An 18-Minute Plan for Managing Your Day

We can manage our day in three steps that take less than 18 minutes over an eight-hour workday -

STEP 1 (5 Minutes) Set Plan for Day: Before turning on your computer, sit down with a blank piece of paper and decide what will make this day highly successful. What can you realistically accomplish that will further your goals and allow you to leave at the end of the day feeling like you've been productive and successful? Write those things down.

Now, most importantly, take your calendar and schedule those things into time slots, placing the hardest and most important items at the beginning of the day. And by the beginning of the day I mean, if possible, before even checking your email. If your entire list does not fit into your calendar, reprioritize your list. There is tremendous power in deciding when and where you are going to do something.If you want to get something done, decide when and where you're going to do it. Otherwise, take it off your list.

STEP 2 (1 minute every hour) Refocus: Set your watch, phone, or computer to ring every hour. When it rings, take a deep breath, look at your list and ask yourself if you spent your last hour productively. Then look at your calendar and deliberately recommit to how you are going to use the next hour. Manage your day hour by hour. Don't let the hours manage you.

STEP 3 (5 minutes) Review: Shut off your computer and review your day. What worked? Where did you focus? Where did you get distracted? What did you learn that will help you be more productive tomorrow?

If you choose your focus deliberately and wisely and consistently remind yourself of that focus, you will stay focused. It's simple ... Have a great working day.

ref:

PETER BREGMAN's Blog -

http://blogs.harvardbusiness.org/bregman/2009/07/an-18minute-plan-for-managing.html