8 Insights on How to Plan Your Day Like a Pro
In our freshest release, we’ve added a bunch of new templates. Many of which will help with your everyday business and personal issues. A couple of our templates will help you to keep productivity at the highest level and discover the main benefits of planning. To squeeze the most out of these long-term and short-term planning materials, we’d like to share actionable tips on getting ready for a day full of achievements.
So, here’s how to plan your day like a pro and reach the peak of effectiveness:
1. Focus on Your Global Goals
First of all, build your plans around your fundamental goals. Align your daily chores with long-term objectives. If you haven’t set any of those goals yet, here’s an article describing the most convenient ways to do that.
The point is to keep in mind what you want to achieve by implementing steps in your daily plan. For example, if you want to learn Spanish, divide this large task into smaller ones: find a tutor or language classes, pay for them, dedicate 1 hour per day to attend study and 2 hours for homework, check the progress at the end of the month, and keep going. Every long-term objective can be broken down into small and doable daily tasks.
This approach helps to stay motivated, as all those small objectives are completely achievable. When you complete every task, your brain registers success, no matter how great the actual achievement is.
Also, avoid committing to several long-term goals. It’s better to handle only 2–3 of them at once, as this will assure that you’ll stay focused. Otherwise, you may get lost in multitasking.
2. Brainstorm Your Plan and Set Priorities Every Day
Start with an old and proven time management practice. Write out what you are doing on every day:
- List everything you need to do today.
- Set priorities for each task and goal.
- Set deadlines if there are any.
- Postpone unimportant tasks, if you notice that there are more crucial ones in the list.
- Some experts recommend to focus on one priority per day, still we think that it’s manageable to complete more with no harm to productivity.
By the way, use any convenient means to create a short to-do list. This can be a paper notebook or a digital planner, also check out our built-in template. ;)
The key advantage of writing everything out is that you get to realise the volume of work you want to do during one day and recall your goals once more. When you’re writing, you focus on these things, which results in better memorisation. So, with or without a detailed plan, either on your phone or on a piece of paper, you get more chance to do everything essential, because now you can recall it from your head.
3. Have a Dedicated Time-spot for Planning
To make planning a habit is great practice, that may be a bit unsystematic at the start but will become your best helper later.
- If you’re able to make time for short-term planning in the morning, get a cup of coffee and lay out everything while enjoying the first rays of the sun.
- If you get ready for the next day in the evening, you’ll re-think everything during the night and might get some insights.
No matter when you set time apart for it, such a habit will keep you on track and show all the benefits of planning.
4. Decide the Duration of Each Chore
Let’s imagine you have already outlined your long-term objectives and broken them down into small achievable parts. Now it’s time to forecast how much time each of them will take. Something will take you several hours while others may need only 15 minutes.
Since we all have only 24 hours in a day and need rest to prevent a burnout, make sure you have enough time to tackle all the planned duties.
Highlighting time periods itself takes only a few minutes.
5. Plan Some Breaks and Spare Time Slots
According to Connect, the best performing employees (10% of all workforce) take breaks throughout the workday. Your energy doesn’t come from a perpetual motion machine. Without taking short breaks once an hour or two, you’ll lose energy after a couple of days of productive work.
Also, it’s possible that you’ll leave some time slots open that aren’t taken by urgent and important work. Use these times to rest and get ready for the next drive, dedicate this time to your personal plans or handle another business task you’ve been postponing for a while.
6. Keep a Healthy Work-Life Balance
When you plan, divide your task list to personal and business. This is especially important for those who work remotely and whose business is not limited by working hours at the office.
Schedule your office duties for the 9 AM — 5 PM period and plan your time to tackle household duties, rest with your family, meet friends and enjoy hobbies and leisure activities.
Stay balanced, it’s the key to a life full of positive emotions, not stresses connected to your work.
7. Check Your List Throughout the Day
Do this for two purposes:
- Watch the progress and make updates on time limits. Keep calm even if something goes wrong. No one is immune from circumstances that are out of our reach. In every situation a blocker may arise that will push your deadline back by an hour or even a day. You may never be 100% sure, there won’t be any issue, for example, with the Internet connection (which will not become a problem if you use Collabio) or with your team member taking a sick leave. Be ready to adapt and replace some duties with others, which you can complete yourself.
- Motivation. Every time you check the box next to a completed task or cross it out from the list (try it in Collabio text editor) you celebrate a small victory within your heart. Everything is possible and you’re getting closer to the goals! With this inspiration and motivation, you’re ready to get to the next thrive and prove yourself that you can do just anything.
8. Analyse Your Day
This is another useful habit that will contribute to both your planning skills and self-development.
Briefly write out all the outcomes of your day:
- What was done well? What are you happy with?
- What went wrong? Why did it go wrong and what could be done to prevent it?
- What can be improved when you deal with similar tasks in the future?
Is there a lesson to learn?
At first, you can create a separate document to list all these ideas or write them down on paper. When analysing becomes your habit, you won’t need any tools to analyse everything and draw conclusions on the go.