HOW TO MAKE PLANNING A HABIT AND BOOST YOUR PRODUCTIVITY
Do you ever feel like you're running around in circles, struggling to get things done? You're not alone. Many people struggle to manage their time effectively and get everything done. However, by making planning a habit, you can increase your productivity, achieve your goals, and take control of your life.
In this article, we'll explore how to make planning a habit and introduce you to some productivity techniques to help you stay on track.
"We first make our habits and then our habits make us." - John Dryden
Set a Daily Planning Session
First, you need to set a daily planning session. The key here is to do it at the same time every day. The morning is a great time to plan your day, but it doesn't work for everyone. The goal is to pick a time that works for you and stick to it. To make it easier, take your planning session onto an existing habit, like drinking your morning coffee. By doing so, you're more likely to stick with it.
Align Your To-Do List to Specific goals.
It's not enough to create a to-do list. You need to align it with your goals. Break down your big goals into everyday tasks. For example, if your goal is to get in shape, don't add "get in shape" to your to-do list. Instead, add "spend 30 minutes on my bike." Consider your week as a whole and think about the multiple goals you have. Certain goals benefit from everyday activity, while working towards others a few times a week can create momentum. Make sure to add your have-to-do tasks last. We often overstuff our to-do lists with have-to-do tasks that crowd the whole day. Making it last on the list forces you to fit your have-to-do tasks around your goal tasks.
Have One Daily Priority
We all start our mornings with dozens of things we need to get done, but later realize that we haven't crossed any of them off our lists. Choose a single task to prioritize and safeguard in your schedule as a remedy for hectic days that pass without development. If you're having trouble deciding on your #1 priority, consider what you want the highlight of your day to be. That's your priority.
Productivity Methods to Help You Stay Focused
There are several productivity methods to help you stay focused, such as the "Eat the Frog" method, the "Pomodoro" technique, and the "Time Blocking" method.
The "Eat the Frog" method is all about tackling the task you're most likely to procrastinate on first. Choose a time for your "frog" during your planning session. Then add your more tasks below.
The "Pomodoro" technique is excellent for persons who love working in short, concentrated sprints with regular pauses. Set a timer for 25 minutes and concentrate on a single job until the timer goes off. After the workout is over, mark off one Pomodoro and keep track of what you accomplished. Take a five-minute break. Following four pomodori, take a longer, half-hour rest.
The "Time Blocking" method involves splitting your day into distinct blocks of time. Then, limit each block of time to accomplishing a single activity or collection of chores. To ensure accuracy, add blocks for things like lunch, breaks, and commuting. If a task takes less or more time, make modifications to your list to gain a better understanding of how long tasks take.
Choosing Your Planning Tool
Now that you have a better understanding of the different productivity methods available, it's time to choose the right planning tool that works best for you. With so many alternatives available, it can be overwhelming to choose the best one. But don't worry, I've got you covered.
First, consider whether you prefer a digital or paper-based planner. A digital task manager or calendar might be the perfect choice for those who are tech-savvy, while a paper planner is an excellent choice for people who enjoy the tactile experience of writing tasks down. You could also opt for a hybrid approach, using a paper planner for brainstorming and then transferring your tasks to a digital task manager for easy reference.
Here are 3 digital planning tools you can use:
- Monday.com - This tool is best for google users (G Suite and so on). It has customizable templates, time-tracking features, and project management tools.
- Celoxis - This tool is best for Microsoft suite integrations and client portals. It also has tools for resource management, project management, and budgeting.
- Friday.app - This tool is my personal favorite because of its habit and mood tracker, project tracker, to-do lists, and gratitude planner.
Committing to Your Daily Plan
Now that you have chosen your planning tool, it's time to commit to your daily plan. This means eliminating distractions that pull you away from your objectives for the day. Work with the majority of your desktop applications closed, your phone on mute, and your notifications turned off.
Tracking your time can also help you work more effectively. Consider using hourly check-ins to notice if you're moving through your day with focus. And don't forget to readjust your plan when unanticipated work arises. Taking a few minutes to re-plan your day can help you stay on track and achieve your goals.
Get to "To-Do List Zero"
While you want to have zero tasks on your to-do list, it's an opportunity to take stock of where you're at, re-evaluate your tasks, and re-plan them. Don't get discouraged if you can't complete everything on your list in a day. The important thing is to keep moving forward and making progress.
Reflect on a regular basis.
Make time for a weekly assessment to examine whether your planning approach is working or may be improved. Consider the following crucial questions:
- Are my days quiet and purposeful, or hectic and erratic?
- Did I finish all of my daily planning sessions or did I omit some?
- Do I feel accomplished at the end of most days?
- Are my high-priority tasks being addressed?
- Am I on track to achieve my larger goals?
By reflecting regularly, you can identify areas for improvement and make necessary adjustments to your planning process.
Planning is an essential habit that can help you achieve your goals and improve your productivity. By incorporating some of the productivity methods discussed above and committing to a daily planning session, you can set yourself up for success.
Remember, it's essential to choose a planning tool that works for you and commit to your daily plan. Don't get discouraged if you can't complete everything on your list in a day, and make sure to reflect regularly to identify areas for improvement.
With a little bit of effort and consistency, you can make planning a habit that will help you achieve your goals and increase your productivity. So don’t wait, start planning today.
Thanks for reading. Stay awesome, stay inspired, and stay true to yourself.