3 Steps to Plan Your Day in Just 5 minutes

A Visual Guide using Focuster

There’s been lot of attention lately on daily and morning rituals and how that relates to entrepreneurial and professional success. A key component of that is setting priorities for the day and scheduling those priorities in your calendar. This can be time consuming with traditional tools. Thankfully, Focuster helps automate this process.

Focuster is a productivity app that turns your todo list into a schedule in your calendar and keeps it up to date, automatically. It gives you smart reminders so you make more consistent progress on your highest priorities.

Not a Focuster user yet? Signup at http://focuster.com and follow along with the rest of this article.

1. Capture

Focuster’s to do list

First, capture the items in your head into the todo list.

Estimate how long it will take

Make it quick. Be generous with the estimate if you’re not quite sure how long it will take.

Tip: you can enter the time in Focuster along with the action. For example: “Drop off packages to UPS 15m” or “Draft proposal 1hr”

Shorter actions are better

1 hour or less is best. Break up longer actions into several shorter ones where possible and this will make it easier to find a free time in your calendar and to acknowledge your accomplishment more quickly.

2. Schedule

Now go beyond todo lists and decide what you want to get done today by dragging actions onto the action list for the day.

In the image below, Focuster has scheduled the action for 3:00pm, automatically syncing with your Google Calendar.

You will be reminded to work on it when it’s the next item in your priority list and you have free time.

The Activity Bar

The Activity Bar shows key information about your time at a glance. Hover over the activity bar to understand the different colors.

Focuster’s Activity Bar shows you key information about your day at a glance.
  • completed: see your progress as you get it done.
  • scheduled: how many hours of actions are scheduled for today?
  • over: this shows up if something you wanted to get done today won’t fit into the schedule.
  • left: how much free time is left during your work hours today. This is based on looking at your calendar and also accounting for whatever actions have been scheduled.

Starting an action later

You can adjust the start time of the action by clicking on its assigned start time and entering a new one.

Or you can drag it onto the calendar at the time you want.

3. Get it Done

Make sure your priorities are front and center. Focuster’s Now view shows you only the next thing coming up so you aren’t tempted to skip a difficult but important activity.

Focuster’s Now view highlights what to do, now.

Keep your priorities in mind as you work — make the Now view your home page, or download the Chrome extension to help you recover quickly from distractions like social media, or lower priority tasks.

Stay Focused in your Browser: Chrome Users

Install the Focuster for Chrome extension.

Stay Focused in your Browser: Other browsers

Set your home page to Focuster’s Now view. Check your browser settings, or use these instructions but use https://next.focuster.com/now as the address.

Next Time

We’ll cover how you can more efficiently plan your week in Focuster.

In the meantime, I’d love to hear what you think of this article, or any other requests for things I should cover, in the comments below.

— Jordan Baker

Check out Focuster, a web and mobile app that aims to save professionals at least an hour a week by recovering time lost to distractions while making more consistent progress on their most important goals.

Follow @focusterapp on Twitter to get more useful tips on reclaiming your focus.