Why And How To Prepare For The Next Day

Yesterday we talked a little about how important it is to bring some margin into your planning. Simple said, because it will save your ass.

What we didn’t talk about at all is planning your day. Let’s do that, first I will tell you why it’s so important to plan your day and then how you could do it.

I hate suprises

To be honest, I don’t like any suprises at all. If someone tells me, hey I got a suprise for you there I bug him or her so long, they will tell me.

And it’s the same thing with my daily schedule. I hate coming to work or starting my day without knowing what will happen there. If you are just not preparing your day, there is not chance of doing anything mindful.

You will always react to events, like an alarm for your next meeting going off and telling you, you only have 15 minutes left to finish that task before you have to start running into that meeting room.

Without proper preparation of you day and no time for every day duties you will only be running around like an idiot… Trust me there, I did this for a long time. Being pissed about suddenly appearing meetings.

Start preparing

I really don’t think I need to explain you anymore, why it’s a good idea to plan your day in advance. Let’s talk about my approach for planning the next day.

My planning for the day consists of three main areas:

  • big three
  • schedule
  • notes / information / other

You can either use a piece of paper there, a word document or any kind of note taking software.

At the moment I am doing all of this in a single note in Ulysses, but I will switching back to my paper notebook for this task.

On top write the three most important tasks for the day, that you definitely need to finish. These don’t have to be work related all the time; if one is pick up parents from airport that also can have it’s place there, it’s important. This part is of course connected to my todo list. I will type out or write the task again and think about it again, if it’s really important.

The next part directly happens with my calendar in sight. I am writing down the schedule of the day. The greater the detail the better. And here I am also considering the margin in between the events. This can look something this:

  • 07 – 08: Gym Time
  • 08 – 08:30: Gettin ready for work
  • 08:30 – 09: Commute
  • 9 – 09:30 Checking Mail

You see, I am really doing this with a great detail. Why? Because I then need to think less on the next day. My brain believes what is written down there and takes that for granted, I don’t need to do any decision in the morning. You can figure out yourself, in which detail you want or need to this.

Now that we have done the first two parts, check for one thing. Do the big three appear in there? No, then you’ve done something wrong. These are three most important tasks of the day. You definitely need to give them space in your day. If not, chances are high you won’t ever work on them.

Your schedule and todo list cannot live without one and another.

The last part is fairly easy. This is the space where I am taking notes, writing down things that come in the middle of the day. Like someone comes by and tells me something I should remember.

Consider doing it by hand

As mentioned earlier, I am switching back here to paper. For one simple reason; If I am writing out my schedule by hand, I am gettig a better feeling for the day that I have in front of me.

And probably because my handwriting is better then any encryption 😉

See you tomorrow!