Over the last few weeks, I’ve shown you how I plan my months and weeks. Today, I’m going over the final piece of the process: how I plan my days. This final step is where I make my daily to-lists. Each task on my list relates back to the monthly goals I started with, so I know I’m putting my energy where it needs to go each day. If I finish my to-do list each day, I’m guaranteed to accomplish my goals.
All this planning and to-do list making happens on the top half of my daily planner page. The bottom half is where I track additional information to make my days go more pleasantly. That bottom half is another super important part of how I plan my days. So important that it deserves its own blog post, which you should look out for next week. Today though, we’re just talking to-do lists.
My daily to-do list
As you saw when I put together my weekly page, I like to plan my full week ahead of time. Of course, things might change along the way, so it’s important to remain flexible with your plans. But I like starting my week with a full template for what I need to do each day.
Since I already did most of the work figuring out what I’m doing each day while creating my weekly plan, I can easily plug all that into my daily to-do list. The only remaining piece is to add in my daily habits from my monthly goals page, and then I have a complete to-do list ready for each day of the week.
Other things done
I also have a section called “Other things done” on my daily pages. I use this section to capture anything that wasn’t on my to-do list, but that I ended up doing anyway. There are two reasons why I use this section.
One is that it helps me remember everything I did that day and appreciate all that I accomplished. Before I started using this section, I’d sometimes get through a day and feel like I hadn’t done all that much. If I did a task that wasn’t on my original to-do list, I would gloss over that extra effort. Now that I keep track of every single task I do, I instantly feel more satisfied at the end of the day.
The other reason I like using this section is that it shows how I’m spending my time. Sometimes I get distracted from the items on my to-do list because something more important comes up. Or I finish my to-do list and feel inspired to do a few more tasks. Keeping track of when this happens gives me important data for future planning. I can use it to make more effective to-do lists and plan my time according to how I’m actually likely to spend it.
Next week, look out for my post about how I use the second half of my daily planning page and why those sections are just as important as my to-do lists.
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