Somehow you can’t imagine how to manage all these tasks to be done in one day. A feeling of stress arises because you don’t know where to start. You jump from one task to the next to create the feeling that you are working on everything anyway. But then you quickly realize that this just doesn’t work. Here you lack a structure that guides you through chaotic days, brings order to your thoughts and thus also provides inner peace.
One of the simplest and most effective time management methods to solve this problem is daily planning.
What exactly is day planning?
Think of it as the first step to successful time management. The more consistently and regularly you use a daily planning method, the better you can estimate the effort required for tasks. It will also help you to better coordinate your daily business. Since the day is a very small unit of planning and thus allows a good manageability.
What are advantages of daily planning?
- Tasks are seen as deadlines
- Save time through conscious time planning
- Learning success through reflection and analysis possibility
- Prioritization and elimination of tasks becomes easier with time
- As a guide through the day, daily planning helps maintain clarity and focus
- is done in a short time and the planning effort is always worthwhile
- good possibility to control whether goals have been reached
Tips for successful daily planning
Perform daily planning in writing
- Plans recorded in writing gain structure and commitment to themselves
- Unburden your memory by writing down your to-dos in an orderly fashion instead of having to recall them over and over in your head.
- You go to work with more confidence when there is a time structure in place and conveys to you that you are on top of the work.
- By checking the day’s result, you also go through the unfinished items again and can thus schedule them the day before.
- A daily plan at your desk serves as a kind of guide through the day, which helps you even in very stressful phases not to stray from the path.
Plan a feasible daily schedule with the 50:50 rule
To create a realistic plan, you should only schedule about 50% of your daily available working time. Reserve the remaining 50% as a time buffer.
That way, you’ll still have time for the unexpected, distractions, and social communication.
For an 8h day, 4 hours would have to be entered in the daily timeline, including a total of 4 hours of buffer time in between.
“The more planned people are, the more effectively chance strikes them.”
This is how a daily schedule with our daily planner could look like
Methods and elements for a structured daily schedule
Timeline with space for notes
Since the daily planning can only be used really effectively in interaction with time planning, a timeline for the temporal classification of the tasks is an enormously important component. However, such a tool for entering time can look different. For example, the day can be divided into several time blocks (morning, afternoon, evening) in which the tasks are noted. The important thing is that the time allocation on your planner also fits your tasks. Just try different planners to find the one that works best for you.
It is not always easy to prioritize tasks. The Eisenhower Matrix is a very simple, world-renowned method for sorting to-dos by priority. You can find a template for it here:
Prioritized task list
This is probably the most important part of the whole planning. What tasks should be tackled in the first place? These are noted here.
Prioritization of tasks is essential and can also be done in the task list itself. For example, in the form of numbering the tasks or with colors.
The reason for prioritization? Often not all tasks have room in one day. So just start by prioritizing the most important tasks. The to-dos that may then remain have a low priority and can usually be taken to the next day without a guilty conscience.
Colors and shapes
With the help of different colors and markers you can easily create a better overview. Especially if you use a timeline, it is helpful to use colorful design. If you don’t have any colors at hand, symbols can also help you sort and avoid a lot of text. For example, you could assign a certain color to all private tasks and another color to all activities with a household.
9 steps to the daily plan
Bring structure into your day – with these 9 steps you will succeed
- Write down all appointments and tasks on a separate page. So you get an overview of what actually has to be done and in the end will be drawn on the daily schedule.
- Estimate each activity in terms of time. Without an approximate indication of the time, it is not possible to set up a meaningful schedule.
- Prioritize and make decisions about delegation opportunities or cuts. Sometimes at this point you can sort out again with the help of the Eisenhower principle. Too many tasks in one day turn helpful daily planning back into an impossible to-do list. Less is more here as well.
- Try to group similar tasks together. This way you will benefit from staying “in the flow” and may be able to complete these tasks faster without having to spend time thinking about them.
- Schedule buffer time for events that may occur in between. When should the buffer times be entered? This depends on the work you are doing. In principle, however, it is helpful to enter a time reserve after each task.
- The filtered, estimated, grouped, prioritized and buffered to-dos can now be entered on the timeline of your plan. Colors and symbols help you to improve the overview.
- At the end of the day, do a reflection. If possible, you should also record how much time you actually spent on the tasks. This will help you get a better feeling for future time estimates.
- Tasks left over? No problem. Just schedule unfinished tasks directly for the next day.
- Learn, change, perfect! While there is a basic process for planning your day, certain parts of it work differently for each person. So find a structure and methods that work best for you personally.
To help you, we have created a checklist for planning your day.
If you have any questions, feel free to write or comment below this post.
We offer a great selection of day planners in our assortment. We would be happy if you stop by the store.