Author Topic: Plan your day the night before  (Read 1934 times)

cats

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Plan your day the night before
« on: January 09, 2018, 11:15:45 AM »
I was ruminating in my journal on what my ideal post-FIRE day might look like and one thing that jumped out at me is that I would like some quiet time to plan my day.  Well, I'd benefit from that even in pre-FIRE life so I'd like to start building the habit now.  I find that planning in the morning is almost too late--I really function best if I make a plan the afternoon/evening before, so my mind has time to work through things and I have time to take care of any small potential roadblocks (e.g. if I plan the night before to work out in the morning, I will decide on a workout and lay out the appropriate workout clothing, making it much more likely that I will get in a workout).

I'd like to start out with a goal of 30 days spending at least 5 minutes in the afternoon or evening planning out my day.  I'm going to designate 4pm as my primary planning time slot:  On weekdays I'm at the office and rarely have meetings scheduled.  4pm is enough before my departure time that planning then should also leave me time to do physical preparation (say, get out files relevant to a project I want to work on, or set up my desk in  a certain way), or write out in more detail what is needed to achieve a particular work goal.  On weekends, my son and husband are fairly reliably out of the house and at the park playing, so again, it should be possible for me to get in a quick 5 minutes to jot down some goals/plans for the next day.

Anyone else in?

madgeylou

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Re: Plan your day the night before
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2018, 01:55:14 PM »
Yes, cats! This is 1/2 of my New Years resolution, too. One is to go to my coworking space twice a week (so I don't find myself not leaving my house for days on end) and the other is to engage with my planner every evening. So far, so good!

Poundwise

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Re: Plan your day the night before
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2018, 05:03:36 PM »
I'minI'minI'min!!!

Great challenge. When I do plan the night before,  I can get a jump start on the next day. It also stops me from making bad evening choices such as going to bed late, snacking at midnight, etc.  The question is when?  Maybe right after I finish cooking dinner, since after dinner it's nonstop cleaning, putting kids to bed, etc. and commonly I fall asleep as soon as that is done.

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: Plan your day the night before
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2018, 09:24:27 AM »
I don't do exactly this, but I'm in with some modifications!

-I plan my menu on Saturday. This includes inventorying the fridge, making a shopping list, and getting groceries.
-I plan my work week on Sunday evening. This involves reviewing my calendar, shuffling meetings/activities around as needed, coordinating carpools (kids) & emailing our nanny with all of the details of the week.
-I also keep a very basic to do list for each day of the week, and jot things down in the afternoon. I'm exhausted in the evenings, so need to get this done earlier in the day.

My week day to do lists are typically pretty short. Today's is 6 items (doesn't include work meetings). My weekend to do lists are typically 20+ items, as I can realistically accomplish more.

kaleidoscopicalkris

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Re: Plan your day the night before
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2018, 11:00:19 AM »
I'm in! I need to be better about this since I'm back in school this semester and if I don't plan time for studying, it doesn't happen. I will commit to planning around 8pm, and I will also pack my food for the next day's work and lay out the next day's clothes right after so I'm not as rushed in the morning.

cats

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Re: Plan your day the night before
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2018, 08:42:32 PM »
2 days in!  I did manage to stay more on track today than usual, so that's a win. We'll see how tomorrow goes.

cats

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Re: Plan your day the night before
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2018, 11:59:19 AM »
3 days in...I did not plan yesterday afternoon, my entire day was somewhat chaotic.  My son was home from childcare with a suspected case of pink eye and I spent entirely too much time dealing with doctor's appointments.  At 4pm I was stuck in lousy traffic *driving* to a pharmacy to pick up eye drops.  Don't get me started...

However, I did sketch out a quick plan for the day as soon as I woke up.  The result is that I've ticked several pieces of bureaucracy off my to-do list that had been lingering for over a month.  WHOOHOO!  I'm now going to reward myself with a planned interval of knitting time!

clarkai

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Re: Plan your day the night before
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2018, 12:43:13 PM »
Ptf

Bateaux

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Re: Plan your day the night before
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2018, 01:19:45 PM »
Having to plan and allocate time is my main driver for FIRE.  My future post FIRE time management plan:  100% whatever.
“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”
 ― Antoine de Saint Exupery-

Class of 2020

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: Plan your day the night before
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2018, 02:37:44 PM »
Having to plan and allocate time is my main driver for FIRE.  My future post FIRE time management plan:  100% whatever.

Fascinating! I wonder how I will adjust to this in FIRE. I love planning, so don't think I'll ever want to get away from it 100%. I love the start of a new day, and a fresh to do list. However, I am totally supportive of spreading out my list of ALL THE THINGS I into more days, reducing the number I need to accomplish on any given day. I become a sloth without a plan.

cats

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Re: Plan your day the night before
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2018, 08:14:45 PM »
Having to plan and allocate time is my main driver for FIRE.  My future post FIRE time management plan:  100% whatever.

Fascinating! I wonder how I will adjust to this in FIRE. I love planning, so don't think I'll ever want to get away from it 100%. I love the start of a new day, and a fresh to do list. However, I am totally supportive of spreading out my list of ALL THE THINGS I into more days, reducing the number I need to accomplish on any given day. I become a sloth without a plan.

Part of my impetus to be more diligent about planning was visiting my retired parents.  They have externally driven plans (doctors appointments, volunteer stuff, dinners with friends), but no real structure to their days. The result is that everything seems to take 10x longer than it should, and that they have a tremendous willingness to waste time on things like a trip to the grocery store for a single item (seems to happen 2-3x/week).  I don't want my days planned to the minute, but I don't want to wind up like that either!

cats

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Re: Plan your day the night before
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2018, 05:57:35 PM »
Couple of articles I've got bookmarked for further reading as I (hopefully) continue with my planning habit.  Haven't read them all yet, but leaving here in case anyone else might find them useful or inspirational:

An 18-minute plan for managing your day

why planning your day the night before drastically increases your productivity


Poundwise

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Re: Plan your day the night before
« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2018, 08:52:21 PM »
How are we doing on this?  I need to get more consistent about this. Going to try to replace my 11pm snack habit with a short planning session, and kill two birds with one stone.

expatartist

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Re: Plan your day the night before
« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2018, 10:17:27 PM »
Excellent idea! I'm in for 30 days, starting tonight. Will aim to do it on paper rather than on my phone as usual, to stay free of distractions.

cats

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Re: Plan your day the night before
« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2018, 09:26:35 AM »
I did well for a couple of weeks, fell off the wagon, and have been slacking on getting back on.  Would love if others are interested in re-kindling this and cheering each other on.  I have been doing well with making a little mental plan, but writing it down does help things to stick more.  Right now I'm sort of in a season at my job where my days are semi-planned for me (there is a lot of stuff on deadlines and with very specific action sequences that need to occur), which is why I think I have not been so motivated to do my own planning.  Buuuut, that season will be coming to an end soon and I would like to go into our "down" season (when my days are more open ended) with a good planning habit established.

So, planning daily from 3/13-4/12 will be my new goal!

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: Plan your day the night before
« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2018, 09:30:55 AM »
I'm back in. I tend to do 75% or so of my planning on Sundays, & then work through a daily list for each day in the morning. I get to work 30 minutes before anyone else, and use that as my planning time.

haypug16

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Re: Plan your day the night before
« Reply #16 on: March 20, 2018, 01:52:33 PM »
I'm in! I have been on and off with planning this year and this has caused most of my New Year's resolutions to be on and off. Maybe I'll just use this thread to do my planning in order to stay accountable? I'll keep it as a spoiler though.

To do - 3/21/18
Spoiler: show
At Work
1. Spend 1 hour working on employee folders
2. Spend 1 hour sorting through emails and organizing them into folders
3. Spend 1 hour working on Excel course
4. Read 2nd Chapter in HR Book
5. Review my goals for the year to make sure I am on track to complete
At Home
1. Spend 30 mins cleaning/organizing
2. Read "Devil in the White City"
3. Fold Laundry
4. Crochet Afghan while catching up with TV shows
5. Meditate/Stretch
6. Strength Train as part of m 1/2 marathon training
7. Practice French for 10-15 mins
8. Practice the Flute for 10-15 mins

firelight

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Re: Plan your day the night before
« Reply #17 on: March 20, 2018, 11:04:03 PM »
Oh! How did I miss this?? Need it even though we are traveling. I end up not doing basic stuff just because we are traveling. My to-do list will be short (er) but I need to get through it every day. Joining!

haypug16

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Re: Plan your day the night before
« Reply #18 on: March 21, 2018, 02:50:50 PM »
So I managed to complete all 5 of my Work to dos. I'm not home yet so I'll have to write down the list from yesterday so I have it when I get home. For planning tomorrow I guess I'll just have to assume I completed all the Home To dos.

To do - 3/22/18
Spoiler: show
At Work
1. Spend 1 hr working on Employee Folders
2. Spend 1 hr sorting through emails and organizing them
3. Work on Sales Tax list
4. Book all AP invoices and start on Credit Card statement
5. Reprint AR Aging and work on Collection calls
At Home
1. Spend 30 mins cleaning/organizing
2. Read "Devil in the White City"
3. Meditate/Stretch
4. Run 2.5 miles
5. Practice French for 10-15 mins
6. Practice the Flute for 10-15 mins



cats

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Re: Plan your day the night before
« Reply #19 on: March 22, 2018, 08:55:42 AM »
I seem to be managing roughly every other day on this still, which is definitely better than nothing.  I've managed to knock off a few irregular tasks that were lingering this week (which is where planning really helps me, because otherwise I really shove them off into infinity).

haypug16

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Re: Plan your day the night before
« Reply #20 on: March 22, 2018, 02:56:08 PM »
Pretty much got nothing done on my Work to do this today and about half of my at home list from yesterday, but since this challenge is about planning your day and not necessarily checking everything off the list then I'm 2 for 2 so far. :)

To Do 3/23:
Spoiler: show
At Work
1. Spend 1 hr working on Employee Folders
2. Spend 1 hr sorting through emails and organizing them
3. Work on Sales Tax list
4. Book all AP invoices and start on Credit Card statement
5. Reprint AR Aging and work on Collection calls
At Home
1. Read "Devil in the White City"
2. Meditate/Stretch
3. Practice French for 10-15 mins
4. Practice the Flute for 10-15 mins

Poundwise

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Re: Plan your day the night before
« Reply #21 on: March 22, 2018, 07:33:23 PM »
Done for today.  Moreover, I have added "plan next day" at the bottom of tomorrow's list!

haypug16

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Re: Plan your day the night before
« Reply #22 on: March 27, 2018, 12:15:34 PM »
Fell off the wagon a bit. I was away this past weekend with set plans so didn't see the point in planning my days them but I'm back.

To do 3/28
Spoiler: show
At Work
1. Process payroll :)
2. Work on Excel Course
3. Sort through emails
4. Read HR book (1 chapter)
At Home
1. Do laundry
2. Practice French
3. Practice Flute
4. Clean/Organize for 30 mins