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Do you plan what you'll be doing the next day every day?

If so, how does this plan look like and has it helped you? What's the usual structure for it (is it task oriented or time oriented?)

I find that if I plan the next day the night before, I usually get more things done and feel more confidant / clear during the day.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

I have a fairly balanced methodology:

  • Write down - a list of all the tasks I have in my to-do list
  • Prioritise - by deadline, importance, etc
  • Delegate - where relevant and possible
  • Estimate time - based on experience of similar tasks
  • Postpone - if necessary, but postponement should raise priority so things don't get postponed forever
  • Breaks - build in down time, drinks, meals and exercise, especially if the tasks are complex
  • Start working, and review the plan if it looks like you are taking too long
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I plan the first thing that I want to get done and a few other things. It's not carved in stone. But it helps me get started without wondering what I should do. It also helps me feel like I accomplished something.

I'd say that it is a mix of time and task oriented. The time is for the morning or things that are on a fixed time basis. But the tasks are the more important part.

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Using Pomodoro Technique I developed a particular way of planning my day: I choose the tasks I want to perform, my plan is written on a diary and consists of a list of tasks described with few word as possible, each one followed by the supposed time to complete it. It is totally task oriented as the task order can change based on perceived priority. A thing that helps me a lot is a short description of the steps I'm going to take to accomplish the task. This allows me to understand what I need to do and helps me a lot in not forgetting what I otherwise would easily forget.

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Here's an article I wrote on this topic that shows that people use one of four techniques and must migrate their techniques as time demands increase.

Learning to Optimize Each Day's Plan from the Controversy Between Listers and Schedulers [ Research]

Also, here's a diagram from the article.

enter image description here

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I just answered a very related question and the answer may be interesting in this context as well:

How to deal with dreaded tasks?

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I generally plan my week by using my list of tasks & a rough time estimate per task (30 minutes to a few hours). I turn those tasks into "meetings" or allocated blocks of time in my calendar. It helps me have a more realistic sense of how long it will take to get something done.

Helps to avoid procrastination too but isn't perfect.

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A good idea is that-

  • Self analyze today's work before going to sleep.
  • Then plan for the next day.

It'll make the next day plan more sharp.

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