To get your best results, plan your day the night before using the Daily Planning Worksheet. Instead of wasting precious brain power at the start of your day figuring out what you need to be working on during your available time, you’ll have a well-thought out plan to help you optimize your day.

Here are the steps:

(1)  Write your most important goal for the day in the box, “MY #1 GOAL FOR TODAY IS.” This is the priority that you’ll want to work on as early in the day as possible.  You can refer to your Weekly Planning Worksheet to remind yourself of the project(s) you originally planned to work on.. It may or may not have changed since you created your plan for the week. If things have changed, you’ll want to consider the impact of NOT working on what you originally planned for the day. Will you need to work late? Move other projects around? Re-negotiate a deadline?

(2) In the section labelled “TOP PRIORITIES FOR THE DAY” write down the most important tasks relating to your #1 goal for the day. For example, you may write out the individual steps you need to take, corresponding to detailed tasks that fall under that goal. You can also write down other critical actions for the day, beyond that higher priority goal, but be cautious about not turning this worksheet into your master to-do list. The intention is to provide you with a clear focus for the day.

(3) Under the “TIME TRACKER” column, write in exactly when you’ll dedicate time to working on these items.

(4) You can use the “DECISIONS TO BE MADE” section to note any decisions that are necessary to keep moving forward on critical items this week.  These are not tasks. For example, you may need to decide on a topic for an article you’re going to write or how to handle a tricky situation on your team.

(5) You can make notes of accomplishments throughout the day under “TODAY’S PROGRESS.” By capturing these notes, you can look back on your week to acknowledge important milestones, achievements and new developments. It’s important to acknowledge steps you’ve taken on your priorities!