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How To Plan Your Day For Maximum Productivity And Success

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“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” – Benjamin Franklin

One of the most frequent questions you probably ask yourself is this:

Why I don´t do, what I say I do? Why I can´t force myself to do stuff, that are truly important for me.

Successful people found an solution for this by doing one simple thing – planning their days.

From my (and many other people) experience I know, planning is crucial for overcoming procrastination, increasing productivity and focus through the day.

But, not many people know, how to plan properly and what are common mistakes you should definitely avoid.

So, if you want to discover:

  • Why planning your day is super important,
  • How to plan your day properly,
  • What is #1 thing, people forget to get in their schedule (and why you should never do that),

keep reading, because, in a few minutes, you´re gonna know all of that and your life, will never be the same.

Why You Have To Plan Your Day

Imagine, you are lost in a forest and you need to find your way out. How  would you like to do that?

Do you take your chance by trial and error method?… which might take you days, or even weeks.

What if instead, you have a map. How much struggle and time you save?

The same is in your day. Every minute, you are bombarded by something else. Messages, conversations, billboards, commercials, you name it.

When you don´t have a map, that shows you what should you focus on, where should you aim and what to do through the day, you may get lost very quickly.

“Planning Is Just Wasting Time”

There are still many people out there, who tells they don´t need to plan their day. Maybe you were one of them. I know, I definitely was.

I thought, planning is just a wasting time, which I could use much better. Oh, how wrong was I…

The truth is, planning your day actually save you a lot of time, you otherwise spend figuring out, what to do.

I am sure you already experienced this. You finish some task and until you figure out what to do next, with a help of many distractions and procrastination, you waste an hour.

A right daily plan waste save you tremendous time.

How To Plan Your Day

In this section, I share with you 3 strategies, many successful people use for daily planning.

–       Most important thing first

Energy is one of the two major limited resources in your day. The most energy you have in the morning. You are (hopefully) well-rested and you didn´t squander all your willpower yet (which is also strictly limited).

With every problem you deal with, every exhausting converstation, your energy and willpower go down. Then, when you finally start to deal with the most difficult task of your day, you can´t.

You start to make excuses. You start to procrastinate and eventually, you either do a bad job or you don´t do it at all.

That´s why you should always plan to do the most difficult (and important) task right after morning.

–       Prioritize – You can´t do everything

The man who chases two rabbits catches neither. – Confucius

Second of your limited daily resources is time. Even though we don´t act accordingly sometimes, our time is limited.

Through the day, you have only 24 hours you can spend. Yet, many times you find yourself trying to accomplish 50 things in a day and thinking, how productive you are.

The truth is, you´re not. Busy doesn´t mean productive.

That´s the reason, you need to prioritize. You can´t split your focus. You need to choose a few big things, you accomplish in a day and until then, forget everything else.

“Don´t even think about other goals unless you already reached goals that are on the top of your list.”  – Steve Jobs

–       Give Yourself A Time To Catch Up

You make your plan, you have scheduled a perfect day, but at the end of the day you realize, you didn´t accomplish what you wanted.

You feel bad, angry and you start to blame yourself.

First, it´s okay to not accomplish everything, every time. It´s not even possible.

When someone calls you that your kid needs to go to the hospital, would you say… I am sorry, I need to finish this presentation first. Can you hold on?

Of course not. There will be things, you could not plan for. And it´s fine.

What I recommend for you to do, is to block some time in the afternoon or evening, (30 mins should be enough) to catch up.

In this case, when you didn´t finish the presentation, you have already blocked time for it.

The Most Common Mistakes In Planning

When you use these 3 planning techniques I shared with you, your productivity is going to increase. But, there are also 3 most common mistakes, many people do, when they start planning their days.

In this section, you´re gonna find out what those 3 most common mistakes are.

Make a schedule, not-to-do list.

Difference between schedule and the to-do list is in their specificity. While to-do list is just a bunch of tasks you want to accomplish in a day, with no obvious order or timing, the schedule is a specific organization of your day.

While in a to-do list you have no idea whether you start with task 1, 3 or 7, when you make a specific schedule, you know where to start, how long it approximately takes and also, what might go wrong.

Try to avoid to-do´s and rather make a specific schedule for yourself. It saves you a big amount of time and energy through the day.

Take a break!

In my opinion, this is the biggest mistake people do when they plan their day. In order to be productive. they don´t want to waste a single second.

What ends up happening, is that they do one task, they finish it and immediately start work on another task. With no break. With no thinking about what another task is.

They just look at their to-do, they see… Well, I finished the presentation, now I am gonna write a report. And without taking a breath, they already start typing.

How well do you think, this report is gonna be written? Is it gonna be a great job? Is it so easy to switch from one task to a completely different one?

No. It´s not. Our brains are meant to be focused for a shorter period of time. We need these breaks between tasks, to recharge ourselves and start to focus on another, new task.

So, always take a few minutes for yourself, when you finish a task.

Go to drink water, take a walk, think about another task – what is important, what you should avoid in this task, what is your goal with this task, or even watch a funny video.

Just take time to recharge yourself, so you can again, do a great job.

Make time for social media.

There are not many things (if there even something is) that distract you so much as social media. Facebook, Twitter, Email, Youtube, Instagram, you name it.

I am sure you know what happens, when you work on an important project and suddenly, you receive an email. You think it´s gotta be important, so you immediately take a look at it.

Then, one of the following 2 things happen:

  • You abandon your previous work and start to deal with „emergency from email“.
  • You go back to your previous work, but it takes you a long time until you start to focus again.

One way or another, your productivity drops.

The same is with social media. You do something, you go to check what´s new in Facebook and suddenly, 30 minutes are gone. You start to being angry on yourself and you lost your focus.

Try to make time for social media in your schedule. Take let´s say 30 minutes or an hour when you deal with nothing except social media (emails, Fb, Instagram,…).

Then, in the rest of your day, you have a clear mind, without distractions, which is focused solely on things, that brings you results.

Conclusion

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” – Benjamin Franklin

Planning your days is extremely important for your productivity through the day. It´s one of the things, almost all successful people do on a daily basis.

When you start to plan, try to be as specific as you can be, try to block specific times for certain tasks and try to focus on the right (most important) things.

Also, keep in mind the most common mistakes, people do when they plan and simply avoid them.

And most importantly, don´t worry, when you won´t be a master planner right now. Don´t worry when you don´t accomplish everything you schedule.

You didn´t learn how to walk from one day to another either. Make plans, take action, see what works for you and what doesn´t.

This is the way how to become a master planner, so you become more focused, productive and successful through the day.

So, make a plan, execute it, make another, execute it… next time you notice, you hit your big goal.


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My name is Patrik. I live in Slovakia and I am owner of dayprov.com. Dayprov is about Everyday improvements in our lives. You will find here tips about success, motivation, personal development and anything you want. Your recommendations for new interesting blog posts you would like to read about send to patrik@dayprov.com.
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