Having a plan is the first step to being more productive and having lower stress in your day.
Some features of a daily plan make life smoother. Here are some of the things you should incorporate into a daily docket.
1. Write it down.
The process of writing down and organizing your plan is important. Sometimes, I just rely on what is already on the calendar. That never turns out well.
By forcing myself to organize the tasks (even if I spend less than five minutes doing so), I have to be realistic about what actually can get done.
2. Put appointments and tasks on the same page.
I keep appointments and tasks in separate place in my planner. I consider this a smart plan because I don't accidentally double book appointments that way.
But for a Daily Docket, I need to sort of see everything together. The appointments for morning and afternoon are at the top of the page.
3. Prep for morning appointments in advance.
Notice that I have two appointments this morning. Fortunately, neither of them required prep. If they had, prep would have been done the night before when I made the plan (like packing my work tote if I were working outside of the house).
4. Make two task lists.
I make a MUST DO list (on the left) and a SHOULD DO list (on the right). At any point, if the plan derails, I can revert to only the must do tasks.
5. Have a food plan.
My breakfast plan is pretty much the same everyday (usually oatmeal). Lunch is a salad or leftovers. But knowing my dinner plan early in the day gives me the opportunity to prep in advance.
6. Have a standard list of daily tasks.
Mine is on my laptop in an app. I know, right? Not in my planner!
But I do have a remember in my planner to do my Dailies. Dailies include things like check email, take meds, do a fifteen minute quick clean, and doing laundry and dishes.
7. Use repeating tags for only routine stuff that doesn't happen daily.
For non-daily tasks that repeat often (like blogging every other day or taking out the trash weekly), I use reusable post-its.
8. Work the plan.
Don't just write it down. Use the plan during the day. Reschedule or delegate as needed, but do something!
9. Don't over plan.
It's easy to spend too much time planning and not enough time doing.
My Daily Docket above looks packed, but today is actually a day with a lot of quick tasks that need to be checked off. Some days, my Daily Docket is really short. That is fine!
10. No need to archive.
Unless your daily plan suddenly captured something important (like a car wreck or the unexpected birth of a baby), toss it once it is complete. Completion includes rescheuduling, deleting, or delegating undone stuff.
I archive weekly and monthly pages, but my daily plan is for working, not for recording.
Try a daily plan, just for days. I suspect a daily docket will change your life.
Please consider changing someone else's life in a positive way by sharing on Facebook or pinning to Pinterest.