When is the Best Time to Plan Your Day?
When is the best time to plan your day? Well, everyone is different. Let's take a quick look at some of the different possible times:
1) Early morning before you go to work.
2) Lunch time
4) End of the work day
5) At night just before you go to bed
I have prepared my daily plans during each of these times. Here has been my experience with each:
I have found the morning to be one of the least effective times to create my plan. Here's why:
1) When I get up in the morning, I want to get my day off to a quick start. If I take the time to plan in the morning, it seems to disrupt my momentum. I would rather review the plans I prepared the previous day instead. It's quick and keeps me focused on what I have chosen to do.
2) If I plan in the morning, I haven't been able to take full advantage of the sleeping hours when my subconscious mind is working on what I need to do the following day.
3) As part of my plan, I like to review the progress I made in the previous 24 hours. I find this is easier to do in the day the activity took place.
This is my favorite time to plan. I find when I plan at lunch:
1) I already have a number of important tasks I can list as accomplishments.
2) It keeps me on track through the entire day. If I find that I have strayed from my original plans, I have a significant part of the day still remaining so I can take corrective action.
3) It frees up my evening for other things (e.g., family, friends, exercise, reading, relaxing, etc.)
4) My plan is ready to review before I go to bed so that my subconscious mind can start working on what I want to achieve the following day.
I also find that if I use my lunch time to plan, I'm much more consistent in preparing my plan every day. When I choose one of the other times, I find it's much easier to find reasons to skip preparing my plan.
This is my second best choice for many of the same reasons listed for the "Lunch Time" block. I don't like it as much because it can eat into my productive time. But by doing my plan shortly after lunch, at least I still have some time to take corrective action if I need to.
End of the Work Day or Dinner time
By this time, the day is pretty well gone--unless I want to work towards my goals in the evening. I'd rather spend this time with my family and friends or just relax.
This is my second least favorite time. For one thing, I put out a lot of energy during the day. By the time I'm ready for bed, I'm ready for bed. I'd rather use this time for quickly reviewing my plan for the next day and just get to sleep so that I will have all the energy I need for the following day.
In order of preference, here are the times again:
1) Lunch time
3) End of the work day or dinner time
4) Just before bedtime
5) Early morning before work
Of course, the most important thing is to actually plan out your day regardless of when you choose to do it. Experiment with different times and pick out the one that's best for you.
If you are interested in learning about the planning system that I have developed for myself (what I call my RAP--Results-focused, Action Plan), you can ready about it at http://www.poweraffirmations.com/RAP.htm. It's a simple system you can use with any planner of your choice (or even just a notebook). You don't have to attend a seminar to learn how to use it. There's no audio program or thick book to study. The information is laid out on the page above. The information is free.
This is the one system I have used that allows me to stay focused on my desired results, measure my progress daily, and is quick. Once you get the hang of it, you should be able to complete your RAP in 15-30 minutes.
Copyright (c) 2005 Bill Marshall - All rights reserved. Feel free to republish this article provided you include the copyright information and the weblinks where possible.
For practical self-improvement tips, visit http://www.poweraffirmations.com. Get my new free e-book, "Power Affirmations: Power Positive Conditioning for Your Subconscious Mind"
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