How to Plan Your Day: 6 Quick Tips for Improving Productivity

How to Plan Your Day – Feel-Good Productivity

Get more done today with these easy-to-practice productivity techniques.

By Kaitlyn Johnston

Mastering the fine art of getting stuff done is no easy feat. We should know: Our to-read book stack practically needs its own room at this point. Thankfully, there are folks like Ali Abdaal, the world’s most-followed productivity expert, who’ve got things pretty well figured out. His new book, Feel-Good Productivity: How to Do More of What Matters to You, is a fantastic guide for anyone looking to build better habits, boost productivity, and feel great while doing it.

But what about guidance and advice you can implement today? If you’re ready to stop procrastinating and start getting better at planning your day, the following tips, tricks, and techniques are sure to help. Here’s what we’ve learned from Ali and others in his field:

🤔 Be a Planner — Then a Doer🤔

The first step to getting more done in your day is to start it off right: with a plan. Before you’ve done anything else — besides making coffee, of course — sit down and decide which tasks you’d like to complete by the end of the day. Rather than rush into your morning with a head full of gotta-get-to-thats flying around, take a moment to think about the tasks that need your attention so you can be more intentional in how you approach your day.

🔺Build a Priority Pyramid🔺

There are things that must be done, things that should be done, and things that would be nice to have done but can wait. When you’re doing your morning planning, sort your tasks into a three-tiered priority pyramid — and be realistic about where each task belongs. (If the entire kitchen needs a remodel, you probably shouldn’t spend half your afternoon reorganizing the pots and pans drawer.) Do some research on time-management tips and use what you learn to give yourself reasonable daily goals. Lastly, don’t undersell yourself! You’re likely capable of getting more done than you think, but you need to separate the must-dos from the nice-to-dos.

✍️Write That Down!✍️

This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’ve got to write down your plan for the day. No matter how sharp your memory, a visual list is a must for staying organized, and it’s one of the most effective tips you’ll find on how to plan your day. Use a pocket planner or notebook if you prefer pen and paper, or get familiar with your phone’s calendar app or try a productivity app to keep things sorted. Write a to-do list, refer to it often, and reward yourself with the dopamine hit of checking another task off the daily to-do list.

📝Follow Your Own Directions📝

So, you’ve made a plan. You wrote it down. Check and check. By planning ahead, you’ve freed up your mind to focus on doing rather than deciding. Now you have to follow through — and this is where self-management skills come into play. Resist the temptation to divert from the plan, and remember that you already prioritized your to-do list: You know what needs to get done today. If you’re not in the habit of holding yourself accountable, it may take some practice. Ali’s new productivity book is packed with the motivational strategies you need to stay on task and achieve your goals.

🚦Give Yourself Options🚦

Sometimes even the best-laid plans are no match for what the day throws at you. To keep yourself on track, learn how to stay focused and implement strategies for beating tedium or distraction. Giving yourself options within your daily plan can also be a lifesaver when a situation forces you to pivot. Make a companion list of smaller tasks from your “would be nice” tier in the priority pyramid that you can jump to and complete quickly if you need to switch things up or change the pace. That way, you can take a break from a primary goal and still check something off your to-do!

🏝️Don’t Be an Island🏝️

While it’s true that some daily tasks are yours and yours alone to complete, there will be times when you can and should ask for help. Exhaustion gets you nowhere, and in fact it negatively impacts the quality of your work. Far better to share the load than burn yourself out trying to do it all. Look at your list and determine what can be shared or delegated, whether you’re at home, work, or school. You don’t have to assign tasks from the get-go, but identifying shareable goals prepares you for moments when you need a helping hand.🤝

Ready for more productivity tips to plan your day and achieve lasting success in work and life? Feel-Good Productivity: How to Do More of What Matters to You by Ali Abdaal is available now!

Feel-Good Productivity by Ali Abdaal

Feel-Good Productivity: How to Do More of What Matters to You

By Ali Abdaal

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