One of the questions that has come in from more than one person is “Should I plan my day in the morning or the night before?”
Well, we already covered the “It’s All About You” thing, so let’s break this down to help you decide.
The morning or night planning is really personal. It’s the way you’re setting yourself up for success, so figuring out what works for you (at this moment, bc this is a big one that can change) is really important.
Assuming that you’ve done the work to create long-term and short-term goals, we’re going to just dive right into daily planning.
This is where the fun stuff happens. This is where CHANGE happens.
You know how doctors say you are what you eat (do they still say that?) Well, here we’re saying you do what you plan…and you are what you do.
First off, as with anything planning, toss away they idea that there is a universal right way to do this. I’ve been a night and a morning planner depending on my job and life and both have worked for me — well, both have worked when I’m using them at the right time!
So, more questions!
- Do you need to hit the ground running most days?
- Do people need things from you first thin in the morning?
- Do you feel scattered when you start work and don’t know where to begin?
- Do you have people who delegate to you the majority of your work? When do they typically do that?
- Do you worry about things if you didn’t write them down?
- OR another way to look at that, does writing things down give you “brain space?”
- Does your day wind down slowly?
- Are people coming to you until you leave…maybe even as you’re trying to get in your car and drive away?
- Are your hours in-line with those you support?
- Is your day yours to schedule?
You can see a lot of reasons why people might want to plan their day in the morning. Even evening planners probably don’t come in the next day, open their binder, take the first item on the list and GO! I mean, that would be the dream, but dreams are……well….dreams.
Personally, I think of this time more as a “When do you personally sync your day” time. We too often think of planning as An Event. But, the truth is, great planners are more fluid than that.
So, for example, this is how my last day job planning-syncs went:
I kept my week page open and on my desk. I would add to it whenever anything popped up. I learned two things about myself that make this vital:
- I’m easily distracted and pulled off task if I don’t keep myself moving in my desired direction
- If I don’t write something down it either doesn’t exist or it keeps nagging at the back of my mind slowing me down
If it needs to happen that day – it goes on the day sheet.
If it needs to happen the next day – it goes on the next day sheet.
If neither of those things are true, it just hangs out on the week sheet.
I use the Important/Urgent matrix a ton (personally and in class) as well as my Defining Principles to dictate where things go on these lists.
At the end of the day, I move or kill anything from that day that didn’t get done. Then I put little dots on the weekly list of things I want to review in the morning for the next day.
But, because of the type of day job I had and the hours the business was open, I could on any given day walk in to chaos. So, I never want to make myself feel locked in.
If something is both Urgent AND Important and must be done ASAP in the morning, I write it on a sticky also and put that puppy right in the middle of the page so I come in and BAM! BRIA! DO THIS FIRST! happens.
So, you can see, my big sync for the day was in the morning. But, planning was never an event. It was an evolution of priorities.
Based on your time and when your priorities hit — and looking at that bulleted list above — can you see when your best sync time is?
Hopefully it brings a little bit of clarity to your day.