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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Finish Your Day Before You Begin It!


The key to easing that frustration is to have a plan for your day before you begin the day. I know, I know, how can you take the time to plan your day when you already have more than enough to do – don’t add one more thing! But really what you want is for your day to produce results. To get the results you want, you must find the time to do the activities necessary to reach the goals you have set. That doesn’t just happen - that takes planning! Many people resist the idea of planning their day because it seems too structured, too much of a hassle, and who has time to plan anyway??


However, there are many benefits to planning your day. It helps you to focus on your priorities - it is not about getting everything done in a day - it is about getting the important things done in your day. Think about how differently you would feel at the end of the day if you knew that you had accomplished the four most important activities you needed to do that day. Yes, you still have plenty of things that didn’t get done – but instead of being controlled by your day – you actually controlled the day!

Planning your day enables you to make better decisions and actually increases your control over your day. A planned day reduces stress and can allow more creativity and even “create” more time in your day! Planning your day doesn’t have to take more than 15 minutes - 1% of your day. The other 99% can be used in executing your plan. Depending on your energy levels and your work, you can choose when these 15 minutes of planning occur - either first thing in the morning or last thing at night.

The key to successful planning is to plan both your work and your time. Simply ask yourself a few questions. First, think about the results - what do you expect to accomplish today? Second, think about activities - what will you have to do to get those results? (A written to-do list will increase your productivity dramatically.) Next, decide on priorities - what is most important, of second importance, etc. You now have a work plan for your day. Then you have to decide how much time you estimate it will take to do each task, and when in your schedule you can actually complete the task. Always have some room in your day unscheduled - this allows you the flexibility you need to handle those unexpected things you can’t control.


So every day you look at your values and the goals you have set to strengthen those values and you plan time in your day to work towards both your personal and professional goals. Build your to-do list from yesterday’s unfinished business and today’s tasks. Prioritize what needs to be done and when. Now, in a short amount of time, you can face your day with a plan that will help you conquer your world! (Or at least get you through it with your sanity intact!)

This article is an excerpt from Zig Ziglar’s Difference Maker Modules

A talented author and speaker, Zig Ziglar has an appeal that transcends barriers of age, culture and occupation. Since 1970, he has traveled over five million miles across the world delivering powerful life improvement messages, cultivating the energy of change.He has shared the platform with such distinguished Americans as Presidents Ford, Reagan and Bush, General Norman Schwarzkopf, Secretary of State Colin Powell, Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, Paul Harvey, Dr. Robert Schuller, plus numerous U.S. congressmen and governors. A well-known authority on complete and balanced success, Zig Ziglar has been recognized three times in the Congressional Record of the United States - for his work with youth in the drug war, and for his dedication to America and the free enterprise system.