You can learn to plan better! In this article, I’ll give you my 7 personal tips on how I got better at scheduling tasks. From planning the household to planning your work.
The bad planner in my teens – who isn’t?
In my teens I didn’t learn to plan better, I was even a bad planner. All the clichés of me as a teenager are true:
- I usually messed around a bit
- I did have a side job where I went a little late by bike
- hung out with friends
- and I usually did my homework at the last minute, as befits a good student
Here and there I sometimes forgot an appointment that I had written down on a piece of paper. Because yes – I come from the era when mobile phones just started to become a bit mainstream, where we could then make very hip calls, send text messages, and wap later on.
Now you will think, “You weren’t the only one who wasn’t good at planning. That’s part of it in your teens. That’s right, and that was also very nice. The (if I look back on it now) carefree time as a teenager is something I often try to take with me when I plan my agenda. Plan space for myself and fun things.
Below you will find my tips on how I learned to plan better.
My tips for learning to plan better
- Determine your priorities. If you want to learn to plan better, it is important to determine your priorities. So grab your to-do list and determine for yourself whether the tasks on the list will help you move forward towards your dreams. If not, delete these tasks from your list. Still in doubt? Then investigate whether and how this task will help you move forward.
- Make a daily or weekly schedule – at least a day in advance. When I think about what I’m going to do that morning, I’m sure I’ll get less work done than if I made good planning a day or a week in advance. Have you made a daily or weekly schedule? Then it is clear to yourself what you will be working on that day. Be realistic with your schedule and don’t put tasks on your schedule if you know it’s not feasible.
- Follow your rhythm – you know when you are most productive. I know from myself that I prefer to write or work on campaigns in the morning. In the middle of the afternoon, I notice that I already have less energy, so I prefer to spend less time on my head. Then I like to do things like clean the house, take a vacuum cleaner through the house, run around or do some work tasks such as scheduling a newsletter, administration or answering some mail.
- Say no more often to achieve your goals. In the past year, in particular, I’ve learned to say no more often to get more work done. Because I became a father this year, I also started working less. This means that I want to achieve the same result in less time. For example, I started spending more time on things that help me progress – such as planning more time to finish my online course. And I often say no to collaborations that I already know will not bring me anything in the long term.
- Schedule EVERYTHING – from travel time to work, writing an article (roughly) to have lunch with a friend (plus travel time to and from the lunch shop too). This way you get a clear picture of how full your agenda is. You can also schedule a time for yourself so that you know that you have the time for yourself. I found Rick Pastoor’s book Grip very enlightening. In the book, you can read more about this method to properly plan your day in this way.
- Learn to plan better by doing the right things. The only question is: “how do you know if you are making the right choice? “I don’t always know in my life whether I am making the right choice – I think that is also quite boring. I usually know in which direction I want to move on a business and personal level. Suppose I get a collaboration proposal from a company that offers a lot of money to showcase their gas-guzzling lawnmowers. Of course, I could say yes to that and justify to myself how good and beautiful this collaboration is because it pays the toppings on the sandwich. But if I deep down see which direction I want to move with my company, then such a product does not suit me (and therefore also not my company). And so I say no to these kinds of collaborations, so I can focus on tasks that I find important and that helps me move forward.
- Find out for yourself what you MUST do about yourself. You can learn to plan better if you also have enough time to make good planning. What tasks rob you of your valuable time? A few examples:
- Vacuuming your house every other day instead of every day – saves you about 15 minutes.
- Limit your business mail reply to once a day – this will save you a lot of time if you normally do it several times a day.
- Cooking for several days at a time is faster than for one day. Therefore, cook for several days or a week in advance. This gives you a lot of time for other things.
- Spend less time on your phone or tablet with apps that don’t help you move forward. Eject the app from the device or set a screen time on the specific app where you spend a lot of time. This is going to save you a lot of valuable time.
I hope the above tips to help you plan better will help you. Do you have any good tips to better plan your day or week? Be sure to share your tips below!