In life, I have found a simple truth. The more I try to get things done, the less time I have to do them. I must decide on my priorities. In the old days, I used to set aside an hour on a daily basis to do this. I’d make complicated lists and then strategically go through and mark them from A to F, depending on their priority. Then I would take this list and painstakingly plan my day. I would schedule things down to the minute.
Unfortunately, it didn’t work.
That hour that I spent on planning was a way to procrastinate.
Instead of doing something, I was planning to do a lot of things.
Planning was the key word. I got excellent at planning but atrocious at doing.
One day, I tried an experiment.
I decided to see if I could plan my day in 5 minutes.
I got a sheet of paper and made a list of the important things I needed to do.
Then, I looked at the list and picked the top six.
Then, instead of painstakingly planning them out, I did something unthinkable.
I picked one task and got started.
I was actually doing something.
Time elapsed: 5 Minutes.
To make this easy for myself, I designed a simple daily planner with six boxes at the top. I just sit down in the morning and jot the most important things down in these six boxes. Then I make a quick to-do list at the bottom.
Most days, this only takes a few minutes.
The secret is to write quickly and not get bogged down in the details. Getting started is the important thing… Plan, List, Do… They say dead men don’t wear plaid…
Plaid men get things done…
Here is the Daily Planner.
Plan, List, Do…
How To Get Things Done With The Planner
Taking some of the best strategies from popular time management systems, the Top 6 Planner combines them into one sheet of paper, which is easy to use right on your desk (I often place mine in a clipboard or notebook for easy access)
This printable daily planner sheet is quick to use and has places for all of your daily activities.
The Printable Daily Planner Includes:
- The Top Six Daily Priority Boxes
- Sidebar Boxes for Email, Phone Calls, Meetings, and Planning
- A Step by Step To-Do list
- A Place for Daily Goal Planning
- A Place to Capture After Hour Activities
Here is how it works…
Print a new sheet each morning. Take a pen and write down your top priorities for the day. Sometimes, you may only have a few, and sometimes you’ll fill in all six. Under each priority, you may want to jot down a next-action.
As you open email and throughout the day, write down people that you need to email back in the email section. Do the same thing with voicemail and phone calls. Write down any meetings or appointments in the meeting box.
Once you have the necessary information filled out, create a simple to-do list. It’s real easy to do when you have your top priorities right in front of you. With the next actions listed, it’s easy to get started.
Strategies For Setting Priorities.
1. Ask yourself six things that you want/must to get done by the end of the day. Make sure they are important, not just urgent.
2. If you are a motivated type person, list your hardest task first. The rest of the day will just get easier.
3. If you find it hard to get going, register an easy task first. Do it first thing. It will get your day moving and makes it easy to check off your first box.
4. Check off your priorities as you complete them, motivating you to go on.
4. List after-work activities like fitness training in the after hours box.
At the end of each day, store your printable daily planner sheet in a three-ring notebook. As the days go by, this will create a daily journal of your activities that you can easily compile.
Question: What’s on your daily planner?