Achieving the success you want in life takes planning and effort. You need to make time to envision what you want, study what it will take to get there, and plan those steps into your daily life. Honestly, there aren’t a lot of people out there who are doing that. You are part of a small percentage of people with a vision for your future. Daily planning helps you create a roadmap to go with that vision, so reaching your destination will become a reality, rather than a dream. Doing this requires perspective.
When you climb to the top of a mountain (or pyramid) you can look out over the valley and see for miles. From that perspective, large things on the valley floor seem very small. It pays to look at your life with a long-range perspective, too, so you can see past the obstacles you confront on a regular basis.
As we’ve discussed, that perspective comes as you plan monthly, and allow yourself to dream of your possibilities. Where do you want to be in five years? What do you want to accomplish by the end of the year—in six months—by the end of this month? Write your goals in your planner along with the steps necessary to reach them. Your Monthly Master Task List is an ideal place to write these goals. Refer to this list often during your weekly planning sessions.
Daily planning takes only a few minutes each day, but it will save you a lot of time throughout the day. It’s also a great stress reducer because planning allows you to prepare for upcoming events. Daily planning is where your big ambitions meet with action.
Steps For Effective Daily Planning
Some people plan in the morning, others plan in the evening. Whenever you choose to do it, make sure you’re consistent with the time. If you’ve been doing your weekly planning, it’s possible that you already have some things planned for your day. Now is the time to make them happen with this simple routine:
Step One: Review yesterday. What did you accomplish, and what will you need to carry forward?
Step Two: Check appointments. Appointments are time-specific events. Look at your monthly calendar tabs to see if anything needs to be scheduled in your daily appointments column.
Step Three: List tasks. Consider the time you have remaining outside of your time-specific events and determine what tasks you can include in your day. Be realistic with your tasks, there is only so much time. Write these tasks as you think of them. Don’t worry about the order.
Step Four: Assign a value to each task. Value is based on your governing values. A = Vital, or high value. These must be completed today. B = Important, or medium value. These should be completed today, and C = Optional or low value. These could be completed today.
Remember vital does NOT equal urgent.
Step Five: Order each task. Go through each of your A tasks and assign a number 1, 2, 3, based on which you need to work on first. Do the same with your B and C tasks. Start working on A-1 and go from there.
Now that we’ve discussed the whole Productivity Pyramid, and laid out the necessary steps for daily planning, you should be prepared to envision your future and start working on the steps that will get you there.