One thing I’ve learned from being a time management coach is that there are no perfect days. But, you are more likely to have a productive day if you take the time to plan your day.
Daily planning will help you design your ideal workday, ensuring you start each day feeling focused and productive. When you start planning your priorities for the day, you can focus on the tasks that really matter and filter out everything else.
Taking the time to plan your day ensures you don’t get overwhelmed or distracted during the day with an overloaded to-do list. Having a daily planning routine will help you map out your key daily activities.
Whether your daily planning routine involves a paper daily planner, a daily planning app or a simple post it note, learning how to plan your day for success will transform your productivity.
In this article I’ll share 7 tips on how to plan your day effectively. Learning how to plan your day means being intentional about your time, energy and focus so you always take action on your biggest priorities.
Read also: 6 tips to plan your week effectively
How to plan your day effectively
Here are 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 have a productive day is to plan your day the night before. Spend ten to fifteen minutes in the evening planning your next day.
Use this planning time to identify your three biggest priorities for the following day. This planning technique will ensure you start each day feeling focused and ready to take action because you already know where to invest your time and energy.
2. Plan your day in the morning
To set up a productive day, write out your plan every day in the morning as part of your morning routine. Find a quiet space before you start work to plan your day.
Use this daily planning time to identify your five biggest priorities for the day so you can take action as soon as you start work. This will ensure 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. Plan at the same time every day
To make daily planning a habit, plan at the same time every day. It’s essential to approach each day with a plan. Having your daily planning session at the same time every day brings a clear focus to your day and ensures that taking the time to plan your day becomes a habit.
You could set aside time to plan your day as part of your morning routine or decide on a specific time you want to plan your day.
4. Have three priorities for the day
When writing out your plan for the day, start by identifying everything on your to-do list. Then, identify your three biggest priorities for the day so you know your most important tasks to focus on.
Identifying your biggest priorities for the day allows you to harness your time and focus to make the most of your day. It ensures you don’t waste time and energy tackling tasks that don’t move you closer towards your goals during your most productive hours.
Download my Free Daily Planner to help you plan your day for success.
5. Schedule your time
A good daily plan will help you achieve bigger results in less time. But, without scheduling your time your daily plan could be thrown into chaos by competing priorities and having to deal with urgent issues.
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 that is important during your day.
This includes scheduling time for 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 you have a daily plan that you can stick to. There is no point having a daily plan that you can’t actually achieve. Don’t include too many items on your to-do list or include items on your plan that you can’t actually achieve.
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.
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 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 daily 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 successful 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, or in the morning, ensures you start each day feeling focused and ready to take action.
Daily planning will help you achieve more at work and ensure you focus on your biggest priorities rather than getting distracted and overwhelmed by everything you think you have to do.
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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