Have you ever wondered how you should organize your day?
Are you looking to easily strike items from your to-do list?
One way to increase your productivity is through careful planning.
Organizing your schedule with care ensures you’ll actually have enough time to get things done.
In this post, I offer four smart tips to help you organize your day for maximum productivity.
These tips are good for any type of day, be it the weekday, weekend, or a day at home, work, or school.
Have a plan before the day begins.
One way to ensure you make the most of your time and energy is to have a plan in mind before the day begins.
Don’t worry, it’s not necessary to have a minute-by-minute schedule laid out.
Simply taking a handful of minutes at the end of the work or school day to set your priorities and intentions for tomorrow can make a world of difference.
Instead of wasting time on unnecessary or non-urgent matters, you’ll identify the most urgent and important items.
Just how can prepare yourself for tomorrow? You could review your upcoming meetings and appointments and confirm the exact location of each. You could write down your top three to-dos for the day. Or you could decide which of your projects should receive the most focus and attention.
What’s more, your plans don’t need to be super-complicated. You could create a plan as simple as, “On my day off, I’m going to have lunch out with a friend and see a movie in the afternoon.”
Switch tasks often to reenergize your day.
Who says you have to work on the same task for hours on end? Add some variety to your day by working on a new task every hour or two. Doing so allows you to utilize a wide variety of mental and physical skills and gives your mind and body a break from whatever task you’re working on at the moment. What’s more, this method also helps to break up the work day.
Below are four different task categories for your reference. Keep it mind, it doesn’t matter so much which category you begin or end with, so long as you can rotate between tasks as your schedule allows:
Tasks that involve working with others, such as holding a meeting, brainstorming, or collaborating on a project
Tasks that require you to work by yourself, such as reviewing articles, answering emails, or updating document
Repetitive or rote tasks, such as stuffing envelopes, deleting old emails, decluttering clothes or vacuuming a carpet
High concentration tasks, such as reading a brief in-depth, writing a report, or interpreting data, charts and diagrams.
Give yourself ample time to prepare for meetings and appointments.
If you constantly feel rushed and overwhelmed before appointments and meetings, you may want to give yourself the gift of ample preparation time. You need to prepare yourself for upcoming events and functions anyway, so why not do so in a calm, cool, and collected manner? It’s a much more relaxed way of ensuring you have all the tools, resources, and materials you need, without unnecessarily wasting your energy.
Allow yourself adequate time to prepare presentation materials, tidy up your workstation, and put your personal belongings in order. This might mean halting your work fifteen to thirty minutes before you need to leave for your meeting or appointment. Of course, you might need more or less time depending on your needs, but the message here is clear: add a buffer of time into your schedule.
Can’t stand working against the clock? Prepare your materials and belongings an hour or two in advance for extra peace of mind.
Embrace your daily routines.
Have you ever thought of ditching your morning ritual of buying a cup of tea at the corner cafe so you can get a jump on the work day? Or hurrying back to your desk after a meeting to immediately process your emails, instead of unpacking your personal belongings so you can settle into your workstation? While these routines may seem like time wasters on the surface, they are actually quite necessary in our schedules.
These small actions help you to transition from one part of your day to another. They allow you to stop and catch your breath, both literally and figuratively, and prepare you for your next adventure. In some ways, you might view these little moments as hands-off productivity boosters. Taking adequate lunch, work, and study breaks will energize you for the rest of your day.
So, whatever you do, don’t discount, cut out, or throw these precious gems away! Include these items in your schedule and enjoy these brief moments for what they are worth. Take a few minutes to properly settle into your workspace, get your notes in order before class begins, or enjoy the quiet walk from your car to the office.
How about you? Which of these tips do you think you’ll try out? Why? Join the conversation and leave a comment below!