Most people start their day with no plan and drift into the office like rudderless ships. Great leaders and managers plan for tomorrow today, which lets them be proactive and in control instead of reactive.
This discipline is exactly what it sounds like: You sit down at the end of each day and plan the following day. There are three parts to this:
- Time-block all of your projects, problems to solve, Rocks to complete, meetings to prepare for, and actual meetings.
- Schedule time to make and return your phone calls.
- Go through your to-dos and put the highest priorities on tomorrow’s list.
I also highly recommend that, when you plan for tomorrow today, you plan around three or four slots of 15 to 30 minutes for interruptions. This lets you do things such as return calls, check email, and deal with surprises – all of those unplanned time drains that can blow up your whole day.
When you plan for tomorrow today, you take back control of your life. In fact, there’s something really powerful about planning for tomorrow today. You’re going to sleep better because you’re not stressed about tomorrow. Your subconscious is going to start working so you’ll often wake up to answers and with clarity. And you’re going to take control of your day rather than just reacting to what comes.
So, tonight, just sit down and do it.