How to plan your day
“Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans..” While this saying holds a lot of truth, it is also true that a goal without a plan is just a wish. Without proper planning in place, the line between idea and strategy becomes unclear, blurring your map for the future. Yet when you plan your day out, set goals and track your progress, you know exactly where you stand as your work toward your goals.
Whether you’re seeking to tame an overwhelming workload, build a new habit or create more time for fun, understanding how to plan your day out is key to taking control and getting where you want to go. Here are the top eight ways to plan your day so you can improve your productivity and achieve your dreams.
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How to plan your day out
Learning how to plan your day means harnessing your skills and time to make the most of your resources.
1. Think ahead
Human beings have limited willpower. When you attempt to plan your day out in the morning, you deplete your supply of willpower first thing. Why do that to yourself, when you can just as easily plan your day out the night before? By giving yourself a heads up on what tomorrow will look like, you’re mentally prepared the moment you wake up – no need to waste time and energy when your day’s strategy is ready and waiting.
This doesn’t necessarily mean scheduling out every minute of your day. It also means using the power of routine to take some things off your plate. There’s a reason Steve Jobs and Barack Obama wore the same thing every day. These types of routines save your brain’s energy for what really matters – making tough decisions and focusing on your goals.
2. Embrace rituals
Your most powerful routine takes place in the morning. Embracing morning rituals will provide the structure and discipline you need to learn how to plan your daily life. It also sets the mood for your day, shifting your mindset to one of positivity and productivity.
Like any new habit, managing your schedule takes consistency to make it second-nature. Build new habits into your schedule so you’re reminded to follow through on them on a consistent basis. By making new habits ritualistic, you’re able to build patterns that align with your values and priorities.
3. Slow down
As helpful as technology can be, mastering how to plan your day is a great time to go analog. Before you turn on any technology, get out a piece of paper and write down what end results would make for a successful day. Next, write down the steps needed to get there.
From those steps, select the ones you can realistically get done in a day. By taking a few minutes’ break from the rush of digital information, you’re able to focus calmly on today’s plan of action. Make this a part of your morning routine to get your mind in the right place before you start your day.
4. Find tools that work for you
You don’t have to ignore technology entirely – time management apps and tools are essential for many people. To master how to plan your day out, elevate your focus with Tony Robbins’ best-selling custom life planner, the RPM Life Planner. Unlike the majority of time management systems, which focus solely on mapping out your to-do list, the RPM Life Planner takes a holistic approach.
You get all the tools you need to get organized and pursue what you truly want out of life right at your fingertips. You get an achievable blueprint for not only how to plan your day but also how to strategize and meet larger life goals. This approach saves you from the busywork of unfocused activity. You get real progress – forward movement toward your passions.
5. Use chunking
When you have too much on your plate, it’s almost impossible to focus on anything, much less on how to plan your day. Enter chunking, the time-management strategy at the center of the Rapid Planning Method (RPM planning). Rather than thinking of your time as a fleeting resource that’s either “spent” or “saved,” RPM planning guides you to prioritize the outcomes you really want in life, then target your time toward those goals.
By using the chunking technique, you’re able to set realistic and achievable goals with the resources you have without exhausting yourself. To practice chunking, group similar activities and information into bite-sized pieces. Chunking is one of the best ways to plan your day – you’ll notice everything from planning your work day to enjoying your days off becomes more natural.
6. Set boundaries
When you’re planning your workday, give yourself a realistic window of time for each item and cut yourself off at that window. Setting boundaries with your time enables you to focus and rely on the scheduling parameters you set for yourself.
Another habit to build into your day is to reset your mind and body – even when you don’t want to. Set an alarm to ring every hour. When it rings, stand up and stretch to reinvigorate your state. Before getting back to work, ask yourself if that last hour was productive and plan the next hour for maximal results.
7. Take massive action
We all have long to-do lists on our phones or stuck to our refrigerators. They’re filled with tasks we don’t want to do, but we know need to get done. Yet learning how to plan your day isn’t about daily tasks. It’s about the actions you take that move you toward your goal. You need to ditch your to-do list and create a Massive Action Plan (MAP).
Your MAP will help you ensure the activities that end up on your schedule are goal-oriented and connected back to your purpose. This gives meaning to everything you are doing – even the tasks you consider menial – which improves your focus and allows you to get more done in a day.
8. Prioritize yourself
As tempting as it is to tell yourself you’ll just “get around” to your personal needs, the reality is that, when you get busy, those are the first tasks to get lost in the shuffle. Prioritizing your overall physical, mental and emotional health forms the cornerstone of lasting success, so don’t forget them when you plan your day out.
Exercise and eating right give you the energy and vitality you need for your day. Positive habits like meditation or yoga center your mind and body. Self-care gives you time to relax and regroup. Prioritizing yourself isn’t being lazy – all of these things are ultimately essential to your productivity and creativity.
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