Let’s be honest; you must plan your day! But planning with efficiency is even better.
Here are few things that will help you go through your daily schedule smoothly while being more productive.
To begin with, here are some reminders to manage well throughout your day:
1- Do not overschedule
This point is the most obvious but is the most easily forgotten. However, it’s essential, crucial even to plan adequately to stay efficient.
The thing to consider is you are not more productive when you book more events on your agenda than you can manage. You’ll only end up overwhelmed, stressed, and feeling unproductive. Adding a lot to your day won’t extend the 24 hours it lasts.
Be kind to yourself and do you a favour: stay realistic. You must plan regarding your availabilities, and what matters most. Simply say “NO” to everything else. Anyway, you won’t be able to do everything that is on your agenda just because you noted it down.
2- Consider transportation or commute time
That’s an easy and convenient one to forget, isn’t it? To fit more in you tend to “forget” your commute when you plan your day. You just hope for the best, thinking no traffic, nothing unexpected, but is it realistic? What happens when there is traffic as there always is at this hour? It’s simple, the 30 min you though you gain for the sake of your busy agenda are gone nowhere useful, and you are stressed. Plus, the things you thought you could add within these 30 mins has now no chance to be achieved.
Think well, even if you only have a 10 min commute, these 10 mins are no going to appear in your day by magic. Don’t create a new event for them, simply add the necessary time to your existing event if you already know how long it will take you. If you are not sure because it’s the first time you go to this place, use google maps to consider how it will take and add extra time. You don’t be overwhelmed because you don’t find this new place right away.
3- Don’t forget the “unimportant tasks”
Of course, doing the laundry, or cleaning the floor isn’t something that important, so you have to give it a space on your precious agenda when you plan your day. But isn’t it? How long does it take you to do your laundry, and then put it in the dryer, and then fold or hang everything, and bring it to the different bedrooms of the house? Certainly not 0 min, or in that case, tell me your secret, you can DM me anytime! How long does it take you to wash your dishes, help your kids with your homework, or prep the dinner? You get my point now. When you schedule is busy, especially when it’s hectic, you have to take into consideration these must-unimportant-dos, so your plans stay realistic.
4- Consider other’s schedule
Your family is influencing your planning. It’s only logical to consider their schedule when you plan your day. When you have young kids, this is an obvious one, but when they grow up, you just start to feel like they manage on their own anyway now, or do they? How many times did you have to rush up to go and save the day of you 15 years old daughter because she forgot this or needed that crucial thing?
I must confess I never say no in that case. Even if maybe I should, nevertheless I don’t. Do you? If you are living with a family, you must consider that the other members may need your help. You can either be, at least a little, ready or be overwhelmed because you said yes to something you can’t fit into your schedule or say no and feel sorry about it. Either way, you end up upset by the situation. So better chose the first case and be ready.
5- Be flexible
You must remain flexible at all time. Mainly not on your agenda but regarding your state of mind. If you are not ready to manage the unexpected, and can’t accept that some days things are not going the right way, you will probably live a more stressing life than you need.
Things are going wrong sometimes, you spill your cup of coffee and then don’t have time to go to the grocery store to buy this ice-cream you promised for dinner? Well, that’s ok, you have these biscuits in the cupboard, it’s not the healthiest dessert but if it prevents you from being completely upside down because of a cup of coffee? Never mind! Your happiness is worth more than a couple of biscuits once in a while.
You must accept that sometimes you miss something important too. “It was meant to be” is the only right reaction to this kind of situations. You move forward, replan, rebook and keep going. It’s no use losing energy being upset, stressed, or grumpy because of it. You didn’t do it and you can’t go back in time. Forget it and keep the good work!
Now, these are a few tips that helped me, so I believe they may be some help to plan your day:
6- Use Google Calendar Goals
First of all, use your Gmail account to create your Google Calendar. I know people say that you are “being watched” be aren’t we anyway? I mean is there a way nobody knows what your plans along the day are? Anyway, is there anything on your agenda that is worth being hidden from someone above that has enough time to lose spying on you for national security purpose? I believe not, so I use convenience, and Google Calendar is the king, as it’s available from anywhere on the Intenet with your password.
Once you have the app on your phone, you’ll discover that you can create events and reminders, as usual, but also goals. These goals are used for the tasks you want to achieve on a regular basis but don’t schedule at a fixed time.
Let me explain, for example, you want to do 30 min of yoga 3 times a week. You plan that as a goal, and see what schedule Google Calendar is choosing. It’s not the best time, don’t worry! Google Calendar has your back; it’s “learning” and improving. All you have to do is let the app schedule for you, and then press “did it” when you achieved, or “later” if you really can’t do it on the day it’s schedule. It’s scheduling one month ahead and adjusting accordingly the adjustments you make. Eventually, if this week is not meant to be for a 3 times yoga, because of a holiday, or a PA day, then don’t worry and just delete this event.
What Google Calendar Goals is a perfect way of making sure you have the count of things you wanted to be done in your week or month. It helps, and it’s more flexible than a reminder or an event. The fun thing is, you have plenty of categories to choose from, and many designs going with them that are adding a personal touch to your calendar.
7- Categories your activities
I have one Gmail for my business, and a personal one so I can have different colours depending on the origin of the tasks. It’s helping a lot to improve my organization. I also have one Gmail for each one of my children, so I know which event is for whom. I also have my husband Gmail registered, I don’t make it visible but when I’m planning things for the family, I can add the event on his agenda directly so he can’t forget.
Each one its colour, so everything is easy to visualize. Visualizing is the key when you plan your day!
8- I use the Mom’s Calendar 5-task rule
I have one of these paper Mom’s agendas where you have for each day 3 lines for morning, afternoon and evening. There are also 5 columns that are supposed to be for each family member. I used them differently by accident and found that it was a good reminder keep me from overbooking. I never plan more than 5 activities for each period of the day. It’s more than enough regarding what’s realistically doable.
If some are very short tasks, I don’t mind because I realized that it usually compensate the bigger ones. Don’t plan 5 long events in one morning though!
9- Me-time or downtime
You are not a robot; you need some downtime. You need to have time for you. Plan your day considering these too! It’s important to do so, for your sanity. You can’t work 24-7 and believe you’ll keep walking straight. I can’t. A long time ago, I understood that I needed a moment each day to relax, take care of myself, read, maybe even watch for the hundredth time an episode that same TV series I love. I could also go for a walk, take time to shoot some photos, have a cup of coffee doing nothing else.
This time is crucial to your day is going well. Let me rephrase this. If you want to be efficient all day long, you need to know you’ll have this downtime at some point. So plan it, make it a Google Calendar Goal with one of these lovely designs, so you’ll keep it in mind, and it will really help you be far more motivated.
10- Your favourite vs. what you most do
Of course, you can’t avoid your to-do list. I mean, who enjoys cleaning the floor except for a Buddhist monk who sees the pleasurable achievement of eternity in it? You can’t avoid these boring tasks. Nevertheless, don’t let your must-dos rule your whole day. You must include passion in your agenda, as well as downtime so you can keep the good work!
Your yearly goals are a good starting point. Take one of these passions of yours and work on it a little bit every day. When you plan your day, you must include a bit, or more, of what you love.
If you want to read more about getting things done: