3 Questions to Plan Your Day for Maximum Productivity

Winning the day starts before you even sit down at your desk.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Ann H from Pexels

If you’re like me, you have a growing to-do list filled with big ideas to accomplish.

Yet it might often seem like the day quickly gets away from you. Meetings, emails, social media, and other distractions suck up your time, along with your precious attention.

Winning the day begins before you even sit down at your desk.

Thoughtful planning and prioritization is the best way to play defense against the many tasks vying for your focus. Building in the opportunity for reflection, while difficult, is an instant productivity booster, allowing you to get more done in less time with greater impact.

On a recent episode of the Accidental Creative podcast, author Todd Henry shared a simple 10-minute method you can use to optimize your schedule and create mental bandwidth for deep, creative work.

He suggests sitting down at the beginning of the day to strategize, specifically following these steps:

Henry says, “Time is the currency of productivity, especially for creative professionals,” so make sure (to the extent possible) that your day effectively leverages your strengths, fulfills your values, satisfies important goals, and is filled with tasks or people that energize you.

Doing this allows you to work backward and create a plan of attack, ensuring that you spend your time wisely in high-impact ways. Henry points out defining the problems you need to solve will not only help you become more focused but will also prime you to seek creative solutions for the problems you need to solve.

If you don’t guard your time, distractions and busywork will rush in to fill the vacuum. Henry suggests creative professionals pre-commit chunks of time throughout their week to accomplish deep work–that is, cognitively demanding work that requires concentration and uninterrupted focus.

Then respect the appointments you set with yourself. Yes, that does mean you’ll have to get better at assertively saying “no” and communicating your boundaries, but overcoming that discomfort can pay off in big ways.

Get your copy of The 5-Minute Inner Critic Makeover

Stop negative thinking spirals and regain your confidence at work. Get the guide and discover how to tame your inner critic when you sign up for weekly tips here.

Find out what others have already figured out. Follow our publication to join our community.

Melody Wilding, LMSW

Written by

Executive coach to sensitive high-achievers. Professor. Feat. NYT, NBC, CNN. Author of TRUST YOURSELF: https://melodywilding.com/book

Curious

A community of people who are curious to find out what others have already figured out // Curious is a new personal growth publication by The Startup (https://medium.com/swlh).

Melody Wilding, LMSW

Written by

Executive coach to sensitive high-achievers. Professor. Feat. NYT, NBC, CNN. Author of TRUST YOURSELF: https://melodywilding.com/book

Curious

A community of people who are curious to find out what others have already figured out // Curious is a new personal growth publication by The Startup (https://medium.com/swlh).

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store