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Where did this day go? Why is my to-do list longer?? I’ve been meaning to finish this project for days! Why can I not get anything accomplished today? 

If any of this sounds familiar, you’re definitely not alone! I’ve spend so many days frustrated at my failed attempts at checking items off my to-do list. With a multitude of distractions, unforeseen tasks and a clock that never stops ticking, it’s so easy to feel like a day has gone wasted.

The way I combat the clock and take control of my day is by having a planning session every morning. With a hot cup of coffee in hand, my mega to-do list open and a pen and paper, I set out to create an effective and realistic game plan for my day.

For me, the key is always realistic. I find that when I plan my day as if I’m a superhero with four arms and seven brains, I end up always feeling disappointed. Even though I realize the schedule I set out to accomplish was impossible to begin with, a part of me still feels like I’ve failed myself.

Here are a few other tactics I use to maximize my days and plan like a pro:

1. Setting a schedule  I write each to-do for the day in an estimated time block so that I can see if there’s enough time for everything. I also schedule errands and appointments with ample time to get ready, drive there, and park.

2. My 1st & last task  I start my day with the most important and creatively depleting project because I have the most energy first thing in the morning. I end my day with the least important task or project just in case I don’t have time to get to it.

3. Creating breathers  Rather than blocking off 1 hour intervals, I schedule 50 minute hours so I can use those extra 10 minutes to stretch my legs, grab some water, or use as bonus minutes for wrapping up the project.

4. Timing it  I set a timer for my 50 minute intervals so that I am keeping track of time and am having a friendly competition with the clock. It keeps me realistic and on track with my schedule.

Bneato Bar TimeAbout this blog: Time. We don’t want it to be your ultimate enemy. That’s why each Monday we write about ways to save it. It’s no fountain of youth, but we think we’re getting close.

Image via The Everygirl

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