Benjamin Franklin said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Time is a scarce resource. You can’t store it to use later. It keeps going every single second, minute, and hour. You can’t buy time from anybody so that you have more than twenty-four hours. You can, however, squander your time on what could have been, what should have been, or what must have been. Planning your day is essential to your success and will help you think of what you really want to achieve in a month, week, or day. It keeps you focused in the attainment of your goals. Your ability to think and plan is your most powerful asset for overcoming procrastination and increasing your performance and productivity. Your ability to set goals in accordance with what you want, to develop plans, and take action determines the direction of your life.
A goal without a plan is just a wish – Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Planning unlocks your mental powers, triggers your creativity, and increases your mental and physical energies. You have heard it said that failing to plan is planning to fail. When I was a little boy, I used to see my dad with a book that I later got to know was called a diary. I used to see him in the evening writing stuff in this book. What my dad was doing was preparing to start each new day with a finished plan he had created the night before planning for all the activities he wanted to complete or tackle that day. It worked beautifully because he knew what to do the following day. How do you engage your day? Do you move into each day and through the day without a plan? Are you living each day as it comes? There are various tools available to you today to help plan the day in advance. You have heard the old question, “How do you eat an elephant?” The answer is, “One bite at a time!” Planning is very useful in increasing your productivity but very few people engage in this very important activity.
Planning the day is not difficult. What you require is a piece of paper and a pen. These days, an iPhone, a computer program, or day-planner should help achieve the same objective. Sit down and make a list of everything you have to do before you begin, just like my dad did. Follow your list and if something urgent comes up for you to do, revisit the list and make amendments as needed but be sure to continue to work from your list. When you are not able to complete things on your list, move them to the following day. Here are a few steps in helping you plan your day: Identify available time, schedule the essential things you want to do, schedule your high priority activities, schedule extra time for contingencies, schedule time to deliver on your priorities, and analyze your activities at the end of the day. There are various scheduling and time-planning tools and templates on the market. Acquire one that best suits your need and begin right away. It will serve you well!