What is the Absolute Best Way to Hijack Your Day?
Three Key Benefits of Planning Your Day Ahead
How do you start the work part of your day? I’ve found this question has dumb-founded more people and caused more defensiveness than almost any other question.
Why? Because it questions how someone uses their time and you might as well dive right into religion and politics since you’re gaining so much credibility. (don’t do that, bad idea!)
What is the absolute best way to hijack your day? Here’s the gun-point answer:
Here are some of the rich benefits to reacting:
- You get to react all day long
- You get to make excuses why you didn’t get anything done
- You’re not responsible for the outcome
- You get to do it all over again tomorrow and act like today never happened!
Compelling, huh? (insert sarcasm here)
But is there another way? What if this way is not working for you? If you’re a motivated, busy professional who wants to excel in areas only you can control, this may be average and acceptable for everyone else but not you.
What if you went into your day with a plan? A guide that let you know what was important and what should be done by the end of the day? This simple process could be a game changer for most people.
Yet I hear over and over that people don’t have time to plan. Really? But they have time to waste time by either doing non-productive work or checking social media, personal email, etc. Not blaming, just saying.
It truly gets down to making choices that will ultimately make you more effective. It’s not getting defensive and truly being will to learn and grow how to embrace better in your life.
“Do not mistake activity for achievement” said economist Mabel Newcomber, and I could not agree with her more.
Most people get to the end of their day and wonder where the day went and spent it on almost everything that was either not important or what actually needed to be accomplished.
And the problem only worsens as the next day. My opinion is to make the bad man stop. For those following along at home, this is a solvable problem.
It’s also a great opportunity to choose what not to do. Greg McKeown, author of Essentialism (must read) said,
“Sometimes what you DON’T do is just as important as what you do.”
But this is not a spare of the moment decision. It requires pre-thought and decision which comes out of planning your day.
There are Three Key Benefits of Planning Your Day:
Nothing beats focus. When you choose to plan and not react to your day, good things happen. I find when I do not plan my day, I am so random. I jump from task to task and although busy all day, I don’t feel like I really accomplished anything and exhausted. (go figure)
But when I plan my day, I know WHAT to do and as a result can focus on what I planned and needed to do. What a difference! And it’s amazing the results when you focus and distractions are “sold separately.”
The goal is to determine the three most important priorities of the day (author Kenneth Ziegler in his book, Organizing for Success calls them “Veggies”). Once chosen “prioritize your priorities.”
At the end of the day, you will ALWAYS have completed the most important priority of the day. How good would THAT feel?
One of my favorite yet most challenging questions comes from the book, The One Thing by Gary Keller, who asks,
“What is the ONE thing I can do such that by doing it EVERYTHING else will be easier or unnecessary?”
Imagine if you answered that question every morning when setting your priorities..? But choosing your daily priorities is a direct result from the small time investment in planning your day.
If you’re a high achiever which most motivated professionals are, then you love results. Yet I’ve found when I don’t have a plan I don’t see any real results and get frustration included at no additional charge.
I’ve yet to meet or read about a successful person who chooses a “shotgun” approach to their day. They see results in direct correlation to their plan for the day. Then why should you if you want to be effective?[tweetthis]Here’s my advice if you’re not consistently planning right now: PLAN 2 PLAN. – Bryan Paul Buckley[/tweetthis]
Choose a realistic amount of time to begin, say just 5 minutes and schedule it in your day. Let it be your first 5 minutes. Then see what happens. Evaluate at the end of the week and measure the power of focus, setting priorities, and simply weigh the results.
You may find that 5 minutes needs to grow and I’ll even throw in an extra 5 minutes right now at no additional charge. (said in a cheesy infomercial voice)
But seriously, I’ve never heard about a person who began planning who every went back to reacting to their day. Are you up for the challenge?
Or if you are planning your day, what could you do to make it more effective?
How consistent are you at planning your day? And when you do, how much better are the results?