How to Plan Your Day in 3 Simple Steps
Trying to find a way to squeeze more into your day can seem impossible…especially when you throw work, kids, and fun into the mix. But finding a way to plan your day isn’t impossible.
Actually, all of that makes planning your day even more important.
But I get that sitting down and figuring out where to start can be a little intimidating. I mean, most of my local organizing jobs start with me sitting down with them and helping them structure their day so they’re a little less stressed.
Because we’re juggling a lot. And we want to do it all. But we only have so many hours in a day.
And while this may seem counter-intuitive, in order to get more done, we have to schedule less into our day.
Because if we’re trying to fit more things into our day, we either rush through them or multitask, both of which lead to more mistakes. Then we have to spend more time fixing those mistakes.
Plus, trying to do more than we have time for is just stressful AF.
So let’s make your life a little easier by mapping out your day in the simplest way possible.
Step 1 — Organize + Prioritize Your To-Do List
To start, take a look at everything you need to do. Make sure you include everything you want to do. Because we’re not just planning your day so you can get more done…yes, we absolutely want that to happen.
But we’re also doing this so you enjoy your day a little more. Because it’s 100% possible to be crazy productive and love your life. So don’t short-change yourself for the sake of your to-do list.
The happier you are, the more you’ll get done — guaranteed. So that’s pretty sweet.
So make a master list of everything you need and want to do.
Then, we need to prioritize that list.
So go through your list and jot down any due dates for the different things on your list. These things will need to be scheduled in first.
Then, mark the things that don’t have a due date but that are also important for you to get done.
And finally, look at what’s left. Go through and ask yourself if you really need to do those things. If you don’t then cross it off your list. Trust me, it feels amazing to do this.
Step 2 — Look at How You’re Currently Spending Your Time
Okay, so next, we need to look at how you’re currently spending your time. And I know this step is super boring, but it’s impossible to figure out how to fix your day if you don’t know where the problems are to begin with.
And there are a couple different ways you can do this.
You can either jot down your current schedule from memory. Most of us know what we’re going throughout the day, regardless of whether you’re working all day or home with the kids.
But that’s how you’re intending to spend your time, not necessarily how you’re actually spending it.
Track Your Time
Because of this, I highly suggest tracking your time for a day or two.
To do this, just keep a notebook with you and jot down what you’re doing throughout the day. You don’t have to be crazy detailed, but as you stop doing one thing and start doing something else, make a note of it.
The ask yourself:
- Is this what I had planned to do at this time?
- Am I doing multiple things at once?
- Am I jumping from one thing to another?
These questions are important because they’ll highlight whether you’re sticking to the plan and being the most efficient with your time.
Step 3 — Restructure Your Day
Once you know where your time is currently going, it’s time to restructure your day so you’re maximizing your time…not wasting it.
So first, look at your prioritized to-do list. Look at the different things that have those hard due dates.
What are they?
Are they work items? Household management?
What time are you currently doing these things every day?
Does that time work? Why or why not? What else are you trying to do during those times that is making the important stuff take longer to do?
Brainstorm when you want to do these things, what is getting in the way of that happening (based on how you’re currently spending your time), and what you can do to prevent those distractions going forward.
Then you need to time block your day.
Time blocking is simply blocking out chunks of time throughout your day and scheduling specific things into those blocks of time.
And when you can schedule those blocks of time will depend on what all you have going on throughout the day.
If your kids are home with you all day, you’ll need to schedule your time blocks during times that they’re either napping or can play independently for a while.
If you’re working from home all day, your time blocks will depend on any regular meetings or calls you have.
It will also depend on what time you typically have more energy to focus on difficult things. Because you don’t want to only schedule stuff in during times of the day where you’re totally wiped.
For example, I usually have more energy earlier in the day. So I schedule a time block in the morning for those things that require more thought and attention to detail.
So look at your day and try to create 1-3 blocks of time throughout the day where you can schedule in the things you have on your to-do list.
Scheduling Things In
All that is left, then, is to physically schedule things into your day.
So look at the things on your list with the hard due dates. Think about how long each task will take. And then schedule the first task into your first time block. And make sure you give yourself enough to actually finish the task.
Then schedule in the next task. And so on.
Look at the important things that you need to do that don’t have due dates and decide when you want to have them done by. Give them a due date. And schedule them in based on those dates.
Look at the things that you want to do for yourself or your kids every day or every week. Decide what days you could set aside some time for that stuff and physically schedule it in.
The only way to guarantee something gets done is to schedule it into your day. And time blocking allows this to happen.
Reflect + Refine
And finally, once you have everything mapped out, test it out.
You more than likely won’t nail the perfect schedule on the first try…and that’s okay!
Planning your day will always take a little trial and error, so don’t be afraid to try different things out. And if something doesn’t work, move things around and see how that works.
But the steps laid out here are the easiest way to plan your day. So keep at it and you’ll find the schedule that works for you and your family in no time.
More Time Management Articles to Help You Out
- 100+ Productivity Hacks Guaranteed to Change Your Life
- How to Stay Focused and Motivated
- Procrastination: 7 Simple Tips to Stop Procrastinating
- 20 Time Management Tips For Work At Home Moms
- How to Stop Perfectionism From Killing Your Productivity
- 7 Time Management Hacks for Busy Moms
- Time Management: How Your Personality Type Affects Your Productivity
- 7 Busy Mom Hacks for a Stress-Free Morning