The 'After' Snapshot: How I Plan My Day
Today is Day 27 in the 31 Days to a Super-Purposeful Schedule series.
Whew we've come a long way since the "before" snapshot of our schedules! This week is all about creating the "after" look. They can't really be purposeful unless we take the time to plan them, so this week is all about the daily, weekly, monthly and even yearly plans. Ready? Let's go!
On the days that I don't have a day plan early, I usually get lost early in the world of emails, social media, and texting. I can easily start and stop projects because it's hard to prioritize on the fly. I end up looking around at lunch wondering why the house is trashed, my inbox is full and everyone is still in pajamas.
A day plan can help me untangle the mess of distractions fighting for my attention so I can focus on the things I actual want to get done. Even if I never look at the plan again, taking a minute to write down what's most important for today helps me remember and take action.
Want to see my full morning routine? How I Jumpstart My Day.
If you find yourself feeling a bit scattered and distracted most days, a day plan might be just what you need.
How I Plan My Day
Top 3 First
At the top right of my daily planner, I list my top 3 goals for the day. These are the focus areas, the most important tasks, or the highest priority activities. If I get nothing done all day but these three things, I'll still feel super accomplished. They might be as simple as sending my husband a sweet note, or as complicated as sorting my work files. I don’t always do three, but any more than that makes the day feel too full. I’d rather set myself up for success instead of seeing things undone on the list.
After the top 3 are decided, I start to fill in the day details. These things may not necessarily fit in on a specific time slot, but if I don’t think about them early on in the day, they usually stress me out later as they come up.
On my planner, these look like Dinner Plan, Activities, Projects, Cleaning, System/Focus, Rest, & Best Thing. The last two especially get forgotten if I don’t intentionally list them. It’s hard to remember to rest and recharge with something fun. And listing the best thing about my situation right now helps me to have a thankful attitude instead of a negative one.
We talked more in depth about block schedules on Day 6. The next step I take is to fill these in on the left part of my day planner and actually assign projects to a blocked time frame. For example, you could work on a system focus in the morning block, a creative project in the afternoon block and then write, relax or hang out with people at night.
When I’m about to finish up my work day, I always feel so much better having a place to note what needs done tomorrow. I can’t always fit everything in, so instead of just feeling lame for not finishing my work, I just add it to the “for tomorrow box at the bottom of my planner.” This also helps me to put work down for the day instead of thinking about it all night.
Today’s Action Step:
Create your own daily planner. When will you look at it each day? How many goals do you want to set for yourself? If you want to make it easy, you can download the workbook and try using mine this week. (*Note: if you're already subscribed and are having trouble accessing this page, email me for a refresher on the password. xo)