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How to Plan Your Day [+ Free Planner Template]

Learn to plan for the day so you can increase productivity and efficiency while remaining focused. Plus, get a free template!

By Hannah Ross  •   June 22, 2022  •   7 min read

Planning your day increases productivity and efficiency. If you build out a framework for your day, you’ll be much more likely to pack your days with impactful work that increases value rather than with busy work that keeps your wheels spinning with minimal value. 

In this article, we’ll dive into tips and tricks for planning your day at work while covering the benefits of planning out your day. By the end of this article, you’ll have everything you need to successfully plan your day so you can optimize productivity and efficiency! 

How to plan out your day at work 

1Create a routine

Creating a routine is one of the most effective things you can do to help you plan for the day. Building a routine helps to create a sense of structure and familiarity while promoting mental, physical, and emotional health. The absence of a solid routine can often lead to a variety of uncomfortable feelings, including stress and anxiety. 

Planning your workday to include a routine that alotts time for tasks, meetings, and deep work will ensure you’re able to uphold both productivity and efficiency. Repeating the same routine day after day will help you stay focused and on track so you can prioritize your well-being. 

2Make a to-do list 

It can be difficult to plan for the day ahead if you have an overwhelming list of things to do. One of the ways you can remove anxiety surrounding your plethora of tasks is by breaking them down into a to-do list. When creating a to-do list, it’s important to prioritize the tasks that need to be done immediately. Adding unnecessary or long-term tasks to your to-do list may contribute to heightened feelings of stress and anxiety. 

One of the most important reasons for leveraging a to-do list is organization. Organizing your tasks in a to-do list will make everything much more manageable since your to-do list will act as a set of rules or guidelines for moving throughout your day. Seeing an outline of your tasks will help you stay focused and on track. 

3Think in advance 

There’s nothing worse than having something come up unexpectedly. A great way to avoid surprises and ensure you’re always prepared to the best of your abilities is to think in advance. If you think in advance and plan ahead, you’ll be able to get tasks done no problem. If you don’t think ahead, you’ll end up having to catch up on work if something catches you off guard. 

4Use a digital planner

Using a digital planner is a great way to optimize efficiency. Tools like Fellow make it possible for you to keep track of your day-day while streamlining tasks and communication. Fellow’s Streams can be personal or private and come with built-in suggested templates like daily planners, journals, and a reading list. 

Streams makes it possible for you to track your impact, outline project specific tasks, brainstorm ideas, track concepts, and outline personal goals. No matter what your goals or objectives are, there’s a function in Streams that you can leverage to stay organized and hold yourself accountable. 

5Write down your priorities 

Writing down your priorities is a great way to stay focused on and on track. Not only will doing so ensure you don’t forget any important tasks or outstanding action items, but it will also relieve the pressure that comes with trying to manage everything in your head. Writing out your thoughts will help you clear your mind so you can move throughout your day efficiently and peacefully. 

6Prepare your days in advance 

You’ve heard it before, and we’ll say it again. Many successful leaders plan their week ahead, specifically on Sundays. Doing so allows them to enter the week with purpose, determination, and an action plan. Nothing says clarity like entering the week knowing exactly what you have to work on. Carving a small amount of time out of your weekend to plan for the week ahead will boast a variety of benefits, including increased productivity and efficiency. This is also a great time to create your personal to-do list and account for your teams’ tasks and schedules. 

7Take regular breaks 

Taking regular breaks is important, especially if you want to remain productive and avoid burnout. It can be tempting to take on everything at once and feel like you don’t need to step back and relax, but the reality of the situation is that everybody needs a break from time to time. When you plan for the day, make sure you set aside time for breaks. 

Breaks can come in the form of going for a walk on your lunch break, taking time to sit down and enjoy a meal, or even pausing to connect with a coworker. Everyone’s ideal break looks different. What’s most important is remembering to recharge while prioritizing your well-being. 

8Delegate low leverage tasks 

Delegating tasks not only demonstrates your talents as a leader, but it also instills confidence in your teammates. If you never take the time to delegate, your team won’t feel empowered and won’t know how to step up when the time is right. Instilling trust and confidence in your teammates will ensure they’re ready to take the reins when necessary. 

9Try a productivity method

There are a ton of productivity methods out there that may help you plan for the day. Whether you’re looking for a hack to stay focused and on track or looking for a way to check everything off your to-do list, there’s a productivity hack for you! Time blocking is a great tool that can be used to help you allocate specific blocks of time to specific tasks. This may mean allocating a block of time to cleaning your inbox or setting office hours for your meetings. Leveraging this tactic is a great way to plan your day and become more organized. 

10Check in regularly 

Checking in regularly is important. Not only with yourself but with your teammates as well. If you’re a manager or a leader, you understand the importance of checking in and being self-aware. You also understand the importance of checking in on your teammates and making sure they’re in good spirits and have everything they need to succeed within their roles. When you plan for the day, make sure you factor in time for regular one-on-one meetings so you can make sure your team has what they need to be as productive as possible. 

Why you should plan out your day 

1Boosts productivity 

Everyone wants to be more productive, and planning your day is one of the best productivity hacks. Planning your day will ensure all of your time is accounted for so you can optimize your efficiency and stay on track. 

2Helps you stay organized 

Staying organized is key, especially when you’re in a leadership position. Planning your day may mean scheduling meetings, carving out time for deep work, and knowing what key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics are meant to be tracked and when. Staying organized will ensure each and every one of these details are accounted for. 

3Grows management skills 

As a manager or leader, sharpening your skills is a must and remaining stagnant isn’t an option. Being diligent in your planning approach not only helps you optimize your day, but also makes it possible for you to hone in on your management skills. When you begin to master your organizational skills, you can mentor those in your network. 

4Promotes accountability 

If you don’t take the time to plan your day, you won’t be able to keep your team or yourself accountable. Luckily, taking the time to plan means everyone’s tasks, goals, and metrics will be accounted for. If you don’t take the time to comb through these details, you may fail to keep everyone accountable and thus, not reach your shared goals. 

5Fosters a better work-life balance 

On one hand, if you don’t take the time to plan your day, it can be extremely difficult to find work-life balance. On the other hand, if you meticulously plan your day, you’ll be able to account for both work and personal time. If you don’t end up planning your day and aren’t productive as a result, you may end up missing out on personal time or feel pressured to work on your down time. 

Free planner template 

Are you ready to plan for the day? 

There are many things you can do to be more productive and taking the time to plan your day is just one of them. The reasons you should plan out your day are numerous and the steps for doing so are simple. If you prioritize productivity, delegate low-level tasks, prepare your schedule in advance, write down your priorities, and leverage a planner, you’ll be good to go. Taking these tips, tricks, and best practices into consideration will ensure you’re honing in on productivity and efficiency.

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