Do you have a lot going on and a ton of great ideas spinning around in your head?
There are so many amazing things to do, try out, experiment with and create – the options and inspiration are endless!
The downside of this, and one of the biggest challenges I see my clients dealing with, is trying to do allllllll the things. When we try to do everything, we become unfocused, overwhelmed and feel kind of lost and scattered. Not to mention stressed.
We’re constantly jumping around from one thing to another.
We feel busy but aren’t actually getting anything done.
Our to-do list just keeps growing, but nothing is getting scratched off.
And the stuff you do get done isn’t done as well as it could be, because it hasn’t been given the attention and energy it needs or deserves.
So to avoid this, you must organize and plan out your day.
It sounds counterintuitive, but adding some structure to your day actually gives you more space to be creative and free. You’re in control of your schedule, not the other way around. Instead of using up your precious energy trying to figure out what to do, how to spend your time, and jumping between tasks and projects, you can be in your creative flow instead.
[Tweet “Adding some structure to your day actually gives you more space to be creative and free. You’re in control of your schedule, not the other way around.”]
A lot of people say they “don’t have time” to spend planning and organizing. But taking just 5-10 minutes to plan out your day will save you way more time overall. Utilizing this small amount of time to plan, will save you up to two hours each day – that leaves you with more time to be creative!
Think of the time that’s wasted when you wake up not knowing how to start your day, or you sit there wondering what to work on next. Simply shifting between tasks or projects (better known as multitasking!) takes up a ton of your energy, leaves room for errors and mistakes, and ultimately takes you longer to complete. Since your brain has to move into a new way or mode of thinking each time you shift, your productivity can actually be reduced by up to 40%! And it can take an average of 23 minutes (seriously!) to get back into something.
This is why I created the Daily Planner – it’s a one page download that helps you easily organize your day in about five minutes flat.
When you take the time to plan your day, you’ll have set meaningful intentions for what you want to achieve, and a clear focus about how you’re spending your time, what will be taking up your energy and what’s most important. You’ll feel proud as you actually get stuff done and reach your goals. And when you get distracted or pulled away from your tasks, just come back to your plan to quickly and easily get yourself (and your brain) back on track.
Whatever method you use to plan and organize your day, here’s what you need to include:
1. Your main priority
Decide what your one main priority for the day will be. Keep it to one thing so you don’t overwhelm yourself or stretch yourself too thin.
Ask yourself what one thing you most want to accomplish by the end of the day. What thing will have the biggest impact on your life or business? What thing excites you most?
Set yourself up to succeed by being honest about what you can accomplish in one day. If you’re working on a big project, you may need to break it down, so you can fit just one part of it into your day. Consider how much time you actually have to work on this thing, and how long it will realistically take you to complete.
2. Top 3 things to get done
Let’s be honest, we can’t usually spend each day doing just one thing and focusing entirely on our main priority.
Your “top 3 things” will be the tasks that are important, and need to get done, but are much smaller, and will take less time than your main priority. They could be smaller broken down tasks that are related to your main priority, or just three unrelated tasks that are important nonetheless.
3. A list of your to-do’s
These will be the even smaller and more specific to-do’s for your day.
Again, they may need to get done in order to reach your main priority and top 3 things, but can also include anything that just needs to get done that day (like appointments, meetings, errands, chores….anything you need to remember to do).
As a guideline, each to-do should take you between two and 30 minutes to complete. We’re talking really small and specific. There will be exceptions now and then, like appointments and meetings, since they can sometimes take longer when travel and wait times are considered.
4. Gratitude and wins
Including a list of things you’re grateful for, and your recent “wins” and accomplishments, will help get you excited and give you a burst of motivation. This is a good way to start the day!
Remember the great things that have happened, or that you’ve created, so you can keep doing more great things! It’s easy to just plow through your work and move from task to task to task with your head down. But it’s important to take a moment to stop and think about all the stuff you’ve accomplished.
It’s a good idea to be specific – instead of saying “I’m grateful for _______”, include smaller details about what you’re grateful for and why. This will help to increase your positive vibes.
5. Creative space
Don’t plan out every second of every hour. Leave some open, free flowing, juicy, creative space.
Have some time in your day to be inspired, have random thoughts and discover new things.
On that note, have some blank space on your daily planner as well. It’s great to have some physical space to write down any ideas, thoughts or inspiration that comes up for you during the day. Instead of letting these things distract you and pull you away from what you’re doing, write them down here so you can come back to them later.
Including all of these components within your daily plan will allow you to focus your energy, save time, set intentions and open up your creative flow.
Organize each day the night before, so you can wake up in the morning feeling confident about what’s on your plate and what you need to get done.
Share with us in the comments below what your favorite tip is and/or what tips you’ll incorporate into planning your day.
PS. Looking for some luxe paper accessories to help keep you organized? Check out the September Stationery Box. It’s full of a variety of gorgeous notepads/notebooks. You can watch an unboxing video here or read the details on the blog. There’s only 2 spots available so grab yours here – they ship out on Sept 1!!!
Jodi Graham is the health food obsessed, lifelong spirituality exploring, bookworm Productivity Coach who’s hooked on getting things done.
She works with creative and independent women entrepreneurs, to get control over their schedule so they can finally make the time for those important things they can never seem to get to.
Instead of running around doing a million little things, your work with Jodi will take all those amazing ideas and projects spinning around in your head and create a focused, clear and positive plan of achievable action. You’ll know without a doubt exactly what you need to be doing to get the results you’ve been hoping for, and to see the impact of all your hard work.
Jodi believes without a doubt that it IS possible for you to achieve anything you want – you don’t have to struggle. Productivity can be second nature for you too. You just need clarity, intention and a PLAN. You gotta ask for what you want.
Images courtesy of Haute Stock.
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