We all know how hard it is to keep up with tasks. The sheer quantity of things itching for completion each day is a point of contention for everyone I know.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by how much work there is to be done and just dive in, rather than to take a second to step back and organize all the work before doing so. I would argue that taking 5 to 30 minutes each day (depending on your quantity of tasks) to organize and lay out your tasks will allow you to be more productive while you tackle them. Because of the 5 reasons below, I suggest you take a second to revamp your daily routine if it doesn’t already include planning time!
1 – You can be realistic with yourself at the onset
Sometimes it is just downright impossible to complete and execute on all the items on your to do list on one day. If you start your day (or prep the night before) by putting together a realistic list of what you can complete you can quickly delegate or communicate with others about what will just not be possible to tackle for the day ahead. You can set yourself up for success rather than feeling like you never made a dent when 2am rolls around. Being real with yourself will put your mind at ease. It will remove some of the stress and you’ll have a chance to feel like you completed everything you set out to in a certain day.
2 – Others can rely on you
We all know those people who constantly say, “it’s coming by end of day” but it almost never does. Sure all their reasons why it couldn’t get done are completely legit BUT you just learned that you can’t rely on them to stick to their word AND when you loose that ability to trust someone’s word you’ll be quick to look for help elsewhere next time, unconsciously. If you take time to plan your day, communicate your realistic timeline to people who rely on you then you are giving them the best gift of all – a reliable and communicative co-worker, direct report, contractor etc. If you can’t get to something for 6 days and a client is waiting for it, you need to let them know it will take 6 days not “2 days”. Taking time to plan each day will help ensure you are accountable to those who matter most! This will do more for you then you know! Happy clients = happy bosses = happy you!
3 – Nothing will slip
You are in control of your work, not the other way around. With an organized system and time to plan there should be no out-of-left-field surprises, other than the good ones! Every day it should feel like you are doing an inventory recap of your pending tasks. I recommend using some great tools that can help you manage a huge number of tasks at once and break it down into daily lists. Asana and Action Method are two that I love!
4 – You can react more comfortably and confidently if something does come up
You have a better grasp on your workload and the details so if someone asks you something you don’t have to dig through files and emails to find the info; you have it fresh on your mind and can respond with ease. If something crazy comes up and a client all of sudden needs you to rush down to meet them, you can quickly assess what this change in plans means for your day and communicate with those affected about the tasks you won’t be able to complete. No panic, just calm and controlled chaos allowing everyone to get the best of you!
5 – You can be more creative with your energy
By taking time to plan each day you can displace negative worry stress with progressive and creative energy about future projects! It should feel like a weight has been lifted and all of a sudden your best ideas can be realized. Oh and now you have the structure and ability to actually turn them in to action! It’s a great feeling that will bring great joy to your day to day.
And there you have it. By taking this extra time out of your day I truly believe you can make a great impact on your happiness and productivity.
However…WARNING: over planning can also be a form of procrastination, which I believe could be an issue of neuroticism. You can avoid falling in to this trap by capping the time you set aside for planning – for example: Every day from 7am to 730am I plan out my day. When 7:30am strikes I get down to executing the tasks for the day. Don’t use the excuse that you have to plan your tasks out to actually avoid the work that needs to be done.
What works for you? How do you plan your day?
Thank you for reading!
Sari Delmar is the Founder and CEO of Audio Blood, Canada’s leading creative artist and brand marketing company. Through unique media and promotional packages, Audio Blood continues to be on the cutting edge of music marketing and promotion. Their client roster includes the likes of Pistonhead Lager, PledgeMusic, Iceland Airwaves, Canadian Music Week, Riot Fest, Beau’s All Natural Brewing, The Balconies, and more. At the age of 23, Sari leads a team of 10 out of the company HQ in Toronto, Ontario, has spoken at a number of music conferences and colleges, and sits on the Toronto Music Advisory Council. . Read more from Sari at SariDelmar.com