How you plan your daily tasks can make or break your ability to get things done.
This could start in the morning, the day before, or even a week or two before.
Being organized will make a big difference in how much you get done.
It means giving each job a certain amount of time and finding ways to get everything done as quickly as possible.
It’s easier to say how to plan a workday well than to do it.
If you often or sometimes feel like you have a busy day at work but don’t get much done, you’re not alone.
Like a lot of people, all you need is a little bit of change.
This guide gives you the tried-and-true steps you need to take to better plan your workday(s).
If you do it right, your performance and productivity should go through the roof. Let’s get started.
How to plan your day to get the most done.
1- Put tasks in the order of how important they are.
Start by writing down everything you have to do.
Then, from the list, put the things in order of how important they are.
What’s more important and more important? Which is harder? Which tasks are more likely to take longer?
You should put the most important tasks at the top of your list.
They need to be put at the top of the list and done first.
Those that aren’t as important should be scheduled or put on hold until the end of the day or week, depending on the type of calendar you use.
When you know which tasks are most important and in what order, it’s time to mark them.
This will be easier to do with a digital calendar. They have features like color codes that you can use to set high-priority tasks apart from the rest.
2 – Give your tasks a set amount of time
Each task will take a certain amount of time to complete.
Set aside different amounts of time for different tasks based on how hard they are and what you can do.
Spend most of your time on the things that are harder or take more time.
On the other hand, put the jobs that need to be done right away at the top of your schedule so you can finish them before the ones that don’t need to be done right away.
As part of your notes, you might want to explain why each job will take that much time.
While you’re at it, be real.
Don’t give any one thing too little time. This could just be the court getting mad. When making the schedule, it helps to keep in mind that tougher jobs will take more time.
Think about how often things get in the way. Your calendar needs to account for this.
Don’t forget to think about taking breaks between jobs. You might want to bring food and drinks with you between jobs.
Make sure to give each of these enough time so that there are no surprises.
Even if there aren’t any surprises, you should still be careful not to underestimate how long each task will take.
It helps to give a job a lot of thought when deciding how much time to give it.
3 – Plan your free time
When you’re trying to plan your day, it can be easy to feel like there’s no room to breathe because your calendar is full of things to do and jobs.
Make sure to plan some fun things as well.
Plan your free time, social activities, meals, and sleep times.
If you do this, you’ll never feel bad about sitting on your couch and watching Netflix for an hour or more, and you won’t hate your plans or your schedule.
If it’s on your schedule, it’s going to happen.
Set aside 30 minutes or so between each job to give yourself time to take breaks, refocus, and get energized.
4 – Do tasks at the same time.
I’ve heard that you can write a blog post with some people while talking on the phone.
That’s very impressive, especially since doing more than one thing at once hurts the quality of your work. What’s up?
You aren’t giving each job your full attention because you switch your attention between jobs.
How to Stop Doing Too Many Things at Once and Pay More Attention
The University of Michigan found that when people try to do two or more things at once, their productivity drops by 40%.
Another study from Stanford also shows that multitaskers may not be as smart as they think they are.
Try batching instead of doing many things at once.
This is where you put together jobs that are similar and do them all at once.
For example, this could mean making all of your phone calls in one hour or writing all of your content in one afternoon.
Further Reading: How To Stop Multitasking And Become More Focused
5 – Take Regular Breaks.
No one can work all the time.
Even though most solopreneurs work more hours than most employees, you still need to take breaks to keep your health and productivity up.
Evan Williams, who used to be CEO of Twitter, has said that he always leaves the office in the middle of the day to work out and go to the gym.
When you work too many hours, you miss out on time with your family, who can keep you grounded and remind you why you want to build a successful business in the first place.
Taking breaks is also an important part of the development process. When you consciously go back and disconnect, it can help your brain come up with new ideas.
6 – Plan your time in chunks.
If you jump from one task to the next, you might feel like you’re busy, but the truth is that you’re not getting much done.
The best way to get things done quickly is to pick one of your big tasks and set aside time to work on it.
A study from Florida State University found that performance and efficiency are at their best when they last for 90 minutes straight, so schedule your time in 90-minute chunks.
During that time, don’t do anything else and stay away from any distractions. Let the other people in your group know that you’ll be busy so you won’t be interrupted
7 – Use the A/B plan
Sometimes, it’s much better to plan for the whole week instead of each day.
The A/B schedule is a way to keep track of your daily goals and top priorities. You won’t feel bad about putting off important work this way.
Here’s what I mean. When you split your time between coding functions and managing a team, your attention can be split.
Instead, divide your week into days with an A (coding) schedule and a B schedule (handling).
Try the Free, Focus, and Buffer systems if your work doesn’t fit neatly into two groups. This means that your plans:
- Free days to do work for yourself.
- Focus days for the main tasks.
- Preparation, office work, and other “immediate” jobs are given buffer days.
Why Is It Important To Plan Each Day?
Adding daily planning to your routine is a simple, but important, way to create balance in your life.
It helps you separate the time you spend working from the time you have for everything else (this is essentially important if you work from home, these lines tend to get a little blurry).
Here are some reasons why you might want to start planning your life sooner rather than later:
- It can take a lot of stress out of your life: Knowing what to expect from the next day and having a plan for how to get through it all makes the next day much less stressful.
- It lets you judge yourself by having plans that let you see if you’re sticking to them, giving you an idea of how well you can keep to your schedule.
- It will help you get ready: You can’t know what problems will come up, but you can have a backup plan in case something goes wrong or something unexpected happens. This will help you not panic.
Ali Ounassi, Founder Of BestProductivityTips.com