How To Plan Your Day For Success

photo: Cajmel


There is so much to get done, and sometimes you just have to accept that not everything is going to get done. A working day throws so much at you, even someone else’s problem can end up taking an hour from you. You have the trendy planners, the to-do lists, and apps but, no news to us, the execution is a problem all on its own. We need help in time management and the only way to become the master of time is with this 18-minute plan:

Step one (five minutes): Set a plan for the day

‘If you want to get something done, decide when and where you’re going to do it. Otherwise, take it off your list.’

Now you know we love a plan, so by starting your day with a blank piece paper and decide what you can realistically get done today! By being realistic, and setting goals that you can achieve you won’t feel defeated when you see a long list of jobs that you couldn’t get to. Now take your new improved list and schedule those things like meetings into their own time slots, placing the hardest for the beginning of the day.

Step two (1 minute every hour): Refocus

‘Manage your day hour by hour. Don’t let the hours manage you.’

Set an alarm to ring every hour. When it goes off take a nice, deep breath and take another look at your list. Have you spent the previous hour productively? Now that you have evaluated how you’ve been spending your time, go back to the schedule and recommit to how are you going to make the next hour better.

Step three (five minutes) Review:

‘The power of rituals is their predictability. You do the same thing in the same way over and over again.’

Right, shut the laptop and step away. Take this time to look at your day and how successful it was. What worked and what didn’t? When were you most focused and what distracted you? Use all this information to see how you can improve tomorrow.

By treating your work day as a ritual you will notice the results of success come your way. You’ll train yourself to prioritize, and how to do it well. You won’t be wasting your day on menial tasks or distractions. You’ll be leaving the office lighter, happier, more successful and ready for tomorrow. Keep the same focus – and choose it deliberately and wisely. Repeat that focus like a mantra, soon you’ll find it integrated into your life, and you’ll automatically stay focused. Before you know it, you’ve created a routine and a successful one at that! Go Career Girl, go!

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  • Jane Vaughan

    The advice about the power of rituals is so true – the value is in the consistency. I do also think it’s so important to take a step back on a weekly basis and ensure that you are spending your time doing the right things, not just busily ticking off lists.

  • I love the idea of setting an alarm to go off every hour just to get you take a deep breath and see how you’re doing with your list!

  • Janna

    This is actually super helpful. Breaking it down into 3 digestible steps really goes a long way when planning success! Will definitely be sharing this.

    Janna |

  • Dearly From K.

    Great idea ! For me problem is usually that I write the plan (with way to much things) and then almost never look back at it, trying to do as I remember it. Not the best idea I admit lol but this will definitely help me change that :)

    Khadidia |

    • Cathy

      I do the exact same thing. I write notes to myself or make a list then never look at it and get caught up in emails, etc.

  • Clémentine Collet

    Funny thing is I listened to Laura Vanderkam’s TED Talk about time management this morning. She states that planning a day isn’t just about setting goals for the day, but also about setting goals per hour.
    I’ll definitely try step 2 tomorrow.

  • Cathy

    “Plan” is my word for this year. These tips are really helpful and broken down in to easy steps. I especially like when you say to set the plan for the day and decide when and where something is going to be done or else take it off the list. Perfect for me to begin to implement. Thanks!

  • I love these tips! Thanks for the help. It’s time to seriously carpe this diem! Ha!

    I hope you have a lovely Wednesday,

  • is this Cajmel on the photo? :)

    • See credit under the photo :)