My office used to be a gathering place of failed to do lists and missed deadlines. As I wanted to create some more free time I decided that enough was enough. I had to become a pro at planning! Now I thought if I am in need for this, you guys must be interested in my tips in how I got better at this, because enhancing your to do list skills and planning is always a good idea correct? So here are my 5 tips that I applied on the planning creating process:
1. Start off with weekly plannings: I used to make a daily planning and not think of the other days of the week. This did not work for me. Due to the difference in daily life because of my job as a freelancer I noticed that some days I would work for hours at the office and some days I’m just out doing meetings all day. I start out with two blank pages in my notebook and write down the 5 days of the week on the two pages. I check my Google Calender and write down all my meetings so I know how much ‘office’ time I have everyday. After that’s done I look at the projects I’m working on and start to schedule them over the 5 work days.
2. Schedule breaks: Nothings gets you as unproductive as working 12 hours in a row! I always write down time margins and blocks, especially when I know I will be working at the office for a full day, with breaks. Sometimes I even cook a pasta or something for lunch or go and grab a coffee with a friend in between. Much needed and will help to increase your productivity for the rest of the day.
3. Reward yourself: I might sound like a freak but my favorite thing to do once I’ve finished all the tasks for the day is to get my pink marker and mark them all. I feel so relieved after that. This to me is a reward which makes me more motivated to finish everything but there are plenty of things to think of as a reward!
4. Start with things you’re dreading: I always used to put dealing with my accounting and finance stuff list as it is my least favorite. However, putting is last always used to mean that I kept on putting if off until the point that I just didn’t get it done. Although it might not sound fun it is better to start of with the things you’re not enjoying the most!
5. Be realistic: I’m still struggling with this one as I still think days have more hours than just 24. First of all, it’s smart to work on your tasks for a day and to add on your list how many hours you put in to it. Once you’ve done this for a full week you kind of get a real idea of how long your activities usually take. Nothing is as frustrating as finishing just 10% of your daily to do list. I’d rather plan to little and be very productive and finish everything than over plan my days.
These were my tips guys, I really hoped they helped you! I always love to know how other people work on their to do lists and schedules so if you have any tips that weren’t mentioned in this post, please let me know in the comments :-).