You will have heard many people say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and that is because a proper breakfast gives your body the fuel it needs to perform all day.
For similar reasons it’s just as important — perhaps even more so — to start your work day right with a daily planning session. Taking the time to plan your day gives your mind and attitude the fuel they need to stay focused, positive, and helps you to get more done.
Your daily planning session is a chance to:
- refresh your memory of the specific goals you’ve set;
- review your progress on those goals, and make changes if appropriate;
- set or revise your agenda for the day and the rest of the week;
- prioritize and schedule your tasks.
It doesn’t take long to Plan Your Day – In fact in most cases it will only take around ten minutes. Do it before breakfast, or on the train to the office. Don’t wait until you’re sitting at your desk, because then it won’t happen. The phone will ring, you’ll get an email, which you’ll need to reply to…and the opportunity to plan your day and get more done will be lost.
Find a time and place you won’t be uninterrupted. Plan your day in a place where no one will wander in and distract you. Not only will you be clear on your priorities once you start working, but spending this time early on will keep you organized all day. This could save you much more than ten minutes.
When you’re setting your daily agenda, don’t obsess too much over the order of your tasks. Just get a firm sense of what’s most important that day and plan to do your most mentally demanding tasks during your peak productive working times. E.g., if you’re a morning person, schedule creative work to be done first thing in the morning, rather than later in the afternoon when your mind tends to wander.
Look at your work related goals for the week and month ahead. What do you most need to accomplish? What task, if done today, will get you there fastest? Which task (or two or three) will have the biggest impact on your career or your income? That’s what you should work on first.
Don’t rate yourself on the success or failure of the previous day’s plan. If you didn’t accomplish everything you listed for yesterday, and things are still on your list today, don’t think of it as a failure. It just means you didn’t accomplish everything on your list.
Having a plan for your day, knowing you’re organized and ready to work, and being focused on achieving your business goals, all contribute to a can-do attitude. You’ll be more productive and get more done with the positive mental outlook this feeling brings.
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Till Next Time
Mike Gardner is The Time Doctor