Daily planning puts form and structure into the day and helps the drive towards success. When and how you plan is different for each of us but I believe there is some real value in a two stage approach.
Many coaches will recommend taking time at the end of the day to plan for tomorrow. You are in the moment of today’s activity, know where you are headed and of course, few of us can do meaningful analytical thinking early in the morning.
I agree with the principle, but there are some refinements that can still be addressed early in a day to get the best results, and these can be a multiplier for the plans you closed the book on last night.
1 – how do you feel?
For all the best intentions written into your plan, some days have a different feel when you set out – are you focused or not? Are you feeling inspired or creative, or are you better off following a process today? Recognising these conditions and adjusting your plan (without having to start with a clean sheet) will help you get the best out of yourself, whatever state you find yourself in.
2 – has anything happened?
Stuff comes in from left field as you set out on the day – the news feed or an early conversation sparks a thought, or worse an urgent need that wasn’t known the night before. An incident on your commute may change your frame of mind. Flexibility is key in the early planning session
3 – check the priorities
Once in a stable place and taking your view of the plan, today’s actions, events and goals can be stood up and compared to revisit the priorities. This is the key feature of the morning review session. It is where the plan flexes to focus on the greatest effect possible from your available effort, energy, inclination and ability.
The first thirty minutes of a working day is a precious resource to take your best laid plans and turn them into real value. Now armed with something that works in the moment, let’s go and do something that makes a difference.