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Tips and Advice on Planning Your Day Effectively
Do you ever wonder how time slipped off your hands? Do you ever get to the end of the day and wonder what you did on that day? Are you having trouble setting and focusing on your priorities? You have probably a tad bit too many of these scenarios. If so, then the secret to conquering your day is planning your day effectively.
You may be having trouble managing your time efficiently throughout each day. You have good intentions but always leave the tasks you plan untouched. Moreover, things like Netflix and YouTube could be distracting you from completing your daily tasks on time. But you can do better by using productivity tips and creating and following a daily schedule to the latter. Read on to find out how to do so.
Embrace Technology in Your Planning
Start by finding planning tools that work for you and stick to them. You may prefer paper and pen when it comes to planning your day. In this case, write your to-do list down and plan your day. However, if you are all about digital planning, you must find a planning tool or app that works best for you.
Most time management apps have features that help you plan your day out. Get a daily schedule maker or any other planning app with which you can plan your day and strategize on meeting your larger life goals. This way, you will achieve good progress with your life.
Plan Your Day the Night Before
Avoid depleting your limited willpower by attempting to plan your day in the morning. Instead, plan your day the night before. Then, you will have a heads-up on what your next day will be. Therefore, you will be mentally ready for the new day’s tasks as soon as you wake up. You will not waste time then.
Focus on some things when planning your day, the night before. First, you should identify all your next day’s to-do. Then, your top 3 most important tasks. Next, separate the main activities from your urgent ones and estimate the time each task may complete. Most importantly, identify why you need to do each piece of work at a specific time. This way, you will know why your tasks are important and why you need to list them in that order.
Additionally, focus on your goals and the results you aim to achieve after each task. Be specific with the results you want to achieve. This way, you are more productive with your activities. Planning your day the night before allows you to wake up knowing where and how to start your day. It also helps you save time.
Embrace Morning Routines
Have a routine that you can commit to and religiously follow every morning. A morning routine will give you the discipline you need to learn how to plan your day-to-day activities effectively.
Some people start their mornings by throwing a load of laundry on the laundry machine, meditating and doing yoga, exercising, showering, taking breakfast, etc. However, you can win your day by creating a routine that works for you and consistently sticking to it daily. Nevertheless, plan your days according to your energy levels. For example, schedule more tasks in the morning if you feel more productive then and vice versa.
Slow Down: Avoid Switching Tasks
You are the least productive when you are trying to multitask. Avoid doing more than one task at once and start efficiently working one job at a time. Switching tasks makes your brain adjust, so you will only waste time. Moreover, you are prone to err when task switching.
When planning your day, give yourself enough time to complete tasks, one at a time. This way, you will only focus on the task at hand and do it efficiently. Also, avoid checking your phone or any form of distraction between activities!
Task Batching and Block Scheduling
Task batching is the process of planning similar tasks together so you can do them more efficiently. Try batching tasks and block scheduling to minimize the effect of task switching. Have tasks that require the same mindset batched together. For instance, cleaning tasks require a completely different set of mind as administrative tasks. Grouping the tasks according to the state of mind will help reduce the effect of task switching.
Additionally, define similar tasks so that you can efficiently do them together. When you schedule errands, it will be easier to go for those errands within a geographical location. This way, you will save time and minimize the effect of switching between tasks.
Set Boundaries with Your Time
Always give yourself a realistic amount of time for each task when planning your day. Stop doing the work when that time is up. You will focus better when you set boundaries with your time.
Additionally, give yourself a period after which you will take time to reset your mind and body. For example, you can set the alarm to ring after every hour. When it does, stand up, stretch or take a walk to the washroom to reinvigorate your state. Then, assess your productivity for the past hour and plan the next hour.
Also, give yourself less time to produce. Avoid allocating too much time to each task. As impossible as it sounds, you can do activities within the shortest time possible. You will manage time better when you stop overestimating how long a task will take.
Create a Massive Action Plan
With a massive action plan, you will have goal-oriented tasks on your schedule. This way, your daily activities make better sense to you- even the smallest of them all. Your focus is then improved, and you become more productive.
Having a massive action plan will help you build upon small habits that drive you towards achieving your larger goals. So do not ditch your to-do list but ultimately, create a routine out of them and a massive action plan too.
Make Yourself a Priority
More often than not, you will find yourself forgetting to get around to your personal needs. However, keep in mind that your physical, mental, and emotional needs contribute a chunk to your success. Therefore, you should include them in your schedule maker or planner and allocate time for each one of them.
Do not brand yourself lazy when you take time to prioritize yourself. Instead, exercise, eat healthily, meditate or do yoga, have a self-care routine, and stick to it. This way, you get the energy you need for your day. You will also get time to relax and reinvigorate yourself. Ultimately, you will be more creative and productive.
Add Your Downtime to Your Schedule
All work with no play makes Jack a dull boy. That said, do not pack your whole to-do list, planner, or schedule maker with to-dos and no breathing room. Schedule for the fun stuff- your downtime, sleeping and eating time, and the social activities. This way, you will not feel bad for taking about 30 minutes swiping photos on your Instagram timeline.
If it is something planned out on your to-do list, do it! You will not feel bad about doing it at the scheduled time.
There are so many tips for productive schedules that you can try at home or in the workplace. Give them a try to save your day and ultimately achieve your overall goals- short-term and long-term. Research more on planning tips, like working on Pomodoros, eating the frog, designing a not-to-do list, etc., and create a schedule based on what tips work for you. You will have saved your day!