There is a phenomenon that occurs when I schedule everything in my day. I get more done.
On the days I do not schedule each thing I need to accomplish, I drift off course. At the end of the day I have that, “What just happened?” feeling. When I look back, lots of things happened; just very little happened that I had planned.
Remember Bill Keene’s little Billy in the Family Circus comics. That is my day without a schedule.
Five Steps Getting More Done
If you follow these steps using your favorite digital calendar and your favorite notes program, you can get more done in your day and I can almost guarantee it.
I use the tools Google Calendar synced with my iPhone and the app, desk top program and website for Evernote to carry out the follow steps:
- Dump the brain – Use a pad of paper or your digital note pad to dump everything out of your brain that you are carrying around. If done correctly, this list is a combination of work, personal, family and leisure items. It might include volunteer work and hobbies. It doesn’t matter; dump it. Helpful App Alert: See Evernote.
- Prioritize the items – Give the item an A, B or C priority. A is vital. B is important, but not vital. C items are the things that just need to get done or that you would like to do. Now prioritize the A, B and C items using numbers (A-1, A-2, etc.) Put dates next to the items that have deadlines associated with the items. Helpful App Alert: See Any-To-Do.
- Schedule the items – Put the items in the day that the work will need to be completed. Be sure to schedule ample time without interruptions or at least with interruptions to a minimum. Double App Alert: Use Google Calendar for scheduling and use the Pomodoro app to time your work.
- Schedule events and meetings – Events include your family events (games, concerts, etc.), after hour work events, volunteer work and hobbies. Meetings include your work day and your volunteer activity.
- Schedule YOUR time – This even includes sleep and wake-up time. Be sure to schedule time for religion, hobbies, exercise and down time.
Building a Habit
When I am disciplined and schedule everything, I am happier, more balanced and always amazed at what I can do. When I fall out of the habit, I immediately feel it. I am out of sorts.
This may sound stressful (in the beginning, it is) but it is well worth the effort.
After planning, my day might look like this:
“Plan your work and work your plan,” is the advice a teacher gave me a long time ago. It still works today. It doesn’t matter what tools you use to plan, just be sure you do.
How do you get more done in your day? Please comment below.
Al Getler is a writer, speaker and consultant in the areas of media, digital media, leadership and customer service. He is also a comedian and a ventriloquist. Summed up, it means you will laugh and learn with him at your company, your convention or your event.