Want to be more productive in the coming year? Tired of getting to the end of the day and wondering what you accomplished, or why you don’t seem to be making progress on your goals? Having a daily plan is important; here are ways to supercharge your plan for maximum effectiveness and success. Using these tips can help you reach your full potential every day—no matter what business you’re in.
Start getting ready for the day the night before. By getting a jumpstart on the day, you’ll hit the ground running when you wake up, setting yourself up for success.
Before you find your pillow, do these three things:
- Evaluate the day for wins.
What worked today? What were the highpoints and how did the success make you feel? Focus on the positive and replay the benefits of productivity.
- Analyze tomorrow.
What do you have to get accomplished? List three must-do tasks in an email and send it to yourself.
- Plan your clothes.
It seems ridiculous, but this time-saver is a game changer in the morning. Indecision about wardrobe-related issues can steal time and cause unnecessary frustration. Eliminate this step by choosing what you’re going to wear the night before, and setting it out. Make sure you have everything you need, and take care of any ironing before bed.
Get a good night’s rest.
The importance of sleep cannot be overlooked. With proper rest, you are more likely to be more productive and successful, and you will feel better throughout the day. Turn off the TV, computer, and phone an hour before bedtime, turn down the lights, and go to bed at a reasonable time.
Use the morning effectively.
The quiet hours of the morning are some of the most effective moments of your day. Before jumping into the busyness of the day, set aside time to recharge mentally and spiritually. Use the morning for devotions, spiritual reflection, or inspirational reading.
Many business executives use the morning as time for their physical exercise as well. Not only does exercise jumpstart your energy level, but doing it first thing ensures that your workout doesn’t get pushed off the to-do list by other pressing duties.
Eat a healthy breakfast.
Eating a healthy breakfast gives your body and brain the nutrition and energy it needs to complete the day’s tasks. Look for breakfast food that is high in protein and easy to grab in the morning.
Focus on the day ahead.
You’ve already identified three of the important tasks you need to accomplish today. To accomplish your goals, you’ll need to eliminate the distractions that compete for your time.
- Use short-term and long-term goals.
By using both, you are able to focus on the items that are important and that support your overall goals.
- Say ‘Yes’ sparingly.
It is easy to get pulled in different directions and feel overwhelmed by the list of things you need to accomplish. To avoid this, say “not right now” more than you say yes. This keeps you open to tackle a project or task when time and workload allows, but it is almost impossible to back out of a “yes” once you have committed to getting something done.
- Get rid of notifications.
There is something compelling about the ding, beep, or buzz of notifications that alerts us to a new piece of information or contact. Unfortunately, these notifications are distracting and cause us to lose our flow of concentration. When you’re working, turn off all social media and notification systems.
- Use voice mail effectively.
Phone calls are one of the most distracting parts of a day. If you’re working toward a deadline, allow the phone to roll calls over to voice mail. If the sound of a ringing phone is too unnerving, turn the ringer on silent. Set a time to check your voice mail and handle any emergencies, but avoid the temptation to deal with every phone call immediately.
Emergencies happen, and there will be times when you are not able to accomplish all your goals for the day. With a plan, however, you’re more likely to stay on task; it also makes it easier to regroup once the emergency has passed. The adage “Plan your work and work your plan” is both true and effective. In addition, having your plan in writing makes it more likely that you will stay focused. For ultimate success every day, start working the night before, and carry the productivity into the work day for maximum effectiveness.