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24 Feb 2015

Finish today by planning tomorrow

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At the end of every day make it a habit to plan tomorrow. Most people don’t plan their time at all and many of those that do, start the day by writing their “to-do” list. It’s actually much better to do it at the end of the day when it’s all still fresh in your mind, so it takes less time to think of what has to be done tomorrow. Ideally keep a list during the day so that tomorrow’s list is mostly done anyway. Do you ever find it hard to ‘switch off’ from thinking about work when you get home in the evenings? It’s very common. We worry about things and think “must remember, must remember” and it turns into a worry! By reserving fifteen minutes at the end of the day to plan tomorrow, you get it all written and off your conscious mind. Those things that otherwise become a nagging worry that you daren’t forget about suddenly become OK - it’s already written down.

Another thing that happens is that your subconscious mind automatically gets to work on the tasks you’ve written down for tomorrow. This may sound a little odd if you’re new to the study of the subconscious! But just give it a go. When you start work the next day, everything just feels a bit easier and ideas spring to mind more readily. There’s a certain motivational feeling that’s created by sitting down at your desk and already knowing what you need to do for the day. Sure, the plan may need to change during the day, we all know that ‘shift happens’ and we need to accommodate. But at least you’re just dealing with changes, the plan as a whole is there. If you manage a team of people, make it standard practice that no one leaves without first writing their plan for tomorrow. Have them leave it on top of the desk so that you, and everyone else, can see that everyone is organised. Don’t believe this is possible? I know offices where it happens, and it works. The staff there consider it entirely normal and don’t have to be forced - they know the advantages and like the culture it creates. Go and create a great culture in your company today.

Alan Smith is a certified Business Coach with ActionCOACH. Feel free to get in touch on 07972 310 997.