Is having a foolproof way to plan the day can help in creating more time?
Most people these days tend to complain about the lack of time in their life. There is never enough time… And time is one thing that we cannot buy. We might be dreaming about having time to tick off all the things on our to-do list with ease and still have some time for hobbies and other fun activities and spend quality time with people we love most.
Despite the above wish list, the fact remains that we are always playing catch up game with time. So how do we create more of it?
Personally, I used to struggle with having more time in my life. I used to show up late for almost everything. I was late for my final examinations back in college. I used to get to work late and for my client meetings… It was bad. But it all changed recently when I started planning my day before it starts.
With simple planning after getting up in the morning, in just 15 minutes or less, I have been able to change the game completely!
Here is what I do…
I identify 1 Key Activity for the day that I must complete no matter what. This one activity is directly related to my No.1 goal. And I know that if I get that one thing done today, it will surely move me closer to my goal.
Then I go about identifying 3-5 Main Activities that I would do once my No.1 activity is done. These activities are important but usually not as important as the key activity.
And lastly, I identify 1-3 Support Activities for the day. These are the activities that I need to do to make sure my life functions smoothly and the basic things are taken care off.
For example, if I am a project manager working on a new project, my #1 key activity for the day could be to do a call with the client or meet him in person and understand client’s exact requirement. I know that once that activity is done, my day is already quite successful as it has got the ball rolling towards my goal of successfully finishing the project.
Here is one simple way to identify your #1 Key Activity for the day.
Ask yourself, what if I have a terrible day today, and I am not focused at work due to personal reasons or due to reasons that are outside of my control, then what is that 1 thing that if I did today and I did nothing else, I would still be able to move closer to my goal. Key activity usually saves the day for us, even if we are having a bad day due to emotional reasons or health reasons or due to any other situation we might face unexpectedly during the day.
Now, 3-5 Main Activities, that are not critical for the day but are still very important could be – doing an internal meeting with your team, sending updates of the last project to your boss, reaching out to another team for some help, reply to pending emails and meeting the CEO of the company. This is just an example scenario.
And 1-3 Supporting Activities could be paying your personal internet bill or mobile bill, wishing a close friend happy bday and machine-washing clothes once you get home in the evening. Supporting activities are usually the activities from personal life, and doing them might NOT have a direct and immediate impact on our goals but if not done will surely choke us and slow us down in our journey towards our goals.