Planning my day
The importance of planning my day
“Failing to plan, is planning to fail.”
I’m sure you’ve heard that quote before.
I love to plan, most of the time. There are times when I get to the end of my plan, and then I wing it until I find the time to plan again. Because planning is hard, and it takes time. I hear all the time from people (and myself) that I’m all over the place because I don’t have the time to sit down and plan.
But that’s crap. You don’t have time NOT to plan.
When I don’t plan my stress level rises and my productivity slows.
I have my long-term goals and each year I set yearly goals. That’s easy. It’s the day-to-day plans to get to these goals that are hard.
I have found that if I start Monday morning without my weekly plan in place it slows me down and frustrates. So each Sunday evening I don’t end the day without sitting down with my calendar and all my to do’s and figuring out what I have to do each day.
To prevent myself from over committing I first go through and just put down what HAS to be done. I then create a block schedule for each day. That’s where I assign a timeframe to each task.
For example, on a Monday I may have tasks such as:
Working on a book
Write a blog post
Write and schedule my social media
I will assign times to them as follows:
6 am – 8 am working on my book
8:15 am – 8:30 am break
8:30 am – 10 am write the blog post
10 am – 10:15 break
10:15 am – 11:15 am write and schedule social media
YES, YOU HAVE TO SCHEDULE BREAKS – YOU’RE NOT A MACHINE!!
I’ve been doing these tasks long enough that I can pretty accurately estimate how much time I need for these things, but it doesn’t always work this easy. Not to mention calls and emails, of course, get in the way.
Those will ALWAYS get in the way, so I have made it a practice – though I admit it’s sometimes hard to stick to – of not checking email until AFTER I finished my first 2 hours of writing each day.
If I don’t inevitably something pops up that I feel needs my immediate attention. Then I get distracted and lose focus on my writing. I’m most creative in the morning, so I need to get in that time.
Today’s life of being connected at all times in fifty different ways have made us all feel like we are so important that someone can’t live without our answer for 2 minutes much less 2 hours. We’ve also all been trained to expect someone to respond to us within 2 minutes, and if they go a while 5 OMG, you start thinking they’re dead.
The truth is an email, text; a phone call can sit unreturned for a couple hours, and no one is going to die. Well, unless you’re a brain surgeon or something then you should probably NOT go off the grid even for 2 hours.
If I block schedule my day, it at least allows me to give every task for that day a spot. If I don’t, I find that I have way to much Monday left for Tuesday and by Thursday I’m about to have a breakdown.
How do you plan your days?
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