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How to Effectively Plan Your Day

Planning your day is one of the best ways of increasing your productivity. Knowing what you need to do and what you want to do will motivate you to get things done before it’s too late. However, for this practice to be successful, you need to know how exactly you should be planning your days.
Productivity

In this article, I’ll be sharing some of my favorite and most effective tips for planning your day. Maximize your time and productivity by following these easy guidelines. Make planning fun by knowing what you need to do every day and how to get started.

How to Effectively Plan Your Day

Even if you’ve never planned before, it’s not too late to begin. Grab a pen and a notebook, or use any virtual note application, and get ready to bring order into your life! Don’t let your weeks get away from you by always planning ahead.

1. Write your plans down
Write your plans down

Mental notes are fine until you forget about something important. Having a way of noting down your plans for the day is extremely powerful, and there are many different ways to do it.

There’s no right or wrong way of noting your plans down. All you need to do is make sure that your chosen method is convenient and always available for you. Let’s see the most popular options!

  • Pen and paper. The classic way of making plans is simply jotting them down on a piece of paper. All you have to do is make sure not to lose this paper!
  • Notebooks and bullet journals. As of late, journaling has become a huge obsession for many people. Getting your very own bujo might just help you find the right track to become a master at planning.
  • Notes applications. If you want to take a simple approach but don’t want the risk of easily losing your plans, use digital notes! All modern phones and computers come with an application where you can type away, save text documents, and edit them whenever needed. You can even use Microsoft Word!
  • Planner and calendar apps. There are a plethora of applications that aim to help you plan effectively. Some of my personal recommendations include Microsoft To-Do, Google Calendar, and Todoist.

2. Divide your tasks between work and life
Divide and Balance your tasks

Whenever you’re planning your day, make sure to draw a clear line between work and life-related tasks. This will allow your mind to relax outside of your work environment and get your goals in a clear view. Never mix and match tasks you need to do outside of your job.

This practice also ensures that your work tasks don’t overwhelm your day-to-day life. Always include some lighthearted plans throughout your day, such as a walk outside or reading time for relaxation.

Having a separate plan for life tasks also helps if you work during the day and get home in the evenings. Many people find it hard to keep everything you need to do at home in mind during busy work hours. This is completely okay, as you should always be focused on your job during your shift. Having a list of plans you want to do at home helps you overcome this.

3. Break big tasks down to smaller tasks
Breakdown big tasks

Vague and intimidating tasks can cause you to be anxious over having to work, thus putting it off even more. I find that breaking down my main tasks into smaller, more manageable subtasks helps with this issue.

Smaller tasks immediately look less burdensome, and you sit down to get things done with a more motivated attitude. This goes a long way! You’ll notice that you finished the entire project in no time as you tick off the smaller, easier parts of the project.

This tip is taken from our 5 Tips to Boost Your Productivity article. Make sure to check it out to get some more useful and exciting tips to reach your full work potential!

4. Have daily priorities

Overwhelming yourself with tasks in the morning might cause more harm than good. You get home tired, only to see that nothing has been crossed off your list yet.

In Make Time, the New York Times bestselling authors Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky discuss this topic. If you need some guidance on how you can pick your daily priority, make sure to read this excellent piece.

Begin each day by thinking about what you hope will be the bright spot. If, at the end of the day, someone asks you, ‘What was the highlight of your day?’ what do you want your answer to be? When you look back on your day, what activity or accomplishment or moment do you want to savor? That’s your Highlight.” — quote from Make Time

It might seem like having one big daily task — broken down to smaller tasks — is too little. But if you look at your entire week, it still adds up to 5 or 7 big tasks you get done for sure. This ties into my next tip.

5. Look at your week as a whole
Have a clear view of your week
(Source: Doist)

While planning day-to-day is better than nothing, having a weekly plan is even better! Knowing what you have to look forward to throughout the week is a powerful tool. You can always include plans you know you can’t avoid, such as trips and booked events.

This weekly schedule ensures you don’t over plan or plan too little. Getting this crucial overview will help you when trying to plan your smaller tasks during the day. Many applications offer a weekly overview, but it’s not hard to track your tasks on paper either.

Final thoughts

We hope this article helped you learn how you can plan your days more effectively. If you need more guidance, please look around our Blog section for other related articles!

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Recommended Reads:

Tips to Boost Your Productivity at Work

7 Tips to Improve Your Next PowerPoint Presentation

Top 51 Excel Templates to Boost Your Productivity

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