If you always plan your week and the following day, you’ll be in constant control of your schedule. These steps are practical and effective ways to be productive and avoid stress.
Control your calendar with flexible and timely planning
Beware, if you’re not controlling your calendar and priorities, your surroundings might do it for you!
Depending on the type of work and the amount of activities you’re involved in, you might have particular needs for a planning horizon. Some choose to schedule a month ahead with broader strokes. Others don’t plan at all, perhaps finding it flexible to take things as they come.
Plan your week in advance
As a broader planning horizon, a week will typically be reasonable to forecast with sufficient precision.
Unless you like to spend time at weekends planning the coming workweek, Friday at the end of the workday will be appropriate. Reserve approximately half an hour for this recurring activity, spending no more than five minutes per workday for a final overall sanity check. Pay particular attention to the first workday.
Plan the next day before closing-time
Our fast-changing working environment often provides numerous unexpected daily interruptions. One might say, “We better expect the unexpected every single day at work!”
Therefore before you end each workday, it’ll be a productive habit to plan the next workday based on your current knowledge. Try limiting yourself to spend less than ten minutes on this!
Remember to schedule your solo activities
Be sure to reserve a reasonable amount of time in your calendar for concentrated effort on your to-dos. We’re talking an essential recurring task when not participating in meetings and conversations, collaborating with stakeholders, or checking new emails.
Experiment with the size and amount of timeboxes over the coming weeks seeking for your very sweet spot. Remember to be honest to yourself regarding your productivity and the scheduled tightness. Don’t get stressed nor hide behind an uncooperative calendar full of “meetings” with yourself.
Also, remember to schedule recurring activities like going through your handwritten notes and electronic devices. These could be your mobile phones and tablets containing photos of whiteboard notes.
Summing up: Plan Your Week and Tomorrow Today
Go ahead and use these tips and tricks to develop and fine-tune the way you choose to manage your precious time. Moreover, having gained this kind of discipline and flow, you don’t have to spend much time preparing for tomorrow and next week.
If you’ll like to dive deeper into the topic stress, then the American Psychological Association has a great website to visit.