Are you consistently productive and on-task?
Do you always set yourself new goals and achieve them with no problems at all?
If this sounds like you, congratulations – that’s a great achievement! Thanks for stopping by, but this article probably isn’t for you.
If on the other hand, you have great intentions and a desire to achieve your goals but can never seem to get there, you’re in the right place.
I’m going to share with you how I use daily Planning to be insanely productive and achieve my goals, all while balancing part-time blogging with my full-time professional day job.
But first, I’m going to let you in on a little secret…
Being organized and highly productive doesn’t come naturally to me.
My tendency is to be more of a thinker than a doer, which means that I like to know all of my options and be comfortable that I’ve found the best approach before I get started on anything.
This can lead to me spending a ton of time researching and over-analyzing everything and never actually getting anything done, which of course isn’t so great when there’s a lot of stuff to do.
There have been times when I have literally spent hours researching something that I wanted to buy or procrastinated over starting a new tasks because I wasn’t sure of the best way to do it.
With that in mind, I bet you’re probably wondering how I ever get anything done right?
Well my friends, the answer is simple… my productivity “secret” is daily planning.
Being consistent with daily planning has honestly been a game changer for me, and I’m confident that daily planning can help you too.
So without any further ado, lets dive in…
What Is Daily Planning?
Daily planning is exactly what is sounds like. Its planning…daily.
And it’s super simple.
Daily planning is basically your chance to sit down every day and review your progress against your goals, determine your immediate priorities, and set yourself actions to make some progress.
Why Is Daily Planning Effective?
Daily planning is effective largely because it helps you stay focused on your goals and high-priority tasks.
It helps you take action every day by setting small and achievable tasks (think things that you can get done in a single day), which add up to big achievements over time.
I find that daily planning is great for staying motivated to achieve your bigger goals and super helpful as a forcing-function for getting started on tasks that you might otherwise keep putting off.
Who Is Best Suited To Daily Planning?
Consistent daily planning can benefit anyone, but if you’re wondering if it’s going to be a good fit for you, then think about these questions:
- Are you constantly busy with a lot of little things to get done?
- Are you always forgetting about stuff you intended to do? Maybe you think about something you need to get done at the start of the week but then forget about it until weeks later.
- Do you find that your priorities change regularly, making it difficult to stick to a weekly or monthly plan?
- Do you start out really inspired and with great intentions, but find that you quickly lose focus and even “forget” about your goals?
If you answered yes to any of the above, then daily planning could be just the thing you’ve been looking for.
While daily planning can be a great productivity booster for anyone, it’s particularly useful for those that struggle with being organized or staying motivated.
How To Get Started With Daily Planning
There are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to daily planning – it’s mostly about finding what works best for you.
If you’re just getting started, the following guidelines can help:
- Set aside 10-15 minutes at the same time each day to review your priorities and set your plan for the day. I like to do my daily planning in the morning because it gets me in the right frame of mind for a productive day.
- Write it down. Putting your plan down on paper makes it more powerful and can help you avoid letting the little things slip through the cracks. If you don’t write down your daily plan and try to rely on your memory, you’re far more likely to forget.
- Review the previous day first. Before you plan out your priorities each day, take a few moments to review what you achieved the previous day. You can transfer any high-priority tasks that you didn’t get to complete to the next day, or decide to drop them if they’re actually not that important.
If you’re looking for more specifics on daily planning methods, my favorites are (1) time blocking; and (2) the prioritized to-do list.
Time blocking is the practice of scheduling your day into “blocks” of time dedicated to completing specific tasks.
Usually, this involves accounting for all of your time. I like to think of time blocking as the Zero-Based Budget of the planning world. You give every block of time a purpose so that you know exactly where your minutes are going and how they’re benefiting you.
Time blocking can be a great technique for maximum productivity and avoiding procrastination, but it’s also a more intensive planning process and requires a bit more effort at the start of the day.
The Prioritized To-Do List
This is my preferred daily planning method. It involves taking some time each day to list out everything that you want to achieve that day, ordered from highest priority to lowest.
By prioritizing your list, it helps ensure that the most important tasks get done first each day.
Having a prioritized to-do list is a great way to stay motivated each day as it helps you visualize your incremental progress. It’s a great feeling to see your tasks get checked off your list each day and know that you’ve achieved something.
My Favorite Planners
One of the great things about daily planning is that you don’t need anything fancy to get started. I often use a simple lined notebook to write down my daily prioritized to-do list and it works just fine.
However, if you like the idea of having a dedicated planner, there are so many great options out there.
I’ve tried a few different paper-based planners, but my hands-down favorite is the Erin Condren line of planners. I’m a huge fan of the Erin Condren LifePlanner for my weekly and monthly planning, and I love the PetitePlanner Daily Planner for my everyday planning.
If you’re interested in learning more about Erin Condren planners, click on the banner below to head on over to the website and browse the many different planners, stickers, and accessories.
Bullet journals are another fun paper-based way to manage your daily planning. Or if you’re more inclined to use a digital solution, you can use the notes app on your phone or download a dedicated planning app.
Whatever you choose, as long as you write it down each day, you’ll be in a good place to boost your productivity and achieve your goals.
Are you a daily, weekly, or monthly planner (or all of the above)? What planning strategy works best for you?
Looking for other ways to boost your productivity? Check out related articles on goals and productivity:
- A Day In The Life Of A Six-Figure Professional (And Part-Time Blogger)
- How To Achieve Your Goals In 5 Proven Steps
- How To Be Productive When You Just Don’t Feel Motivated
- My Super Efficient Morning Routine (And How To Make It Work For You)
The post How To Use Daily Planning To Be Insanely Productive appeared first on A Cure for Monday.