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What’s Next? Planning The Next Day

I think it’s a mistake to stop working without a clue as to what comes next.
Julian Fellowes – Dowton Abbey writer

How do you end your workday? Quite often, business owners search for the perfect way to begin the day. Advanced calendar systems that work across platforms tell us exactly where we should be and when. Time management and project planning applications break down tasks and to-do’s to the most basic seconds, let alone minutes. Work planning happens.

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Add ritual to your day.

Harvard Business Review published an article by Peter Bregman, which is now a book, that breaks down the day-planning process to 18 minutes: An 18-Minute Plan for Managing Your Day. Bregman provides a structure that executives can use to build their own ritual designed to keep people on task and on target.

Included in the 18-minute plan is time to set your plan at the beginning of the day, time to review for a few minutes and a few minutes to refocus.  If you’re a busy business owner or executive, finding those 18 minutes may seem impossible at first but adding the short checklist could be the difference in scheduling the right meeting or making the most productive call.

However, the 5 minutes set aside at the end of the day don’t add time for setting up the next course of action. It asks for a review and an assessment of the day’s activity, but it doesn’t specifically require professionals to prepare for the next start.

The Julian Fowles quote above refers to his take on the creative process. Again, like the HBR article, there is a focus on ritual and planning in the short post “4 Rules for Getting Creative” on Oprah.com.  Fowles adds a substantial piece that ties the planning together – the first line of the next act.

Deciding how the next day begins could help your complete your workday just like a great script. Without the preset start, the beginning of the day could feel unsettling. Waking up confused and aimless could cost you hours of productivity or derail a project if you forget critical setup tasks. Knowing how to start doesn’t stunt innovation or creativity. It simply provides context and a definite beginning. That way, you don’t have to ask, “what am I going to do today?”

So tonight, before you move into your family/beauty/rest ritual, decide what comes next.

 

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This entry was posted on 10/03/2013 by in All About the Business, Cup of Coffee.
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