All people looking for alternatives to improve their productivity at work end up discovering the importance of planning the day. Day planning provides goals and objectives for your workday, acting as a guide for what you need to do, avoiding wasted time, idleness and, of course, unproductiveness. To better understand the importance of doing this planning and how to do it, follow the text below.
How important is work day planning?
Imagine that you work in the marketing department of a large IT services company. When you arrive at your workstation, you check the list of things you need to do, which are organized on a spreadsheet.
After checking this to-do list you decide to open your email and empty your inbox. However, there are more than 60 unanswered emails, and this ends up taking a long time. In addition, you remember at the last minute that you have a meeting with the commercial sector and this meeting, which was supposed to pass quickly, ends up taking up a good part of your day.
At the end of the day, when you return to your spreadsheet, you discover that you did almost nothing that needed to be done that day.
Did you identify with this scenario? Can you bring some elements of this story to your real life?
In the example we mentioned above, although the person has some kind of control over the tasks that need to be performed on their workday, there is no type of planning on what will be done first or how much time will be spent on each one.
In this sense, day-to-day work planning is important for:
- Prioritizing tasks, that is, create a sequence of which tasks must be performed first. - Making a time box, that is, stipulating the maximum amount of time that you intend to spend on a single task, avoiding, for example, that you spend a lot of time answering emails or doing other activities that are not so relevant. It’s better if you combine it with a shift planner. - Helping to balance work flow during day to day, that is, you have more control over the deliverables that need to be made and can balance your time according to deliveries, avoiding work overload and idleness.
Did you understand the importance? Now let's understand how to do this exactly.
How to plan the work day
We have prepared a step by step with the most important tips for you to plan your work day.
First, however, it is important to remember that even though there are several ways to do this planning, you will have to find the way that best fits your needs because, contrary to what many people say, there is no magic recipe that works for everyone.
1 - Set aside time in your day to plan work
It is very important to set aside a block of time to plan your day.
There are people who believe that the best way to plan your workday is the day before. Others argue that the best time is in the morning, at the beginning of the day. What is certain is that there is no rule for this. Each person will define the best time to do this, the important thing is that this planning moment enters your routine.
2 - Make a list of tasks that you plan to perform during the day
Once we have defined the time when you will plan your workday, we now need to define what will be on that list. To make this list of tasks you can use some prioritization criteria, such as: deadline, impact of delivery on the lives of other people in the organization, size of work that must be performed and other factors that you consider important.
3 - Plan how to deal with unforeseen circumstances
Your list cannot be so rigid that it does not allow new items to be added, not least because the routine of most people requires this type of adaptation. So, plan what to do when unforeseen tasks arise. You can, for example, add the items to your list and use the prioritization criteria to decide when you are going to perform these tasks that you had not mapped before.
4 - Record everything
Only by recording everything you did throughout the day will you be able to see where the bottlenecks are, the items that need to be dealt with in some other way, or what activities are taking up all your time. A tool for planning your online activities can help a lot at this point.
We hope this guide can be useful. Good luck!