June 13, 2022
Do you ever look at your day and wonder how you will possibly finish all the things you need to get done? Sometimes it seems like there just aren’t enough hours in the day.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to magically get more time, but planning your day can help you be more organized and productive with the time you do have. The Lord has promised, “If ye are prepared ye shall not fear.”1 Taking time to plan helps you prepare for the tasks you need to accomplish and use your time as wisely as possible. Here are four tips to help you plan more effectively so you can make the most out of your day.
1. Write it down
Some people like to make mental notes or plan in their head. However, writing down your plan for the day is much more effective. You are less likely to forget anything, and writing down what you want to accomplish will help you organize and prioritize your time and tasks.
There are many ways to make a written plan. You can use a planner, a calendar, sticky notes, an app on your phone, or anything else that works for you. Just remember to keep your list handy so you can refer to it throughout the day!
2. Do the hardest thing first
People often procrastinate the tasks they dread most. This increases stress and can leave you feeling discouraged at the end of the day, especially if you aren’t able to accomplish it.
Doing your hardest task first each day requires discipline, but it can help you feel more optimistic and put you in a more productive mindset. James Clear, author of Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones, said, “[Doing hard tasks first] allows you to move toward happiness even when there are annoying or painful things you have to get done. All the more reason to stop procrastinating, get the bad experiences out of the way early, and take on the hard stuff now.”2
Once you’ve done the hard things, you will feel capable and empowered, your easier tasks will feel much more manageable, and you can enjoy the rest of your day!
With many important demands on your time, it can be difficult to know where to start.
Imagine you have some rocks, which represent the most important things you need to do; some small pebbles, which represent tasks that are important but not essential; and some sand, which represents any other small things that occupy your time throughout the day. You need to fit the sand, pebbles, and rocks into one jar, which represents your time.
If you start with the sand, then add the pebbles, then add the rocks, the jar won’t have enough room. However, if you begin with the rocks, then add the pebbles, then pour the sand into the remaining space, they will all fit.3
Try to identify what the rocks, pebbles, and sand are in your life. If you plan according to your priorities, you can fit everything in. This will also help you feel more satisfied and productive.
4. Involve the Lord
Heavenly Father loves you and wants to help you accomplish many good things while not getting burned out.
Consider saying a prayer before you begin planning for the day to invite the Spirit. The Lord will inspire your thoughts and help you know what you should prioritize. You can ask Him to consecrate your time and efforts, and He will help you. If you’re ever feeling overwhelmed, take a deep breath and focus on one task at a time. You’ve got this!
What are some planning tips that have helped you? Share them below!