For a more productive day. Some of this is a repeat, but I think it’s worth saying it a bit differently so it can sink in.
When you first settle down to work, decide what your top priorities are for the day and decide when you’re going to do them. Make a to-do list in order or list them on your calendar.
What you want to do in the moment is often different from what you’d hoped to accomplish that day. Stopping every hour to think about what you’re doing will help keep you on track.
Before dinner, assess your day. What went right? What do you wish you’d accomplished and didn’t, and why not? What can you do tomorrow to make it a better day than today was?
Fine tune: Only decide what you want to do each morning in order to be happy about it when you look back. After lunch, decide what you want to do in the afternoon so it will be a great one. Same after dinner. What will make it a memorable or productive evening?
Example: If you’re a writer or work at home, decide how much you’re going to write (words or timeframe) in the morning. Maybe morning is also the time you exercise. Get those two things done before lunch, and you have a great start. Afternoon—is this the time you’ll do housework, catch on email and phone calls? List what chores and emails you want to work on. After dinner, decide whether you’re going to do a few more work-related things or chores, or if you’re going to watch a movie you’ve been putting off, or a TV show, or dip into that book you got from the library. Try to leave at least the last two or three hours before you go to bed for relaxation, doing something you love to do so you end the day in a great frame of mind and relaxed.