By: Dr. Donald E. Wetmore
|Dr. Donald E. Wetmore is a full-time Professional Speaker having made over 2,000 presentations during the last twenty years to audiences from around the world. He is the author of "Beat the Clock" and dozens of published articles. Learn more at: www.balancetime.com
A poet once said, "The most powerful time is when you are alone, thinking
about what you are to do rather than the doing itself." You've been
reminded many times, "A stitch in time saves nine". Daily Planning
is the time you ought to set aside each evening to plan out and take control
over the most precious resource at your command, the next twenty-four hours.
Done correctly, Daily Planning is not an expense that will cost you time
but an investment that will pay you back many times over the time invested.
Here are four important steps to follow each day during your Daily Planning
The process of Daily Planning will save you more time in the long run than
what you spend to do it and will increase your
- Create a To Do list of everything you "have to" do and everything
you "want to" do during the next day. If you want to manage it, you have to measure it first. Add actions steps
to take care of your commitments and responsibilities but also include
other action items to help you to balance your life more effectively and
achieve more of your goals in each of your Seven Vital Areas: health, family,
financial, intellectual, social, professional, and spiritual.
- Review every item on your To Do list and ask yourself three questions with
regard to each item:
- "Is this the best use of my time?" If it is, plan to do it. If
it isn't, try to figure out a way to delegate it.
- "Is there a better or more efficient way of handling or completing
this item?" For example, combining telephone calls and making them
- "Is there anything I can do in advance to prepare for this task?"
Do you need supplies or information from another to get it done?
Most of the time I cannot delegate my tasks, find a better way to do it,
or do anything to better prepare for it, but I can always find a few ways
to improve. Whatever those improvements are, add them to your To Do list
as action items
- Review any Appointments and Scheduled events you have planned for the next
day and ask yourself the same three questions you asked in step #2 above.
As you review each commitment, determine if it is the best use of your
time. Maybe you are scheduled to attend a meeting that has little value
to you. Try to get excused. See if there is a better way to handle each
commitment. For example, instead of an actually meeting with someone, are
you able to fax, email, or call that person instead? Can you do anything
to better prepare for it? If you have a doctor's appointment, are there
questions you can write down to ask the doctor. Whatever these improvements
are, add them to your To Do list as actions items.
- Prioritize your To Do list. Place the number "1" next to the most important item on your
list. Place the number "2" next to the second most important
item. Continue prioritizing the entire list. You now have a To Do list
of all the items you "have to" do, but, more importantly, all
the items you "want to" do, including action items to help you
achieve your goals and better life balance and make your appointments and
scheduled events and To Do list items flow more smoothly.
daily productivity each day.