How to Plan Your Day

You can make your whole day run smoothly by setting aside just a few minutes to plan it out. Once you know what you’re going to do from beginning to end, you’ll feel relaxed and confident. Don’t believe us? Try implementing these tips:

1. Make a list:
The first and foremost thing that you need to do is to create a list. Otherwise, you’re liable to forget one of the tasks on there. Even if you have a great memory, trying to keep your entire to-do list in your head –from the major tasks to the minor ones–is bound to put unnecessary stress on the brain. So simply take ten minutes to write (or type) them all down.

You may prefer the traditional method of handwriting them. You can buy yourself a planner (yes, they’re still on the market!). Alternatively, you might enjoy creating your own elaborate version, with color codes and symbols. Or perhaps you just want to keep it simple and list everything on a piece of paper, with checkboxes after each task.

For those of us who prefer typing, you can also use your computer. Excel works very well for this.

If you prefer to use your smartphone or tablet, some of the apps you can use are:
• Evernote
• aCalendar
• Todoist

2. Estimate the time required for each task:

In order to create a proper plan and follow it throughout the day, it is important to estimate the time which you will need for each and every task. Most mobile apps have this option built in

Pro Tip: When in doubt, it’s always best to assume that a task will take a bit longer, rather than cramming too many into a short time-period and creating a hectic schedule for yourself.

3. Find the open timeslots: If there are constant tasks that you need to accomplish every day, like picking up the kids from school or walk the dog, these are consider closed timeslots. If your planner has an hour-by-hour format (recommended), you should write these in first. Then you’ll see exactly which timeslots are open.

4. Schedule each task: This one is obvious: fill in your planner, whichever format you’ve chosen.

It's important to plan them according to your priorities. The most essential tasks and projects should be scheduled near the start of your day. This ensures you’ll get them done, even if they’re more time-consuming. When you schedule according to your priorities, you can maximize your performance each and every day.

5. Keep buffer time: Obviously, your day won’t always go like clockwork, as unexpected events and disturbances are a part of life. Thus, it’s a good idea to give yourself some extra time as insurance. You can add buffer time to each and every task.

Following these simple guidelines can reduce your stress and get more done throughout the day.