Do you have a plan for your day?

Right after Labor Day weekend I started feeling a little frazzled.

With two kids starting school (Kindergarten and Nursery), I had a strong desire to be with both of them at key windows during the day and yet also really wanted to buckle down and ramp up my productivity at work. My to-do list took on epic proportions and by 10am I felt exhausted.

A Simple Solution: Create an Hourly Plan

After about three days of that nonsense I decided to get back to a routine that has historically made a world of difference for me. At the start of each day, I sit down with my laundry list of to-do’s pick out my top 10, and roughly map out an hour-by-hour approach to cranking through the list.

The goal isn’t to anally-retentively plan your my to the teeth. But rather, to have a basic structure to the day that helps me focus on doing one thing at a time (well) and still get a lot done by the end of the day.

For example, my daily plan today looked like this:
6am: wake, work out, shower
7am: get the house up, kids fed
8am: walk Will to school
9-11: writing
12pm: have lunch with the boys
1pm: marketing projects
2pm: phone calls & email
3-4pm: research & design work
5-9pm: family time
9-10: read, Pinterest fun

Once my outline was in place, I took the extra step of putting specific “beat-the-clock” times around my writing projects because I know that if I don’t, they will take over my whole day. An article is never done; it’s due. That rule of thumb works for Power Point presentations, strategy work, and any other create-from-scratch work I have.

If you don’t already have an approach to organizing your day, this rough, hourly block approach is a good and simple way to get into a more sane habit. Other great tools:

– Our free time management printable that lets you see where you’re burning daylight.

– Our free daily schedule printable. This is what I use to map my to-do’s to time blocks.

What kinds of things do you do to plan and organize your day?

{Feature Photo – Plan Your Work Print available at Behind the Studio}