Effective Day Planning. How to Manage Everything and Not Postpone for Later
Author: Julia Boyko, senior business coach of BogushTime
Let’s first agree that everything cannot be SUCCESSFUL. And this is bad news. Because time cannot be stretched, we have only limited number, 24 hours a day. No more and no less. But there is also good news! You do not need to do everything, you only have to do it that is necessary. And you will have to learn how to do what you want. It is necessary today. The fact is that according to the Pareto principle, only 20% of your tasks during the day provide 80% of the result, and the remaining 80% of tasks lead to only 20% of the result. Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of people are wasting the lion’s share of their time during the day. Below I will list a few rules, the implementation of which will help you do what you need to gain the result, and in the evening feel satisfied and happy, and not emaciated and unhappy.
In order to select IMPORTANT, not BURNING, you need to choose before you get to work. Otherwise you just quickly go into rescue mode instead of consistently implement what will lead to the implementation of the goals. Therefore, the list of tasks for the day should be made at home, and preferably immediately as you woke up.
I understand that the question immediately arises – how to do it, because you need to see all tasks, you need to see the connections between them? Yes, you are right, and the tasks and the links between them are necessary to see, it would be nice to have a month’s schedule too. Therefore, you have two solutions: whether to use the right paper planner and carry it with you, or to start your day with computer, to see everything and agree on-line. Is it possible to plan the day in the evening? It is better to avoid it, your mind is too excited by the previous day, so you need to sum up in the evening results, write out a list of tasks for tomorrow, to “unload” the head, but create a plan in the morning.
When you compile a list of tasks for the day, do not try sort them immediately out – do it later. To begin with, you just need write everything out to see the whole volume. Look through a few previous days (that’s why you need records), look at the plan for a month and just write down for today everything that you find important to do. The required thing is to mark meetings with clients that you have already agreed with exact time. Such problems are called rigid.
Then add your routine business to the list, what you do on regular basis without a reminder. Usually you do not think about these things, because they are on the “automatic machine” stand, but they still take time! Recently I worked with one manager, who at the beginning of the week boasted to me that he made a full plan for the week and not everything fulfills the plan, and at the end of the week looked very unhappy and upset. From my questioning, I realized that he did not fulfill a part of plan and felt bad about this. He even said: “You know, I think that planning is not my … “And I just looked at his plan and saw that it does not have any work with the mail, no regular meetings / coordination, no work with documents, no time for distraction to subordinates’ questions. I asked: “Don’t you work with the mail?”, – ” I work, ” he answered, “Every day.” Then I asked him to calculate how much time he spend for such routine” tasks a week – and it turned out that it was so much that he did not include into the plan. Therefore, write out the tasks that are not tied, but they also need to be done today. Such tasks are called floating. Thus, I insist that all tasks must be introduced.
Estimate all tasks in time: how much time you need for each of them or how much you are willing to devote to this task. And then calculate the total amount. Immediately I will say that if you make yourself plan for ALL DAY, that is for a day with the sum of all tasks, together with sleep, food, etc., should be no more than 20 hours – after all it is necessary to leave time for force majeure.
And if you only make a working schedule, then by the rules, the total amount of time should not exceed 6.5 hours at the 8-hour day, and if you work 10 hours – then the amount should be no more than 8 hours, and if you work 12 hours – then the amount should not exceed 10 hours and so on. It is hard to work more than 12 hours a day, you will not just fit. Unless of course you work in Google and you have refrigerators and beds in working rooms, and you do not need to waste time on the road and food.
But seriously, research has shown that a person who works 8 hours a day, the result produces more than a person who works 9 hours a day. Because for high productivity our body needs to recover and rest regularly. Otherwise, performance drops, concentration, memory and attention are reduced, as a result, there occur errors that need to be eliminated, and this take time. This creates a vicious circle when you are very busy, and effectiveness is zero.
The main idea that I would like to tell you right now is that the only way to REALLY PLAN AN EFFECTIVE DAY is a time-calculation! Haven’t estimated the tasks duration that summed the total figure – then, be sure to take perform something that is obviously impossible to perform.
Well, about the amount of time that must be necessarily reserved in advance for force majeure, so in the schedule it should be about 20% of total time. It turns out that research over the past 100 years showed that “chaotic” in our lives, which could not be anticipated, on average, takes no more than 1/5 of the total mass of events. Because of the question “what to do with force majeure?”, the answer is simple – to plan.
Now you have to do the most unpleasant and difficult – throw out from the list what will not be done anyway! I believe that this it seems impossible. But don’t you do this, don’t you throw out tasks? Throw away! But with a sense of defeat and failure. Do not bring yourself to this – throw the task by yourself, in advance, guided by reasonableness and expediency. If we calculate the total amount of time needed to solve your tasks for today, you will see that there are more than 24 hours, you can clearly understand that you don’t have time to do all this. It is better to write down the task immediately for another day than in the evening, get upset that again you did not do it.
To prioritize correctly, look at the goals for a month, year and beyond. Accustom yourself to do at least something every day from the strategic list, no matter how hard it may be and how you would not be torn to pieces. In order not to be torn, you have to become a formal bureaucrat and get yourself a schedule of receptions: on which days, at what time and with what issues it is need to come to you. Will people resent? Yes, they will, then they will get used to it and start appreciate. A bit of stiffness and courage to a successful manager never prevented!
Working with VIP clients or holding meetings, you definitely come up with overlays in the schedule. One was late, the second came earlier, technical delays, formal nuances – and your schedule crawled! The day is under stress. Remember, between the key tasks during the day, it is vital to leave temporary gaps of 20-30 minutes, even if meetings are planned in your territory. Never draw up a schedule in which one meeting ends at 12:00, and the next at 12:00 begins – it’s a utopia. Remember that force majeure is not disappeared, and the time under it you distribute between your key tasks.
Your work is important, it demonstrates the level of work of the whole company. Therefore, you must be an example of accuracy, discipline, efficiency, culture and self-esteem. I wish you success!