balance between fun and boring tasks so that one day isn’t all mundane and the other is full of excitement.
Add in a few optional jobs that you can do if you find the time. However, even if these optional tasks are left undone, it won’t harm you.
To keep the balance intact, make sure to add something to each category that was previously talked about. Once again, don’t forget to include some time to relax. If you wear yourself out one day, you won’t be able to perform well for the rest of the days in the week.
By now, you’re most likely convinced that planning your day is worth it. Now, it’s time for you to make it a habit to plan your day the night before so that you wake up with a clear perspective of what you need to do.
It hardly takes half an hour each day to make a thorough plan. But, in the longer run, it saves you way more time. This is the best way for you to reach your goals quickly and efficiently.
If you seek growth and development in your life, you shouldn’t skip planning your day from now on!