You are in the right place if you are looking for ideas to improve your productivity, planning and organisation.
This is the fifth blog post in a series on the top 9 productivity hacks.
There are hundreds of productivity hacks out there. Most will work in one way or another, but will depend on what you are looking for. The ones we are interested in will work for all areas of your life, work or personal.
Only the ones that are quick and easy to implement and have proven great results have made it onto the list.
At the end of the series I’ll post them all together in an overview.
Productivity hack 5 – Take 15 mins at end of each day to plan for the next day
[blockquote]“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” ― [/blockquote]
[blockquote]“If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.” ―
You are normally most motivated first thing in the morning and most stressed at the end of the day.
To help get a good nights sleep take 15 minutes at the end of each day to write down a plan for the next day.
We have a Daily planner to help you document this and keep you on track throughout the day.
This means you can then use your precious productive time in the morning actually completing a task.
Try scheduling tasks
Whilst you are planning your activities for the next day make a realistic stab at scheduling them in to your day.
By scheduling the tasks it makes you think about how long the task will really take to do and it allows you to do tasks when it’s efficient to do so.
Experts agree that if you don’t consider how long things take, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
The schedule doesn’t need to be perfect. The plan can be flexible and scheduling in the inevitability of getting interrupted and needing breaks makes sense. But having a plan, in whatever shape you can, is better than having no plan at all.
Another benefit of creating a plan is that by assigning work to scheduled times reduces the urge to procrastinate.
You are no longer deciding whether or not to work during a given period; the decision is already made.
This is a massive bonus for many of us!
I have found the hard way that I have to have a plan for the day ahead, however loose it is, to actually get me to complete anything. If I don’t have a plan I just spend my time thinking of the things I could or should be doing but not moving any of them forward.
Knowing that you have thought about each task on your plan and have how long it takes makes you feel in control of your schedule. This in turn can decrease your stress level.
Make a weekly plan
Once you get into the flow of using 15 minutes at the end of the day to schedule your next day, why not build on that and plan your entire week.
You will never get off the treadmill if you only have short term thinking. So start think more in the future and work out what you are going to be doing each day of the week IN ADVANCE.
I know this is a big step if you are not into planning but it makes sense.
Take an hour at the beginning or end of the week, and look through your master to do list, inbox, calendar, etc.. Come up with a plan of what tasks you will be looking to do on each day of the week. Each evening you can plan the next day basing it around what you have already planned to do, unless something more critical has come through.
Who says planning is not your best friend.
If you sign up to the Life Planner Addict email list you will get a free printable weekly plan that will let you get ahead of the game.