As much as I love a big comprehensive to do list, I know they can leave me feeling a bit disappointed at the end of the day when there is SO MUCH LEFT. Another downside is that I’m pretty good at attacking a zillion little things from the list and at the end of the day realizing I didn’t make real progress on the most important stuff. When I used a paper planner, one of them had a blank space to fill in your top 3 priorities every day.
It was moderately effective if I kept an eye on them, but then I switched to tracking tasks electronically and I was back to always doing the little quick tasks first and avoiding the bigger stuff. Sometimes that happened on accident and sometimes I just made the wrong assumptions about how long things would take. It was clearly time to update my process again.
For the new year, I decided that I should come up with priorities for the next day before the current day ended.
First, I’ll take a look at my calendar and be realistic about the hours I have available.
Knowing that, I look at my master to do list and pick 2 to 4 things to focus on the next day that will make me feel great if they get done.
I’m aiming to make at least one of them part of a longer-term project. If I get them all done in the morning, that’s great and I can go back to the list for more. But if those are the ONLY things I finish, I’m still happy because I know the most important things were covered.
It sounds a bit cheesy, but I’ve actually been asked myself “What 3 things would make me feel great if I got them done tomorrow?” Since I’m working on establishing a new gym routine, sometimes going to Yoga or another class is on my list. It makes it a priority for me to set the time aside to make that happen. Don’t be afraid to include things like conquering the mountain of laundry. THAT is quite an accomplishment some days.
It only takes 5 minutes to set your priorities for the next day, but it makes a huge difference starting the morning with a game plan.
I’ve been using a 3 x 3 Post-it Note to make my list each day. You can stick it anywhere you know you’ll see it frequently.
By sheer luck, I found the perfect little desk calendar to use for mine.
POPSUGAR sent me one of their monthly Must Have boxes to try out, and it came with a May Designs desk calendar + easel. The design of having the calendar to the left leaves just enough space for my Post-it Note on the right. Functional and cute, just like I like! I’m not an affiliate for May Designs, but I spotted that these were on sale for 50% off here if you want to grab one before they are gone for 2017.
All the months are individual pages and when a month is over, there is a perforation for you to separate the card and the decorative half turns into a postcard. Brilliant!
I mentioned getting the calendar in the POPSUGAR Must Have box and wanted to circle back to that for a second. The cute candle in the photo below was also included in the box and it smells DELICIOUS. It’s a new Glade candle called Coconut Beach Woods. Mmm!
The box was jam-packed and also included a full mat-sized yoga towel, a fancy facial peel, a can of peppermint tea AND a great hair drying towel. It was like a best friend sent me a special gift. You might need to hint around that you need a subscription for Valentine’s day!
You can use code SHOP5 for $5 off your FIRST Must Have Box if you’d like to try it out.
While I am loving the perfect calendar to hold my Post-it Note of priorities on my desk, I also love that you can implement this idea for free. Just taking a moment at the end of the day to set your priorities for the next day can make a big difference in your productivity. And just think, you won’t waste time laying in bed at night worrying that you are going to forget the important things that need to get done the next day.
Or am I the only one that does that?