Implementing a task management system such as GTD has helped me to better organize my time , in order to focus on the most important things for me. One of the habits that help me the most is to do my daily and weekly planning of the things I am going to do.
I am clear that being productive is not doing many things a day, but doing the most important things, which bring us closer to our goals . Both in my work and personal life I like to plan my days and weeks, because that way I focus on those tasks and projects that help me move forward, and I don’t have the feeling that time has gone by and I haven’t done anything productive – although I have done many things.
Once a week I spend between 15 and 20 minutes to plan my week. I usually do it last Friday in the case of work, and Sunday afternoon for personal issues. These are the steps I follow:
- Review the planning of the week. I review the tasks I had proposed for this week. I congratulate myself for what I have achieved. I write down in my “Next” task list (Next Actions) what I have not achieved and I reflect on why I have not achieved it.
- Review objectives. I review my short and long term goals. I cross out the pending tasks performed and go to “Next” or to the lists of tasks that I have the following tasks to perform.
- Check calendar. I review the previous week, this and the next. I write down the tasks that arise from preparing appointments or events.
- Review notes and to-do lists. I check all my homework lists (I use Evernote ). I check my “Waiting” notes in case I have to remind someone of something or just delete from there. I mark what is already done, update notes and add missing tasks.
- Define my Great Rocks of the week. I choose 4 or 5 most important tasks for these weeks, of which 2 or 3 have to do with my goals. I block time for them in my calendar (I use Google Calendar ).
- Organize the week I write in “Next” of Evernote my “Weekly Tudu”, which is a list with the Great Rocks of that week and other tasks that I want to do.
Once a day I spend between 5 and 10 minutes to plan the next day. I usually do it at the last minute at work and before going to bed for personal issues. These are the steps I follow:
- Check the physical inbox. Process each of the documents found in the tray. I delete those that no longer work, I file those that I no longer need, I write down everything that requires an action on my to-do lists.
- Check email. I manage my emails until I leave my inbox empty . I check the “Waiting” folder in case I have to remind someone or just delete that email from there. I write down in my Evernote task lists all those tasks that arise from this review.
- Check my notebook. I have a small notebook where I write down anything that comes up and I don’t have my Evernote nearby: ideas, tasks, reminders… I pass all that to my Evernote and cross it out of the notebook.
- Check the Evernote Invox. I process every note in my Evernote inbox. I write down in my pending tasks those that require an action or file those that do not require it.
- Review the planning of my day. I review the tasks I had proposed for this day. I congratulate myself for what I have achieved. I write down in my “Next” task list (Next Actions) what I have not achieved and I reflect on why I have not achieved it.
- Review my weekly planning. I check my “Weekly Tudu” list. I mark what I have done.
- Review pending tasks. I check my to-do lists. I mark what I have done.
- Organize the next day. I write in “Next” of Evernote my “Daily Tudu”, which is a list with the IMT of that day (Most Important Tasks) and other tasks that I want to do. For this I take into account the tasks that I planned for the week, the appointments or meetings that I will have that day and other urgent tasks that have been emerging. In personal matters, my “Daily Todo” has the following points:
- 3 TMI: Most important tasks of the day that I will do yes or yes.
- Intention of the day: something I’m going to focus on that day, such as being happy, not worrying, taking care of my food, being affectionate …
- One thing to give or do for someone else: it can be cooking something rich for someone, doing a favor , a surprise, saying a compliment …
- One thing I like or new to do: I like to include something new that I have never done or something that I really like to do, so that my days are not just routine. In the end, they usually arise naturally, but I like to plan at least one different one every day so that there is variety.
And this is my daily and weekly planning that works for me. They may seem like many steps, but when you take it as a habit it is done automatically it takes almost nothing.
Planning my day and my week not only allows me to be more productive but also to have the life I want to have, focusing on what really matters to me and getting closer and closer to achieving my goals and dreams.