Plan Ahead to Stay Ahead

Plan+AheadIt’s hard to get a running start on the day without a plan. You don’t want to waste your creative morning time wondering what you should do today. If you want to attack your day instead of having it attack you, use this solid strategy. Take the last 15 minutes of a workday to plan out and prioritize the activities for the next day. This will set you up for success and also keep you from forgetting about important tasks or appointments. “Every minute you spend planning saves you an average of approximately 10 minutes in execution” says Brian Tracy in his book “Eat That Frog!” When you take time to plan you save time in the end, so why not plan ahead?

Here are 2 strategies to help you plan tomorrow today:

  1. Run the numbers. Use this effective strategy to prioritize your To Do List. Count the items on your To Do List, and then number them in order from most important to least important. Use the numbers one through seven, for example, giving the most important item the seven. The next most important item gets a six, and so on. After you have finished your first set of numbers, repeat the process, only this time in order of urgency. That is, figure out what must be done soonest and give it a seven, what is second most urgent gets a six, etc. When you are done, add the two numbers together. Those with the highest combined scores are to be done first, and on down through the line. By going through this easy process, you ensure that you’re spending your time on what matters most. For some, this may become part of the daily routine. For others, this method may be a one-week learning experience. Give it a try. It will help you prioritize your tasks in a way that makes sense.
  2. Put it on paper. Without being overly detailed, write or type your schedule for the day. Documenting your activities will keep you on track toward finishing your work for the day. Crossing finished items off can be very satisfying.