They say that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. But where do you start with planning? Do you plan out your entire life? Your year? Your month? In this post, I’ll talk about where to start with planning and also give you a step by step process on how I plan my day.
So if you’d like to be more
Know your destination
The first step to creating a daily plan is having an idea of what you want or need to be doing in your day. And the best way to know what you need to be doing in your day is when you know what you want to be doing in your life in the future. Because our future is the consequence of our daily actions.
This is huge! The actions you and I take today have a direct impact on where we will be in our future! So, this begs the question…what do you want in your future?
When I create my daily plan, I take my tasks from four places. The first place is my 90 Day Plan.
My 90 Day Plan lets me know what I need to be doing each week, which in turn lets me know what I should be doing each day. And my 90 Day Plan is focused on where I want to be in the future – 90 days from now, yes – but ultimately my longer term vision of where I want to be.
If you don’t have a 90 Day Plan, I recommend you get my 90 Day Planner Manual which will guide you step by step to creating your own very actionable 90 Day Plan. It’s a powerful tool that’s foundational to creating days that are intentional and productive.
How to create a daily plan
1. Start with your Calendar
If I have any appointments or activities in my calendar for the day, they go into my daily plan. I block off the time for the appointment plus any extra time needed for travel or getting the kids out the door (if I don’t plan for the time it takes to get my kids out the door we will be late!).
Calendar activities go in first because these are generally things I can’t move.
2. Next add your 90 Day Plan tasks
When you’ve done your 90 Day Plan, you’ll have a list of a few actions each week that you can move into your daily plan. You don’t have to do all the actions for a week in one day. I like to transfer one or possibly two actions from my 90 Day Plan onto my daily plan.
These go in next because these are the big rocks that will move me toward the vision I want for myself in the future. I consider my 90 Day Plan tasks to be my Must Do tasks!
The rest of the actions for my daily plan come from two other places; my master task list and my Home Management Binder. And I put them all into my Daily Game Plan which you can get for free right here:
3. Make sure your home can run
Next, I look at my Home Management Binder to see what household tasks need to get done for the day. And I block off time in my schedule to allow for that. I always try and overestimate how long it takes me to do chores because when you have young kids underfoot, you’re likely to be called away from doing stuff just to deal with them! And it also means that I don’t feel rushed or pressed for time in the day.
Home management tasks go in third because these tasks keep our home running and I feel less stressed with less mess!
4. Add other tasks if needed
And lastly, if there are still pockets of time available in my day, I look at my master task list to see if there is anything I can knock out during the day. My master task list is a running list of tasks that I know need to get done. They could be things like;
- change the light bulb in the closet
- order a new filter for the water jug or
- reply to a friend’s wedding invitation
I try to pay attention to how long I think a task will take and whether it will require me to have
If something on my master task list absolutely must get done on a particular day and I can see that I’ve got no time for it, then I will either;
- delegate it to someone else in my family, or
- delegate a home management task to someone else so that I can get it done or
- decide not to do a home management task that day
How to stick to your daily plan
Everything that I plan to do in my day gets scheduled in time. Just having a list of items to check off has never worked for me, because a list looks easier to do when in reality, it doesn’t factor in all the other things going on in life. A list doesn’t pay attention to the fact that we have the kids ballet classes in the afternoon or that we will be out with a homeschool group from lunchtime.
Why lists don’t work
Lists are always optimistic, and therefore, more often than not, a disappointment. Because you’ll reach the end of the day and that stubborn list of 20 items has hardly moved!
When things are viewed and scheduled in time, there’s a greater chance that they’ll actually get done, because you’ve set aside time to accomplish them.
What this looks like in reality is that I probably get 3-7 tasks done each day. That sounds like a really small number. But when you think that this 3-7 includes tasks that are moving me toward my ideal future, I’m pretty happy with it being small!
Don’t over schedule
If you want to be able to stick to your daily plan, it’s important to allow a lot of buffer time in your day. Don’t schedule actions and tasks back to back the whole day long. Why not?
Because life happens!
You can create the perfect plan for your day only to find yourself dealing with unforseen calls, emails or requests that leave you feeling like your “behind your schedule” and stressed. Don’t do it!
Allow for pockets of buffer time in your day.
If you’re a stay at home mum, give yourself a morning coffee break time and an afternoon
And let’s create a daily plan you’ll actually love!