Advertising

How To Organize Your Day For Success

How To Organize Your Day For Success
Advertising

Successful people are known to be great at practicing tips on time management. Chances are, if you want to be an extremely successful professional at your chosen field, you should also learn how to organize your day effectively.

So now, you’re excited.

You’re pumped.

You can’t wait to get started and organize your day right away. There’s a tiny problem, though: Where should you start? With all the tips, techniques, and tricks scattered all over the Internet, which tips are really going to be effective and convenient for you to adapt? With all the stress and the expectations during your day, how can you even get started?

Advertising

The first thing that you should take note of is the definition of time. Simply put, time is an idea that’s relative, depending on how you define it. You may think that one hour spent on writing an article is a luxury, while other writers believe that you would need to spend at least two hours to do so. You may think that fifteen minutes spent on brainstorming your ideas is already enough, while some entrepreneurs even spend three days just to brainstorm. Also, you may believe that spending time with your loved ones should be done everyday, while some people simply think it’s a waste of time!

You see, time is subjective. Your concept of time is different from other people’s idea of it. Therefore, everything that you read and learn about time management is irrelevant if you don’t believe that time needs to be managed. If you think that your time is worthless, if you’d rather watch TV all day than work on your personal growth, or if you’d rather spend all day in bed sleeping instead of trying to make a change in your life, organizing your day for success is not the answer. Focus on being inspired and pursuing your passion first.

If you think that your time is valuable, on the other hand, here are five tips to help you organize it successfully:

1. Plan your day the night before.

Before going to sleep, make sure that you’re going to start your day with a purpose. Whip up a journal or a planner and put your action plans for the next day in there.

Advertising

To give you a guideline, you should have at least four plans for everyday: one should be work-related, one should be for a personal activity like an errand, and two should be for accomplishing your life dreams.

2. Schedule for interruptions.

Get frustration out of the picture by setting up time allowances in your plan. If you say that you’re going to write an article from 08:00 to 08:45 and then you’re going to write a blog post from 08:46 to 09:30, you’re just setting yourself up for trouble!

Expect that not everything will go as planned. You will only be able to organize your day successfully if you plan for interruptions.

3. Start your day with accomplishing something big.

When eating a meal, you start eating the food that you don’t like first so that you can focus on enjoying the rest of the meal, right? The same goes for your day. If you have a big thing that you need to accomplish, do it first.

Advertising

This way, even if you don’t accomplish anything else, you can still say that you did something productive at least.

4. Use a time-tracking application to help you stay on track.

Of course you can still check on Facebook and Twitter — you just need to plan for it and track your time doing these activities so that you won’t get distracted.

TogglSlimTimer, and RescueTime are nice tools to help you get started.

5. Accept the fact that you’re not going to be able to do it all in one day.

You’re not Superman (or are you…?) so you can’t do everything in one day. Instead of working on a big project in one day and cramming it, arrange milestones instead. Don’t get frustrated if you weren’t able to finish everything you’ve planned.

Advertising

Remember, you still have next time.

We hope that by that time, you’ll be wise enough to practice what you’ve read in this article and organize your day right.

More by this author

Lianne Martha Maiquez Laroya

Lianne is a licensed financial advisor, Registered Financial Planner, entrepreneur and book author.

The Ultimate Morning Routine for Success of Highly Successful People 11 Benefits of Fish Oil That You Might Not Know About 10 Key Elements of Effective Meetings to Avoid Wasting Time 9 Surprising Benefits Of Kimchi That Will Make You Want To Try It Now 11 Signs That Tell You It’s Time to Let Go

Trending in Productivity

1 7 Effective Ways To Motivate Employees in 2021 2 How a Project Management Mindset Boosts Your Productivity 3 5 Values of an Effective Leader 4 How to Motivate People Around You and Inspire Them 5 The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
Advertising

No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

Advertising

From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

Advertising

The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

Advertising

But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

Advertising

Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

More on Building Habits

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Advertising

Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

Read Next