How To Plan Your Day For Optimal Productivity

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“Plans are nothing; planning is everything”~ Dwight D. Eisenhower, former U.S. President

How well can you plan? How often do you take out time to plan your day? Do you know the importance of planning? Planning is the key to most of the successes we celebrate in the world, today. Knowing how to plan your day is an essential skill of life and really, that is what this article aims to achieve.

Growing up, I heard the line “proper planning prevents poor performance” more than anything else. Almost every morning, my mother would repeat that line to remind us that planning is key to the attainment of success.

A plan is an intention or decision on what one is going to do. A productive day is largely a function of the level of planning invested prior to that day. No successful event or activity happens without a proper level of planning and so planning is very key.

If you are looking to master how best you can plan your day for optimal productivity, then this article is for you. There are so many articles on the internet that talks about how to plan your day to be productive but more often than not, none of them give clear-cut information on how best you can go about this realistically.


For proper planning, one important issue that must be discussed is the issue of time management. While the problem for some is the inability to make proper plans for the day, the problem for others is the inability to stick to time in executing the tasks.

Personally, for years I struggled with time management. I had a note where I wrote my plans for the day, but struggled to pull through with them because I was not disciplined enough to structure my time for effectiveness.

This is the reality of many people. They have good planning skills but are poor in executing the plans. Life has taught me that knowing how to plan, and having the discipline to execute your plans are two different things. If you are reading this, then I would advise that you close pay attention to the points that will be noted in the next few paragraphs.

You could also purchase my self-development workbooks and planners as there are exercises that can help you properly combat this problem.

Are you bothered about how to plan your day at work? Or how to plan your day effectively? Or how best you can plan your day for optimal success? Or perhaps you are a student looking for how to plan your day? Then, trust me you are reading the right article.

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Grab a bar of chocolate/get a cup of coffee and enjoy the ride as we look into how best you can plan your day to ensure optimal productivity.


1. Know Your Reason

 how to plan your day effectively

Why do you want to plan your day? Knowing the reason your day should be planned can help make the planning, and execution easier.

Unless you want to be dishonest, you would admit that most of our tasks are not fun, and if we had the choice not to do them, we would gladly jump at it.

However, most times we end up doing them due to pure grit and determination. This can be tiring, and at a point, the energy can die down.

However, when you know the reason you want to know do what you intend doing, making the plans and executing them becomes easier, because unlike in the alternate situation, you would be doing you tasks with motivation from deep within.


2. Priorities Matter

Know what your priorities are. Know the things that deserve your time. From experience, I know that if you fail to set your priorities right, life itself will help you do that and that is usually a terrible thing. Without your priorities being set right, you’d realise that you are doing a lot, but a lot is not being done.

You might end up expending your energy and strength on things that do not matter. If you head a team or manage a community, you want to ensure that the priorities for the day are set right to avoid confusion as to the right goals to achieve.

The strength of your leadership is hugely linked to how well you set your priorities. So, master the skill of setting priorities.


3. Time Yourself; Be Realistic

Perhaps you have a problem knowing how to plan your day and stick to it, then you need to understand the importance of time management. I was quite poor at time management and even when I realised that I needed a schedule for my life, I was scared to start creating one because of my poor time management skills.

Again, this still boils down to be disciplined. It is important to have good time management skills. How long do you project that it would take you to finish the task you have in mind? If you have an estimate of that, you should work hard to ensure that you stick to the time range.

Remember, productivity can only be achieved when proper planning meets with proper execution. And time management is a part of the execution process. Also, while estimating how long your tasks will take, ensure that you are realistic.

You do not need to sugarcoat or hide under anything. Ensure you go state how long you think the execution of the task would REALLY take. Being realistic saves you from being disappointed.


4. Work Smarter, Not Harder

This is one of the most important tips to be noted when talking about how to plan your day. There is a huge difference between working hard and working smart.

Typing a single page over and again is working hard, typing that same page once photocopying it as many times as you want is working smart. Know your prime time. What time of the day are you most productive? Know exactly when you give the best results and put in more effort at such a period.

Most time, we are more concerned about getting the task done, and we do not think about how we can do that most effectively. Working hard would mean that you are always focused on the former, but working smart would mean that you are focused on the latter. So, you need to make your choice, and enhance productivity.


5. Create A Productive Morning Routine

If you are an avid reader of my blog, you would know that I am a lover of morning routines. I have written tens of articles on the need for morning routines and how they can help you produce better results.

It is therefore important that for you to have healthy morning routines, because healthy morning routines help you stay mentally fit for the rest of the day.

And what’s a better way to start your morning than with the right frame of mind? Your morning is vital to the rest of your day, and a poor morning routine can ruin your day while posing a threat to your aim of being productive for the rest of that day.


6. Be Careful Of Multi-Tasking

Face one thing at a time. Switching tasks too many times can cost you your productivity. There is a false belief that multi-tasking helps to boost your productivity. I mean, while multi-tasking you seem to be getting a lot done, right? Well, wrong.

Multi-tasking steals from you and is a great enemy of true productivity. When you are making your plans, have it in mind that your scheduling will only be done with one task at a time being in focus.

Not only does this help you become more productive, but it also helps you give quality results. You definitely cannot compare an activity that was given shared attention to one that was given complete attention.


7. Group Your Tasks

This is a technique used for grouping tasks that have a unifying factor. For instance, as a writer, I know quite well that writing letters are quite different from writing proposals.

It is therefore important that when planning my writing for the day, I group the different categories to enhance maximum productivity. Another example can be drawn from running errands. It is wiser to run all errands in a particular geographical location at the same time.

This would make doing all the tasks with similarities easier. So, when planning your tasks for the days, it is advised that you batch them according to certain unifying factors for ease of execution. I have tried this method many times and it has increased my productivity immensely.


8. Take Breaks

One mistake that many people make when scheduling or planning for the day is leaving out time for breaks. You are not a robot. At some point, you might get fatigued and it will be highly unhealthy to continue working when you are fatigued.

When things get tiring, ensure that you take breaks. You could take a walk, and feel the beauty of nature. From experience, I know that it is quite a refreshing act. And if that does not appeal to you, you could do something else.

Whatever it is that you are doing, ensure that you are not only distracting yourself from the job or task of the day, but you are also having fun while at it.


9. Focus On The Three Big Tasks For The Day

Although this is more of a personal philosophy than it is a general one, I’d advise anyone reading this to adopt it. When you list out your tasks for the day, as stated early, you should prioritise them.

Which one should come first? Which should be prioritised over the other? Do you think some tasks could be pushed to the next day? After thorough meditation, pick out 3 major tasks for the day and pursue them aggressively.

Do not allow for distractions. Go after the goals passionately, and ensure that the big three are accomplished. What you will find out is that after completing these three, you get energised to go after the other goals, even if it’s the next day.


10. Plan For The Unexpected

Make plans for the unexpected. Of course, you may not be able to accurately predict the future, but you can be sure that at some point something unexpected will happen. It is only wise that you have that in mind when you make your plans for the day.

So, there you have it! 10 amazing tips for planning your day to ensure that you get the best results. Remember that planning is nothing if you do not have the discipline to stick to them and follow them through.

Life has a way of bringing distractions to you and if you do not have the discipline to fight them and stick to your plans, then you would face a lot of problems in achieving your goals.

For more insightful articles on how to plan your day, you can go to the catalog of articles on the website and get as much info as you can.



Hey there! If have read this article up to this point, then I am sure you must have learned a thing or two.

How good are you at planning? How well do you plan before you commence your day? Do you have any more tips to add to the points that have already been made? Feel free to let me know in the commence section, I’d be more than pleased to have a conversation with you on this.

Additionally, do not forget that you can still grab The Afam Uche Self-development Journal (Here: The Life Compass Workbook) and Planner (Here: Goal Chaser) now! Yes, you can get your copy of the journal or planner on the blog.

We have carefully created these workbooks and journals to help our beautiful readers on the journey to achieving their goals of being a better person. Feel free to ask questions about them in the comment section also, I will be reading and ready to reply.

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Author: Afam Uche

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