By taking the time to plan your day in advance, you can relieve much of the stress that comes from feeling unprepared and overwhelmed. Take a few minutes each morning to answer the following questions:
- What do I want to accomplish today and what is the relative priority of each task?
- How much time will it take to complete each task and what time of day do I need to start each task to ensure I complete it on time?
Once you've answered these questions, take 5 minutes to write down your plan for the day. The plan should show each task in order and when you need to complete it by. Then, go about completing your tasks one at a time. Avoid starting the next task until the one you are working on is completed.
Keep in mind that everyone's plan is flexible. The unforeseen or the urgent need of a friend, spouse, child or supervisor may require you to re-assess your daily plan. But, when new tasks move onto your list, go through the steps above and your day will remain manageable and productive.
Consider making reminders/notes on your phone or computer or even an audio reminder to keep you on task and focused. Be proactive in executing your tasks as well; turn off distractions like social media, TV etc and create a “Do not disturb: I’m being productive” sign if necessary.