Do you wonder how high achievers yield so much results even within time limitations?
To become a person who is an achiever, you need to know how to plan your day and take out time to do so.
There are so many strategies of planning; Long term strategic plans and Short term tactical plans.
Most times, sticking to these plans can be even as daunting as creating one.
Today, I present to you a one-stop solution to unproductive days in this full guide with expert solutions for both students and workers.
By the end of this article, you will unsheathe sharp information on how to plan your day at work, at school, or at home.
Yes, it is all here.
Why you should plan your day
Before we go into the How, we need to know the Why which is just as important.
There are so many reasons why it is incumbent on you to effectively plan.
Amongst these reasons are benefits gained from executing strategic decision-making and laying a functional system for planning.
1. To get prepared
This gives you the ability to know what is coming and possibly brace yourself for the impact.
This is required because Life awaits you at the side of the bed, waiting to kick you in the face as you rise each morning. But you have to rise with a helmet to minimize the impact.
The kick is certain though.
Another benefit of being prepared is that it provides a clear picture of what your daily responsibilities are, unless in event of an urgent or unexpected task.
By getting prepared, or having achieved a state of preparedness, you are one step ahead of the rest of the world that is not.
In a game of football, the side who adopted effective plans and strategies is likely to emerge the winner- centeris paribus. The opposing side will linger and continuously struggle as chances of success gradually wanes away.
Knowing these things will come with so many advantages such as being motivated subconsciously and avoiding forgetfulness which can significantly lower your effectiveness at work or at school.
You do not want to arrive work/class having forgotten an assignment due for submission that morning. I have been there, It sucks.
What is the most frustrating moment that forgetfulness as a result of lack of planning has put you in?
2. To Prioritize
With the many fleeting arrays of tasks we are dealt with each day, it is common to find yourself channeling all your energy and resources to futile attempts.
It’s equivalent to a fisherman who spends his best hours of the day trying to select the best bait rather than swinging in the direction of the wind. He goes home with no protein for his table.
You may want to plan your day effectively to prevent working all day and achieving next to nothing of the yield you so deserve.
Without a plan, you begin to do whatever comes to your mind leaving no provisions for the important jobs.
Diverted attention will have you doing tasks haphazardly and at the end of the day, you have nothing to tick as “Completed”.
3. Time management
It goes without saying, the main purpose for a plan is tied to a specific time frame.
As life is a limited resource, we have to plan and manage it as we do to other resources like minerals and Hydrocarbons.
Scheduling each day will put every minute to effective use.
With the vocation to complete them, we find yourself gracing through the day. Like the employee or CEO who is never in a haste to catch up to meetings.
4. Structured Life
Most times, I find myself winging a lot of tasks in my day-to-day activities. While this helps my spontaneity, I noticed the occurrence of significant underperformance in expected events.
That being said, It is unwise to wing everything, every day.
Planning a time frame [a day, week, month, or year] creates a system of order in which life begins to follow, one that you can control and tweak however as you please. This boosts productivity by eliminating bad habits and focusing on the good ones
A practical example will be to block the time set aside to place a bet with one to read a book, blog post, listen to a podcast, or watch an informative YouTube video.
The information acquired, if properly utilized, can be a source of income higher than that of the returns from that bet.-assuming the goddess of luck is with you.
How to plan your day for increased productivity
Having looked at the benefits, it is time to look at the practical ways in which we can plan our day.
1. Start with a goal
An ideal goal should be specific measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based. These are important criteria to have at the back of your mind when deciding on a goal.
If it does not satisfy all 5 parameters then it should not be classified as a goal that is worth achieving.
With an emphasis on ‘time-based’, one can structure daily effective planning as well as weekly, monthly, yearly, biannually, and a lifetime in the long run.
So it starts out with a day and transcends into a lifetime. Planning each day is vital for productivity.
Time-based goals deliver a sense of urgency that is required in getting things done.
You can as well hack your brain to achieve your goals
What is that specific goal that I can achieve today? Is it Relevant? Can the progress be measured?
These are questions to be asking while planning unfolds for the day.
It is important to note that each task should lead to the accomplishment of a goal.
The mistake that most people make is that they try to determine their goal from the tasks of the day when in fact it, should be the other way around.
2. Execute Time Scaling
In relation to #1, let each day contributes to a bigger plan for the week month and year.
A goal set to be completed in a week ought to have smaller tasks populating each day of the week as it plays a crucial part in its fruition.
In other words, you want to break it all up. Divide and conquer.
Day 7 is perhaps the most important day, a day for rest.
3. Group, categorize and Organize [G-C-O]
This 3-step procedure ensures good organization and provides a better picture of your plan.
This also makes it possible to lay in systems; alarms, calendars and many other productivity tools of vast variation.
These tools can further make it the planning process easier and faster thus creating a smoother workflow of the productivity process
With these systems in place, the execution of tasks is expedient and without distractions.
Generally, the many fleeting goals and tasks fall under the following categories; personal and interpersonal commitments, work, schoolwork, and chores.
Try to create a balance from these. By so doing you create and make accessible, more personal time which is necessary for creativity, reflection, and mental strength.
4. Maintain balance
In relation to number three,it is important to not overburden yourself.
With life having so many goals –cut across different time frames and areas of life– to be achieved under a limiting 24 hours daily continuum. It can be overwhelming.
A balanced plan is a good plan.
It prompts as little as one or two big tasks accompanied by smaller tasks or sub-objectives as many as 6.
It is important to maintain the equilibrium between fun and boring tasks in a day. Mix them up. Have some recreational activities spatially distributed across days.
5. Time block and Be Flexible
It is important to know that some tasks will be more time demanding and energy-consuming than others.
Therefore, it is necessary to allocate sufficient time to these tasks and block out possible destruction. This is simply the act of time blocking.
Take into consideration the possibility of unforeseen circumstances and allow slack for such events. Try to direct these slack to the little tasks because they can be delegated to another person.
How to Plan your Day and Stick to it
It is one thing to know how to plan the day out and it is a different ball game to stick to it.
Having discussed the different steps that are vital in planning for a productive day at work, school, or at home, it is necessary to stick to it.
To be able to see out a plan depends on two mutually-inclusive factors.
1. The Vocation
The inclination to take actions, prompted by a guide is a driving force in the motivational engine of a person
Commonly, a person who is not motivated to complete a task will find it rather difficult to do so.
With the vocation to successfully achieve any given task, an individual will be forced to create and utilize systems that facilitate or aid in the completion of such tasks.
2. Use of Systems
Systems are commonly referred to as a collection of organized things or items that share a relationship between member items,
Within the context of our discussion, systems can be referred to as an assembly of tools that work on par with one another to ascertain the planning, and completion of tasks.
A special product has been created to serve as a system to help you plan, schedule and monitor your daily activities.
The Daily Plan Toolkit
The Daily Plan Toolkit is a system consisting of tools designed to make the task of planning a day easier.
It provides a solution to the problem of deviation from urgent and important tasks to unplanned tasks at the expense of time and energy.
It consists of:
- An instructional guide that presents actionable steps to follow in order to create an effective plan for the day.
- A scheduler to highlight and pen down tasks and set them up for effective time-blocking.It also births the motivation to stick to them and achieve set goals.
- A performance tracker to fill at the end of the day to assess progress.
The singular, conscious act of planning is packed with a lot of benefits and rewards. So, make it a habit to plan each day.
Incentivizing and creating reward systems can be pivotal in seeing the completion of tasks the same for scolding in the failure to do so.
Carry out a bit of soul-searching and self-awareness to figure out what your productive hours are.
Within these hours fix one major task and fuel your motivational engine to make it birth fruits.
Avoiding and excusing the important tasks of the day will lead to unproductivity.
Doing 10 tasks but leaving the important ones unattended to is ineffective and has no real results. Achieving the right things and beating procrastination is going to yield results.
I hope this instructional guide can steer you to receiving the results you so deserve.
What is the biggest setback to living a productive day? What stops you from planning and effectively complete set goals and tasks?
Let us know in the comment section.