No matter how you plan and get things done, you’ll want to avoid these 5 planning mistakes that are killing your productivity.
If you’re tired of moving your todo’s over to the next day + long to see progress on your projects + goals, then do the #takeAction Fixes on these five planning mistakes when organising your day.
Take 5 minutes from yesterday
Even though it only takes a handful of minutes to make a todo list, you’ll want to prepare your list the night before.
When you organise tomorrow the day before it helps to tidy up loose ends. And with these things off your mind you can unwind + enjoy your time away from work knowing that tomorrow’s todo list is already prepared.
It may seem natural to create your todo list to the morning you need it, but that’s too late.
You lose valuable work time trying to get organised, especially if you’re most productive in the morning. Not only do you loose time, you could miss, be late or arrive unprepared for that early morning meeting.
The combination of trying to organise your day with the pressing need to get to work makes distractions an enticing alternative. Banish distractions by taking 5 minutes the day before to make your list.
#takeAction Fix 1 : create your todo list the night before
Catch the big one
It’s so easy to sit down to work, open your emails and get swept up in the current of whatever’s happening in there. Especially if you didn’t make your todo list the night before! (see the previous planing mistake to fix this).
Before you know it an hour’s gone by + you’ve not even started on your work for the day.
To make sure you’re making progress on your big goal, write your big focus at the top of your todo list + block time in your calendar to work on it.
Making consistent project time on a regular basis is the easiest way to achieve your big goals. It also means that you’re using the best part of the day for your most important work.
Save checking emails + other admin tasks for when your energy is lower.
#takeAction Fix 2 : schedule a block of time to work on your most important project each day
Start with a verb
Just because you write something on your list doesn’t mean it will get done. It’s not like the guest list for an exclusive party where if your name’s on the list your in!
You don’t need everything you hope to do on your daily list. Especially if they’re vague, fingers crossed, hopefully today things.
You want the tasks on your daily todo list to be easy to do. That means decisions have already been made. And you’re ready to do the small, simple actions to get the job done.
The easiest way to make sure your tasks are something you can get done and won’t leave you procrastinating is to start with a verb.
Starting your tasks with an action word let’s you know what you’ll be doing. It makes getting things done easier because you don’t have to think about what website update really means. Break it down and start it with a verb.
Your tasks could be items like iron my shirt, create an outline, update about me copy, send a quote, pick up dry cleaning, bake a cake and so on.
#takeAction Fix 3 : start each task on your list with an action word
Make it fresh each day
It may seem easier + more efficient to work from one giant todo list.
Big mistake, huge!
Constantly adding to your list is unmotivating + zaps your energy. And your todo list ends up in charge of you.
Ever feel like you need to catch up! Maybe your todo list is too long.
When you make a fresh, short list each day it easier to see what you’re focusing on. There’s a beginning and an end. And there’s something to celebrate when you’re done.
Finishing what’s on your list is motivating. It fuels your energy + desire to do it again tomorrow.
#takeAction Fix 4 : create fresh, short + focused list each day
Connect these two together
It’s one thing to make a list, and it’s another to get it done.
If you don’t connect your todo list with your calendar + ensure you have the time to get your tasks done, they won’t get done.
Make sure all the unmovable, due date + time appointments are in your calendar. Have this in front of you when making your daily todo list.
We’re terrible estimators of how long things will take. It’s great practice to write how long you think a task will take on your todo list + check to see if you have that much time in your calendar.
Better to give yourself a little margin, or white space ;), than to schedule every minute within a second of it’s life.
#takeAction Fix 5 : make sure you schedule time in your calendar to do the tasks on your list
We all plan and get things done differently. But there are some general planning rules that help you be more productive. Avoid these 5 planning mistakes to increase your productivity, not simply to do more, but to enjoy what you do!