If there’s no plan, there’s no destination. Plan your day, get important things done, and win. Simple!
Planning takes work but it’s not brain surgery. Create goals, align your week, organize your day and commit. You’ll have a daily focus that will give you more drive and energy to complete important things.
To do this effectively, leverage technology to make it easier. Most of the technology I use is in the “My Tools” section.
Lets start by using a checklist…
Use the “plan your day checklist”
Checklists reduce mental pressure. Less thinking, more doing.
You’ll build each day around your goals and objectives. This checklist will help you plan your day, right, every time. Save this graphic and use it every time you plan your day. You should get up in the morning ready to hustle.
You do this with a plan.
You must have objectives and key results (OKRs)
If you don’t have objectives and key results, then you’re a chicken with its head cut off. You’re running around working on the urgent and neglecting the important.
Your manager can help guide you to align your OKRs with the companies quarterly objectives. If your company is a headless chicken too, start with building OKRs around two critical questions:
- Why do customer buy from us?
- What else do our customers need?
Plan everything you do around these questions. If you’re in operations, focus on how you can answer these within your team. But never be afraid to venture outside of your team if you have an idea that can benefit another team. Be risky. Be bold. Be valuable.
If you don’t have anything to achieve for the quarter, just pack up your things up and depart the airplane of life. An objective and key result is connecting the company, team and individual goals. It’s to move the company and teams in the same direction. It’s a flight plan that’s aimed at the right target.
Each day I’ll review and plan around my quarterly OKRs. These objectives are to drive Skylink’s bigger vision. My OKRs are large and push my limits. They make me hustle every day.
That’s why I hate mediocrity.
If you want to make an impact, if you want to create value, creates objectives and key results and start planning.
Time block your calendar
Once you have your goals and OKRs dialed in you’ll then structure your week.
What does an ideal week look like for you? How do you reach your goals and OKRs?
There’s a simple “productivity” strategy about time blocking. Instead of re-hashing it all here, just read this.
Plan your day in predetermined time blocks. Each hour get’s a topic and each day gets a theme. Plan every time block around your goals and OKRs.
Now, let me be optimistically blunt. Time blocking won’t always go your way. Some days your plan will get derailed. Smothered and squashed! That’s okay, just pick up where you left off.
Organize your day
Once you have your weeks mapped out, move to your individual days.
You’re probably anxious by now. You say, but Nate, this will take so much time! Stop complaining. With periodic adjustment, your goals and time blocks are set for the month or quarter.
Daily planning really begins with planning your next day.
Every evening prepare for the next day. Review your goals, OKRs and time blocks. Once you have a clear overview of where your time should be spent, start organizing your day.
Taking 30 minutes each day to plan the next is a priceless habit.
Each hour should be filled with project tasks, productive meetings, or a number things that help you reach your OKR goals.
Creating white space is good too. Give yourself a little bit of flexibility.
Having goals and planning your life set’s your days up for success. Don’t let the free spirit, I’ll-just-wait-for-things-to-pop-up dictate your success. Grab a hold of it and be the leader of your own destiny.
Does this sound like a lot? Ask questions in the comment and I’ll try to help you out…during my time blocks of course.