1. The importance of planning your next day every evening
Don’t start the day until it is pretty well finished — at least the outline of the day. Leave some room to improvise. Leave some room for extra strategies, but finish it before you start it.
–Jim Rohn, legendary businessman, writer and motivational speaker
Mornings are usually tough, unpredictable or both. There’s a reason why planning each day in advance is so empowering and effective.
It’s not just about having the technical outline of your following day on paper or electronic device. It’s about your mind having a vision of that next day’s schedule so you can be mentally prepared to conquer those most important tasks after you wake up the following morning.
You’ll also wake up with a stronger sense of purpose.
The challenging part is developing a habit of planning each day in the evening, a one that will stick. We recommend making this a part of your evening routine.
2. Why Time Blocking?
So why would you want to set out blocks of time in your schedule rather than use a simple to-do list?
Let’s compare these two ways to plan your day:
This should convince you why time blocking is superior to the classic to-do list approach.
3. Embrace the power of paper and mobile app
Paper is awesome. When it comes to planning, brainstorming or developing ideas, still no digital app will ever allow for the level of freedom and flexibility a paper and pen give you.
On the other hand, a mobile app like TaskLabels has its own powers of digitalizing, categorizing, storing, syncing and sharing any project (label) or task you enter there.
Each of those have their own strengths, so why not utilize those strengths where they really matter?
TaskLabels is for entering and storing your tasks and projects (labels), assigning due dates and priorities
Use TaskLabels to enter new tasks, assign them to different projects and contexts (labels) and review what needs to be done and what is important (sort by priorities). Labels containing overdue tasks will show up in red so that you immediately know whether you’re falling behind with something or not.
Paper is for planning, outlining and revising
Use a paper, notepad or a personal planner to lay out time blocks for projects or contexts you want to work on during the following day. Leave out some space for taking breaks and commuting. Use the right side of a page to make revisions as you go through your day.
Concern: But why would anyone bother with outlining the next day in such ‘detail’?
- It introduces a tremendous level of productivity.
By executing tasks with mutual context (i.e. Label), your mind focuses on that certain aspect of your work, nothing else. This enables you to get into the zone and maximize your focus.
- It allows you to have a bird’s-eye view on how you invest your time. You can spot immediately whether you’re putting somewhere more time than it’s worth it.
- It allows for corrections. Nobody is saying that the mere sketch of following day is the final draft you have to follow. In fact, I’d say that time blocking allows for more flexibility than to-do lists.
So there you have it. For more insights, e.g. how to run your day once you’ve laid out time blocks, how to stay focused throughout the day and later track how you’ve spent your time, check out our Free PDF ‘The Sprint Method’ where we talk about those methods in more detail: