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Are you a naturally disorganised person?

I know I am.

I always have been so I’ve had to develop strategies to cope with that, otherwise I can spend all day being busy but never accomplishing anything.

I’ve found that my best days are the ones that I’ve started with a quick planning review session to help me to remember what I need to do and what’s the most important things to address.

This post will guide you through this process and includes a free downloadable worksheet to help you plan your day.

What do you need to do today?

On a spare bit of paper (or a text editor if you prefer to work digitally), write down all the things you think you need to get done today.

Rate each task with a number between 1 and 5 indicating its importance (1 being the most important). It might help if you have a scale to work from:

  1. Absolutely essential – if you don’t get this done, bad things will happen
  2. Important – it needs to get done, ideally today but it could wait
  3. Needs doing – it needs to get done but not necessarily today
  4. Not importance – it could be done any time this week
  5. Trivial – it’s a task that could be done any time this month

Add yesterday’s undone or unfinished tasks

Add the things that you didn’t get done yesterday to your list. Remember to adjust the importance rating because now that it’s moved to today, it might be more important to get it done.

Write them in order of importance

Using another sheet of paper or the free daily planner that I’ve created for this post, write down your tasks in order of importance so the most essential items are at the top.

The worksheet that I’ve provided also includes checkboxes for you to check each task off as you complete it – there’s no reason that you can’t draw your own if you prefer. 🙂

The important thing is that you can clearly see the order in which you need to tackle your things to do.

Feed and water your brain

Now that you’re all prepared, celebrate with a lovely cup of coffee, tea, or whatever you like drinking in the morning.

If you haven’t had breakfast, get something now so that your brain has the energy it needs to stay focused on your awesome game plan!

You got this! 🙂

What do you Think?

I’d love to hear what you think about this article.
Do you have any suggestions or questions?
Click the button below to leave a comment.

8 Replies to “Plan every morning to seize the day

  1. Hello,

        Hmm, disorganized, no.  I used to be so OCD that when I dusted I’d use Q-Tips to clean the dust out of the vents in my television (back in the tube days).  I think I’m a bit better now but I do still close open doors and drawers, turn off the lights and lock the car out of instinct, etc.

    Sadly I don’t plan my day, short of looking at my work calendar to see what others have planned for me.  It’s something I really need to work on.

    I really appreciate you offering the downloadable worksheet.  That will definitely come in handy.  I wonder if I can get Alexa or Siri to alert me to what I need to get done.  That might be even better for me, something “yelling” at me so I don’t forget.

    I appreciate the categories you have provided to sort my tasks into.  The trick for me is to start doing it rather than just talking about it.

    Thanks again, it’s definitely food for thought.

    1. Thanks for your reply, Scott!
      I’m not disorganised as long as I plan but if I don’t, I’m much less effective.

      I’m glad you found the worksheet useful. I’m a big fan of digital solutions but I prefer planning tasks on paper and being able to physically tick them off – it feels like a reward for getting it done. 🙂

  2. I loved this article and it’s exacty what I do and he’s e experienced.

    I write a to do list of a morning and do not divert from it. I always pick the most difficult task first.

    My to do list consists of 5 items for me to do during the day. I have found that if I do not this I’m all over the place! 

    1. Thanks for your comment, Darren.

      Great point about keeping a short list of tasks!

      Someone once told me that continually putting off unfinished tasks to the next day can drain your motivation so it’s better to only have a short list to begin with.

      I try to stick to a limited number of tasks unless they’re really small items that I need to get done on that day (like calling people, paying specific bills and so on). 

  3. I’ve found that a morning session help me stay on topic each day.  One thing I’ve tried to put into place now that I’m getting up earlier than normal to work is to complete a small task (less than 20 minutes) that I had on my list.  I’ve also heard from other that they like to accomplish the hardest thing that they’ve been procrastinating on, then once it’s done you feel like you can accomplish anything. 

    From my years of consulting it depends on what they can do typically people starting can focus on 3-5 things to get done that day, carry them around on a note card and then sign them off as it’s done.  Others have some basic habits and are able to tackle the most important.  

    Either way it all goes back to doing SOMETHING in the morning to help prepare you for the rest of your day and the coming week.  

    1. I think that’s great advice, thanks Marc.

      I’ve found that I’ve got into the habit of categorising the hardest tasks as important or urgent to force me to work on them but you’re right – sometimes it’s awesome to slip an easily achieved but important task ahead of them in the list so you start the day with a quick win. 

      That can really help you to tackle the tougher problems further down the list. 

  4. Thank you for sharing with us this helpful post .As a woman,I can say that I am not organised because of many tasks I always have to handle .Sometimes I start doing one activity and remember that there is another one which needs to be done and I feel stressed which can result in the failure of both of them.

    Your post gave me a great advice on how I will be planning my daily activities from the urgent one to the last but not least.

    It is of great importance to be on this website reading this post.

    1. Thanks for your message Julienne!

      You sound very much like me when it comes to tasks – if I haven’t planned them in order of importance, it feels like they’re all jostling for my attention.

      I’m glad you found the article useful.

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