There’s an old saying that how we spend our days is essentially how we spend our lives. There’s a lot of truth to this statement, which is why it’s so important to spend your day in a way that moves you closer towards your goals. Creating a plan for your day gives you clarity, helps you define priorities, manage your time effectively, and improve productivity. It’s also important to incorporate downtime and relaxation into your day so you have a more balanced life and don’t get burned out. Daily planning is where your big ambitions are met with action.
When you have so much to do, you can easily fall victim to being very busy while not actually achieving much at all. Task-switching is very common amongst people who want to get a large amount done in a short space of time, only to find that they have completed no tasks at all. This is because multi-tasking can decrease productivity by 40 percent. Using a daily planner will help you dedicate a specific amount of time to one task at a time, and work at it consistently until it’s fully complete.
Whether you choose to plan your day first thing in the morning, or the evening before, it doesn’t matter as long as it’s consistent. It only takes a few minutes each day, but will save you a lot of time in the long run.
If you’ve been doing your weekly planning, you should already have your “Big Rocks” scheduled for the day. Now you should review the day before and carry over any tasks you weren’t able to complete. Next, check what appointments you have and put them into your schedule. Finally, list the tasks you want to complete and assign a value to each one (A, B, C), then order them by importance (1, 2, 3).
Each of your tasks should have set time frames so you can plan breaks throughout the day and know exactly how your time is being used – and on what.
There’s nothing more satisfying than looking back and seeing how much you’ve been able to achieve. Using a daily planner to document all of your tasks, activities, and projects is a great way to record your successes and learning points so you can refer back to them in the future. If you don’t yet have a daily planner, consider The 7 Habits Planner. It includes an application of lessons for each habit that will encourage you to work toward your goals and use your time effectively every day.