Do you ever reach the end of the day and wonder where the time went? It’s always frustrating when you haven’t completed all the tasks you wanted to, and you look back and think about all the time you wasted by procrastinating.
If you’re like most people, your problem is with your planning, or more specifically, your lack of planning. You go into the day with a rough idea of what you want to get done in your head. Then you end up forgetting things as you get busy, or you underestimate how long certain tasks will take you and you’re left without enough time. That’s why taking the time to plan is the key to maximizing your productivity.
How Planning Boosts Your Productivity
When you plan your day in advance, it’s much easier to stay on track and remember all the goals that you have for the day. Instead of wondering what you should do next, you can consult with your daily planner to see what’s on the schedule. You’ll be much less likely to start slacking in the middle of the day, because you have a schedule already, and if you don’t stick to it you’ll fall behind.
Planning also helps you align tasks with certain periods of the day to improve your efficiency. Our energy waxes and wanes over the course of the day, and no one can perform at their best whenever they want. If you try to push through during your sluggish periods, it will just take you longer to complete tasks, and you’ll do lower quality work.
So, take that into account when you write your plan. Let’s say that you know that you hit a wall around 2 in the afternoon. Schedule a less intensive task for that time frame, or even a 15-minute period of relaxation or meditation. You could take some time at 2 to clear your head or get some reading done. Timing is everything when it comes to productivity. You only have so much mental and physical energy, so make sure that you’re getting the most out of it.
How to Plan Your Day
Planning your day doesn’t need to be some arduous process. Start by getting a daily planner. STARTplanner has quite a few options available, so you can find something that fits your own personal style and your needs.
There are two good times to plan your day: the evening before or the morning of. Which one you choose comes down to your schedule and personal preference.
Write down all the tasks that you want to accomplish for the day, and approximate how long each one will take you. Once you know everything you need to do, fill in your planner, assigning a specific time frame for each task. Make sure that you don’t overload yourself with too many tasks. Include breaks so you can keep your mind sharp and avoid burning out halfway through the day.
If you find that you don’t have enough time to get everything done, you’ll need to determine which tasks are high priority and which you can push back to another day. You may also want to consider outsourcing or automating certain tasks. The most productive people in the world, such as CEOs, outsource and automate as much as they can so they can focus only on what’s most important.
Planning can make a dramatic difference in how much you get done every day. Grab a daily planner from STARTplanner and see for yourself.