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Commit to Planning Your Day

Updated: Oct 5, 2020

Have you ever found yourself thinking there is more work in the day than there are hours? Or constantly find yourself not being able to finish your to-do-list? If so, you are not alone. Today’s digital world is full of distractions. We send and receive emails 24 hours a day and friends and family are always texting. According to Statista, the average daily social media usage of internet users worldwide is 144 minutes per day, up from 142 minutes in the previous year. Meaning the average person spends nearly 2 ½ hours each day thumb-scrolling, posting, liking, and curating social content. Include other digital distractions such as email and text messages and it’s no wonder people feel as though they don’t have enough time during the day to get important stuff done.

If you want to be someone who accomplishes what you set out to do, you will need to make a commitment to planning your day. Planning your day reduces procrastination and allows you to devote your mental capacity to completing tasks. Every minute of planning can save you up to 10 minutes of production. Who doesn’t want to save time? If you do the math, 10 minutes spent planning out your day, can equal an hour and half of productivity time for yourself. This number might not seem significant. But compounded that over the course of a month and your hours of productivity can increase about 30 hours. Just think of all the possibilities you could be doing with 30 extra hours each and every month.

Putting Planning Into Practice

The first step when planning your day is to have a goal in mind. Do you have something you want to get done by the end of the week? Are you working on a larger project that is going to take several weeks? When you have a weekly goal, you can break it down into smaller steps that are accomplished each day. Maybe you work better by planning on a day to day basis. Regardless, one recommended approach is to write down what you want to get done the DAY BEFORE or in the MORNING before you start your day. Make a list of everything you need to get done before the end of the day and the time you plan to commit to each of the tasks. It will take some time getting used to how much time is required to perform certain activities or tasks. The longer you plan these things out, the more accurate the time will be. One of the benefits of planning out your day the night before is it reduces the valuable time spent making decisions in the morning. You can get started right away. We have provided a sample below of a planned morning:

6:00 a.m. - 6:45 a.m. Daily Workout

6:45 a.m. - 8:00 a.m. Shower / Breakfast / Family Time

8:00 a.m. - 8:15 am. Morning Commute (walk downstairs to my office 😊)

8:15 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. Most Challenging Tasks

10:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m. Break

10:15 a.m. - 11:15 a.m. Zoom Meeting

11:15 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Email

When planning your day, it helps to schedule your most challenging tasks in the morning. First thing in the morning is when you are more likely to be mentally sharp. Also, completing this work first in the morning will reduce the anxiety caused by postponing and procrastinating.

Another thing to keep in mind when planning your day is flexibility. No matter how careful you are when mapping your routine, there are sure to be interruptions. Life happens. There will be unexpected, urgent items that need your attention. However, when planning your day becomes a habit, it will minimize the negative impact occasional interruptions may have on your productivity.

References and Resources:

  1. https://www.briantracy.com/blog/time-management/plan-ahead-and-increase-productivity/

  2. https://www.lifehack.org/882629/planning-your-day

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