To quote Benjamin Franklin, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” It’s likely you have heard this statement before. If not, you have it here for your reference. Most people find that when they plan, they accomplish much more than not planning. This makes sense. It’s important to plan long term. But, once that plan is in place, you need to plan your day in advance.
You can use one day a week to plan each day for the up-and-coming week. Alternatively, you can plan each day on the evening before. If you decide to do your planning each evening (for the next day), you should consider that this takes more discipline than planning the full week in advance.
No matter which form you choose, make sure you have the right tools.
The ideal situation is to choose a tool that is cloud-based. This gives you the ability to access it no matter where you are. You just need to sync your devices.
There are many tools out there but one popular tool is Evernote from Evernote.com. It is an easy-to-use software package that you can download to all of your devices. It uses the concept of notebooks and you make entries within each of your notebooks. You have the freedom to choose the names of these notebooks.
The software comes in both a free version and paid. The paid version is quite cheap. However, the advanced features that come with the paid version are not needed in the beginning. As you work with it, you may find the advanced features worthwhile. These include indexing PDF documents and a larger amount of storage available.
For people who are technologically-timid, you can plan your day using the old-fashioned pen and paper. In fact, even if you use software to manage your tasks, you should consider printing out your daily tasks lists (also known as a to-do list). Sometimes when it resides only on the computer, we forget that it is there which prevents us from referring to it. It needs to be visible at all times.
When you map out your tasks for the day, create two other columns. The first column should be an estimate of how long you believe a task will take. Enter values for all tasks before you begin your day. The second column should be for how long the tasks took to complete. Over time, you will become proficient in estimating your tasks.