As a time management coach I know that daily planning is key to effective time management. It’s hard to be productive and organised if you feel cluttered and unorganised. Learning how to plan your day helps you make the most of your time and enables you to achieve your most important goals.
Having a clear plan for your day helps you keep on top of your daily to-do’s, ensuring you start and end each day feeling focused and productive. When you feel clear and focused, you have greater direction about what you want to achieve each day.
Introducing daily planning into your morning and evening routine is an easy and productive step to create balance in your life and focus into your daily tasks. Daily planning allows you to schedule your time so you spend more time working on your priorities and less time on everything else.
Having a clear plan for your day ensures you don’t get overwhelmed or distracted with an overloaded to-do list. When you plan every day, you can map out your daily priorities and increase your daily productivity.
Whether your daily planning routine involves a paper planner, a planning app, or a simple post-it note, learning how to plan your day for success will transform how you manage your time.
In this article, I’ll share seven tips on how to plan your day effectively. Learning how to plan your day means being intentional about your daily to-do’s, so you always take action on your biggest priorities.
Read also: 6 tips to plan your week effectively
How to plan your day
Upgrade your daily planning with these 7 tips on how to plan your day.
1. Plan your day the night before
Effective daily planning starts the night before. The best way to set up your daily to-do’s and priorities is to spend ten to fifteen minutes in the evening planning the following day.
Use this planning time to identify your three biggest priorities for the following day. This planning technique ensures you start each day feeling focused and ready to take action because you already know where to invest your time and energy to produce the results you want.
Improve your daily planning by downloading my Free Daily Planner. You’ll also get access to my free Weekly Planner to help you plan your week with confidence.
2. Plan your day in the morning
To set up a productive day, write out your daily plan every day in the morning as part of your morning routine. Taking time out to plan your day is a step that will create more focus in your day.
Find a quiet space before you start work to plan your day. Identify your biggest priorities for the day so you can take action as soon as you start work. Prioritising your time in this way ensures you don’t waste time procrastinating or being distracted by low-value items on your to-do list.
Read also: How to prioritise work and stay focused
3. Write out your plan every day
To make daily planning a habit, write out your plan every day. To have a productive day, it’s essential to approach every day with a clear plan of what you want to achieve that day.
Having your daily planning session at the same time every day brings a clear focus to your day and ensures that planning your day becomes a productive habit.
Take time to plan your day as part of your morning routine or decide on a specific time you want to plan your day. Use your daily planning time to identify your three biggest priorities for the day and take action on them first before phone calls and email messages take over.
4. Build your plan around your goals
When writing out your daily plan, start by identifying everything on your to-do list. Then, clarify your three biggest priorities for the day, meaning you know your most important tasks to take action on.
Identifying your biggest priorities for the day allows you to manage your time better and focus, ensuring you stay focused and manage your time efficiently. Prioritising stops you from wasting time and energy tackling tasks that don’t move you closer to your goals during your most productive hours.
Learn how to set and achieve your goals with my goal setting guide.
5. Schedule your daily plan
Effective daily planning will help you achieve bigger results in less time. But, without scheduling, your time will be thrown into chaos by competing priorities and having to deal with urgent issues and distractions.
Keeping a schedule for your day will help you stay focused and manage your time more effectively. Planning your day the right way means blocking time for everything important during your day.
This includes scheduling time to take regular breaks to keep your energy levels high and blocking our time to focus on your biggest priorities.
Read also: 6 habits of highly productive people
6. Stick with your daily plan
When planning your day, ensure your daily plan is something you can stick to. There is no point in having a daily plan that you can’t achieve. To ensure your daily to-do’s are completed, don’t include too many items or include items on your plan that you simply can’t achieve that day.
Planning your day effectively means achieving the things you set out to achieve each day. When you achieve everything on your daily plan you feel confident and accomplished. When you don’t achieve your daily to-do’s you can feel stressed and guilty.
Plan your day in such a way that you can stick to the items on your to-do list. You may have to course correct it during the day. But, as long as you achieve your most important work, it will feel like you had a successful day.
7. Review your plan and celebrate your wins
The benefit of daily planning is that you’re clear up front on the results you want to achieve during your day. This activity makes it easier to review your day and celebrate daily wins.
Designating a time every evening to review your day and record your daily wins ensures you acknowledge your achievements from the day. Acknowledging wins build confidence and motivation for the following day.
It also gets you into a positive mindset for planning the following day.
Taking the time to plan your day will help you achieve a successful, productive day every day. Planning your day the night before means you start each day feeling focused and ready to take action.
Daily planning helps you achieve more at work and ensures you focus on your biggest priorities rather than getting distracted and overwhelmed by everything you think you have to do.
A daily planner can help you plan your day, prioritise, save time, and achieve your daily goals. Download my free Daily Planner to help you get more done each day in less time.
Now I’d love to hear from you.
How do you plan your day for success?
Do you schedule your breaks? Do you record daily wins?
Let me know in the comments.
About the Author
Mark Pettit is a time management coach based in Colchester, Essex, UK. He is the Founder of time management coaching company Lucemi Consulting. Mark provides time management coaching programs to business owners and entrepreneurs in London, Essex, Suffolk and across the UK.
He also provides online time management coaching programs to business owners in the US, Canada and Australia.
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