I am often asked for tips and advice on how to get the most out of each day.
Like most people, I feel like my days, and my life can quickly become out of control and utterly unproductive if I don't plan them.
Planning, as well as creating healthy habits, routines and setting goals and priorities are the key to being regularly productive.
If you are not clear and focused on what you need or want to achieve each day, you'll be prone to time-wasting and procrastination.
You know those days where you open up Facebook for the second time in 20 minutes, or you go and make another cup of tea, or just move things from one place to another? We all have days like that, but when you are clear on how you would like your day to go, this is less likely to happen.
So how do you find the clarity and focus that you need to be productive?
Even if you use a smartphone, app or calendar, filling in a daily planner page the night before really helps you to have a less stressful and more productive day. Not only will it help you to sleep better, but you will be able to get up and start the day with a running start.
It makes such a difference to get everything out of your head and onto paper. As much as I still use and love technology for planning and staying organised, I can't live without writing. Writing things down by hand really helps me to keep my mind calm and set my intentions.
I find that writing a plan helps me to feel like I'm in control of my day (rather than the other way round). It eliminates the feeling of overwhelm, helps me to focus solely on what needs to be done each day, reduces procrastination and helps me stick to my healthy habits, routines and rituals.
I can also see when everything I needed to do is done, so it's easier to relax and wind down at the end of the day.
"HOW WE SPEND OUR DAYS IS, OF COURSE, HOW WE SPEND OUR LIVES"
Click on the image below to down your FREE DAILY PLANNER PAGE PRINTABLE.
HOW TO USE YOUR DAILY PLANNER PAGES
I think it works best to try and get into the habit of filling in each evening, but you don't have to use it every day if you don't want to. Just as often as you can, or when you feel like you need a bit of focus.
Date and why Today is going to be a good day
Fill in the date and a reason why it's going to be a good day. Even writing down something small will help you to be more positive.
This is often the first thing that I think about when I wake up in the morning, and it helps me to start my day.
The most important things for today
Find your focus. Make sure that you are spending your time on things that matter and are going to make a difference in your life.
Write down the 3 most important things that you need to achieve that day. Keep it simple. Don't write down everything on your to-do list. I keep a separate To-Do reminder list that I write everything down on, and then pick three for each day.
Create your schedule and flow for the day. You don't have to fill every hour - it's just a guide for you to follow to keep you on track.
Where do you have to be and when? First, write down (time block) the places and appointments that you have to be at during the day so that you can plan the rest of the day around them.
Next, block out work hours, routines and rituals, and time for your goals and to do's. Block similar "To Do's' together in your day to help you to save time and be more productive.
You have to be realistic about how much time you have in your day, and what is possible for you to achieve. Don't try and do too much - prioritise!
Make time for things that are important to you
Make sure that you have given yourself time for something that you can look forward to. Your day shouldn't all be about work and to do's. It can be making time to exercise, to spend with your family, friends or some me-time - even if it's just 15 minutes.
You have to take care of your body to be able to feel at your best and give you the energy you need to be productive. Plan some clean and nutritious meals to keep you going.
Keeping hydrated is really important. Check off how many glasses or bottles of water you have drunk in a day
You may think of yourself as quite a healthy person, but when you look at back at what you have eaten, the water you've drunk and how much exercise you have done it might be different.
Habits, Routines and Rituals
Use this space to write down any new habits, routines or rituals that you want to stick to.
Space to be used for whatever you feel like that day; take notes, jot down reminders for tomorrow.
Simply take a moment to reflect on the day and look at what you've accomplished, or what you didn't and why. What can you improve on tomorrow?
Make sure that you end the day on a positive. I believe it's always a good idea to end your day thinking about what you are grateful for, even little things like appreciating flowers in your garden, speaking to family and friends.
On My Mind page
Whenever my mind feels particularly busy or stressful, I like to mind map or 'brain dump'.
Mind mapping allows you to write in the way that you are thinking, with one thought branching off into another and then another.
The reason that most people lack focus and attention is that they have too many thoughts and ideas swirling around in their head, demanding attention.
The 'On my mind' page helps you to get all of your thoughts out and get a clear view of what is important, you can then organise and plan if you need to, or add to a reminder list for later if not a priority.
You can use this page in whatever way you like depending on the type of day that you are having.
It can be areas of your life - work, home, personal and self-care, family, health and fitness, gratitude things you need to do, projects that you are working on, places you need to go, what you need to buy and where from, a plan of the day - whatever is on your mind.
Grouping similar things together under a category and then adding a time block to your schedule will help to save you time and be more productive.
Confidence comes from being clear on your priorities. If something comes up that takes you off your schedule, or you can't fill it in - it's okay. It's just a page that you can come back to when you need to find your focus again. I know how challenging it can be to implement a new system or ritual, like most things in life it takes consistency and practice.
The daily planner page has helped me, (and my clients), to get a handle on everyday commitments, focus on my priorities, use my time efficiently, and have a more productive day.
I hope it will help you to do the same - give it a try and let me know how you get on.
Click on the image below to download your free daily planner page printable.
What be a typical but ideal and purposeful day for you?