Are You Planning Your Day for Maximum Success?

Everyone wants to be successful, even if we all have different definitions of success.

Some view success as amassing wealth and power, others view it as seeing a dream come true or becoming their own boss. Regardless of how you define success, you’re unlikely to find it by simply waiting around for it to show up. If you want to be successful, you’ve got to work for it.

While the specific work depends on lots of variables, there are some things you can do to help it along. If you want to achieve maximum success and reach your goals, a good start is to change the way your approach your day in a way that creates and then maximizes a solid routine built for success. A little planning can go a long way toward making you a success.

Make Lists

Each morning (or, better yet, the night before), make a list of what you want to accomplish that day.

There are a number of list-taking techniques out there to help you reach success, and many of them are very useful. Regardless of which method you use, you’ll likely find yourself writing down both daily tasks and long-term goals. Use the list to make sure you accomplish everything you need to each day, and see the longer-term goals as things to work toward even if you might not complete them right away.

Be Specific

Nothing will derail your plans faster than vague guidelines or only rough ideas of what you want to accomplish.

As you make lists and set goals, be as specific as possible regarding what you wish to complete. The more specific you are, the more your mind will focus on reaching the goal you set. This puts you in a great mindset for achieving maximum success.

Prioritize

There’s nothing wrong with writing things down as they come to mind when listing out what you want to accomplish each day.

The problem comes when you then try to tackle those tasks in the order you first wrote them down. Spend a few minutes looking over the list and deciding which items should be tackled first. The better you learn to prioritize, the more productive you’ll be throughout the day.

Allow Enough Time

Try to estimate how much time your various tasks require before starting your day.

These are just estimates, so you don’t have to be exact, but be sure that you allow for a reasonable amount of time. Things often take longer than we think, and if you don’t allow for delays or miscalculations then you might end up running behind all day.

Even if you have a pretty good idea of how long it takes you to complete certain tasks, be sure to allocate at least a little bit of extra time in case something goes wrong. If your scheduled day involves travel, be sure to add some time to account for traffic (and possibly rush hour) as well.

Tackle Big Tasks First

When you plan out your day, there will likely be a few tasks that you just kind of dread.

Maybe they’re just going to take a while, or maybe they involve things you don’t like doing. Whatever it is, those tasks will sit there looming over you until they’re complete. Because of this, they deserve a spot near the top of the list so that you can get them over with.

This doesn’t mean that you should bump high-priority items out of the way for a lower-priority task that you simply don’t like, of course. Take care of the important things in the order of their importance, but any of your “Big Tasks” should go in front of smaller tasks of equal importance. The sooner you get them finished, the sooner you won’t have to worry about them anymore.

Avoid Distractions

Distractions can really derail your plans, causing you to struggle to get everything finished on time.

They come in a variety of forms, from mobile apps and social media to family commitments or a favorite book. They’re often the things that we’d rather do instead of work, so it’s important that you do what you can to keep them under control and keep focused on your strong boundaries at work. Get through your list and make the day successful, and then you can spend the rest of the day addressing those distractions that tried to pull you away.