Productivity Strategy: Plan Your Day the Night Before

checklist-154274_150Most entrepreneurs are like chickens with their heads cut off in the mornings.  They arrive at the office without a clear plan and get bounced in every which direction as things pop up.  This isn’t the way to go – it will overwhelm you, put you on the defensive, and ultimately kill your productivity for the day.

Get a headstart on your day the night before – by writing out a list of the important tasks that you need to accomplish the following day:

– Start by doing a brain dump and writing all tasks that come into your mind.

– Then, prioritize the tasks using a system to show their importance (some use a system of A, B, C, D etc, while others rank them by number.  Use whichever you feel most comfortable using).

– Now, have a good look at this list and ask yourself; “Do I really have to do this?”.  Some things aren’t necessary or can be delegated to someone on your team to free you up for the truly important ones.  Be merciless with this step … eliminate anything that can be taken off your plate (you’d be surprised at how many things you shouldn’t be doing).

NOTE:  You will probably feel some guilt with this step at the beginning.  If you’re anything like the entrepreneurs that I talk with, you’ve become accustomed to trying to do as many things in your business as possible, and you’re hesitant to give up that control.  I get it – I was like that at one time too – but I promise that everything will be ok.  Your business will improve by lessening your grip on it and learning to delegate more tasks or even eliminate them completely!

I was recently helping an entrepreneur increase the amount of time that he could get away from his office. He was overworked and completely stressed out, but was adamant when he told me that there was no way he could improve on the situation.  When I recommended that he could easily free up a few hours in each day with a simple change, he thought I was nuts.  But after using this strategy for just one week he was hooked!

The beauty of this method is you can get a good night’s sleep knowing that you’re in control.  You can hit the ground running the next day, not wasting valuable time or mental energy worrying about what has to be done.  You can start your day calm, cool and collected … and as you check off every task that you complete, you’re building confidence and momentum that will fuel your productivity that day.

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