Published On: Tue, Jun 15th, 2021

7 Tips For Planning A Successful Day

Balancing life between work and home isn’t always easy. Trying to get all the vital tasks done can sometimes seem overwhelming and you feel like you are going from one crisis to the next. The following tips will help you plan out your tasks, letting you feel you have truly accomplished something at the end of your day.


  • Write out a daily plan


Each day, sit down to physically plan your day, ensuring you include any major deadlines or important tasks that must be completed that day. Initially, this might seem like a daunting task, but once you get into the habit, it really helps. Make a list of the most important things that need to be done, and sort it in order of priority. This might be something as simple as collecting the dry-cleaning, or as important as a critical work deadline.

The daily plan can be on old-fashioned paper, or using your iPad or laptop – whatever suits you best. However, it is probably best to start out scribbling a list on paper, so you can physically see exactly what needs to be done and work out a schedule for the day. If you use a spreadsheet package like Excel, you can easily cut and paste until you get the perfect order. Just for fun, add a checklist box at the end of each task – it is a great feeling if you manage to check each box by the end of your working day.


  • Pick the best time to plan your day


Make sure you pick the same time of day to do your planning in order to get into a good habit. Some people like to plan their day the night before. However, often ideas come to you during the night. If that is the case, briefly go through the list in the morning to make any necessary adjustments.

It really doesn’t matter whether you pick the evening or the morning – just choose a time that suits you best and make sure you stick to it. By making this a regular habit, this will help immensely with your time management techniques.


  • Jot down a quick to-do list


When running late, one method is to jot down a quick to-do list while enjoying your morning coffee.  Make a note of any important deadlines to meet or anyone you need to email or call that day. 

On the home front, you might have several important errands to run, like the aforementioned dry-cleaning, or a dentist appointment or such. It is a good idea to quickly check yesterday’s daily plan to see if there is something you didn’t manage to accomplish. Also, check your calendar for any important appointments or meetings that you need to prepare for.


  • Plan for work and life


As mentioned above, it isn’t just your working life that you need to plan, as often, when you are busy, you can push important life tasks aside. If you work in an office, the life tasks tend to get neglected, as they typically have to be left until the evening or a rushed lunchtime break.

Many people work from home these days. If this is the case with you, bear in mind that those important life tasks don’t have to be kept to certain hours. If you plan out your day well, you can better balance your work and life tasks. As part of your daily plan, you can add the various important tasks under two separate headings – Life and Work – and ensure you complete those tasks by the end of your working day.

purpose sign

photo By Chris Titze Imaging via Adobe Stock license


  • Identify the two most important tasks


Once you have listed your work and life tasks, choose one of each as your most important, must-do tasks of the day. They don’t need to be the most difficult tasks, or those that take the longest. These two tasks are the most important to you at the time to help you achieve your goals.

When you have your two important tasks listed, make sure you tackle them first. This means that even if your day gets overly busy, you know you have accomplished the most important tasks on your list.


  • Include the quick and easy tasks


Not everything in your daily plan is necessarily a big and important project. However, just because something will only take you a few minutes to complete, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be on your list. These tasks are perfect for the low-energy times of day, when you feel you are running out of steam.

There is nothing more satisfying than working through your plan and ticking off these quick tasks as you go. It not only gives you a sense of satisfaction, but also inspires you to accomplish everything on your daily list. On the other hand, if you feel you cannot complete your full list of tasks, this gives you the option to cross out some of the smaller ones, or plan them for the next day.


  • Keep an eye on your daily plan


It isn’t enough just to make the perfect daily plan – effective time management means that you should check your list often to see how well you are doing. Whether in a notebook or on your smartphone, keep the list handy on your desk, ensuring that it will always be at the top of your mind.

Author: Anne Sewell

Make a moving checklist in order to easily keep track of what you have to do

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