Actions to take
- Schedule your day in the morning or day before
- Have one important task for the day
- Give time to yourself
- Be flexible with the schedule
You start to schedule your day on a calendar, it goes fine for a few days and after a few weeks, we are off our schedules. In some extreme cases, even off from the schedule of scheduling things for the day.
Scheduling and keeping up with it is a habit, keep it simple and flexible to start with and gradually increase the number of things you schedule.
Should you use a calendar?
Before you start going through the article, let us understand if a calendar is what you are looking for as a productivity solution or not. You need to define the purpose for using the calendar.
Are you using it for:
- Scheduling events and meetings.
- Block the calendar for tasks or project you have to do in the day.
- Use it as a reminder to start working on things.
Note: If you are not a calendar person?
Start small and only schedule a particular kind of things which you are surely going to complete in the day. Something as small and automatic as going to the
Once you are in the habit of scheduled events in the calendar, add more events to your calendar. There is no full proof plan of scheduling things on the calendar, so experiment a little bit to find the sweet spot for yourself.
Plan the night before or early morning. Make sure before starting anything, plan your schedule, even if you just spend 5 minutes and create a rough schedule and update as you go through the day.
You don’t have to be specific with the plans if you are not good at managing your time in fixed slots. The way I schedule tasks on my calendar, I keep 15 min slot as my default calendar event time and quickly add tasks to my calendar as a 15 min event. This acts as a starting trigger for me and I can spend as much time as I want to until I reach the next task’s scheduled time.
Keep a different color for events like meetings and appointments. Having different colors for tasks and events will help you quickly infer visually with a quick glance.
Start working with an important task, something that really matters. We usually start with something that seems easy and quick to do.
It happens with me very often, I don’t feel like working, and I start with a small task. At times that is not the most important thing, but it boosts me and gives me that sense that I did something. The problem is, it is a short term benefit. Suddenly something comes up in the day, and my tasks are all off the track, and I didn’t get the important thing done.
Productivity is about momentum. You need to start it off with something that adds value and finishing it, will make you feel better. The energy you will feel after accomplishing an important task will give you a boost to push through the day, even if you are working on mundane things.
End with self
End your day with something that is focused around your self-development. Before you sleep you can spend some time reading or doing some online course. Here is a course on how I plan my days, weeks and goals to stay on track every single day.
I usually end my day journaling. I reflect back on the day and write down my thoughts and feelings I experienced throughout the day in DoRemember app. This helps me leave things behind and move to the next day with a fresh mindset. You don’t have to write things in detail, you can micro-journal, by just writing a thought of a few lines. Expressing things in fewer words helps you think through things and compress them to a focused and a clear idea. It also helps in compartmentalizing thoughts to avoid unclarity and reduces unnecessary stress.
Plan it around an important task
Add one important task for the day and plan your day around it. This is the most important task that you need to finish at any cost. Think of it as your daily milestone task which will help you end your day with a sense of accomplishment.
If there is something else that you need to get done before you can start this important task, make that a priority and get it done as early as possible. It will otherwise block your schedule and might drift you towards procrastinating on the important task.
There will be times when the scheduled task takes longer than you thought, take a pause and give it a thought before continuing with it and ignoring your schedule. Ask yourself a few questions.
Will I be able to finish this task quickly without affecting my schedule? If the answer is yes, continue working on the task.
Is it really urgent to finish this task right now? If the answer is yes, continue working on the task.
In almost every other scenario move on to the next task and try to keep up with your schedule.
Keep a flexible slot
Have a 60 to 90 mins slot for your unfinished tasks in the day. This should be at the end of your work. This can also be a good time to help out others and work on some small documentation tasks that will help you stay organized.
If you don’t have anything much to do in this slot, you can use it to plan the next day or week and even relax a bit.
ConclusionKnowing what needs to be done is a great way to take control of your work and knowing when it needs to be done will let you take control of your time. Click To Tweet
Planning your day and sticking to the schedule might be a little difficult when you start doing it but it can be of great benefit if you get into the habit. By using a calendar, you can schedule your day effectively and get things done on time.