The importance of daily planning (and how it helps managing your time)

I’ll start this article by being brutally honest – I’m not good with planning, time, resources, never been known to keep accurate records of my activities…actually, if we’re being really honest, I was terrible at planning – I have ADHD, my attention spam is fleeting and my memory is not much better than Dory’s, so you can pretty much draw the picture of how things work in my mind when I’m figuring out what it is I have to do.

Well, at least that’s how I was. The memory and attention things are still not much better (we’re talking about solutions here, not miracles) but when I went to my boss – you may also know him as Alessio, Pipefy’s CEO – to talk about my poor planning skills and my inability to focus on the tasks ahead, he asked me fair and square if I used any daily planning schemes, such as a simple to-do list.

He was pretty surprised to hear I didn’t – I’m a list person, after all, I write things for a living so putting them in words does help me quantify the effort so why on earth didn’t I think of a simple thing like that? How could something as elementary as a to-do list change my daily planning so drastically that I’d want to come here and tell you all about it?

Why is daily planning so important?

Introducing daily planning into your routine is an easy – but essential – step to create balance in your life: it allows you to clearly separate the time you spend working and the time you have for everything else (this is essentially important if you work from home, these lines tend to get a little blurry).

Here are a few reasons why you should consider introducing some planning into your life sooner rather than later:

  • It can make your life a lot less stressful: Knowing what to expect from the day ahead of you (and having an action plan to go through it all) considerably reduces the amount of stress for the next day;
  • It allows you to evaluate yourself: Having plans allow you to analyse whether you’re sticking to them, evaluating your own ability to stay – or not – on schedule;
  • It helps you be prepared: You can’t predict the obstacles that may occur, but part of your planning routine can be having a contingency plan for emergency or unexpected situations – it’ll help avoid panicking.

How should you go about your daily planning?

That depends! Each person works differently so, your daily planning will be as unique as yourself. Some experts advise you should plan your whole day the previous afternoon – that doesn’t work for me, I create my cards on my “daily planning” pipe first thing in the morning, because that’s the first thing I like crossing of my list.

Talking about crossing things of your list, that’s another thing that comes with daily planning (especially if you, like me, do it using Pipefy): the sense of accomplishment of moving card after card into the “done” phase – I have to tell you, I’m all for small victories and each card I get done is a small victory in itself.

The one thing that doesn’t change is: you have to start your planning by clearly defining your goals – from then, you’ll go on to the necessary tasks to accomplish the goals you’ll defined. If you’re only planning the day ahead, those will be smaller tasks but, if you’re planning your entire week, you can broaden your horizons.

It’s very important that each task has a priority level, an estimated time to be completed and, if possible, a due date – that’ll allow you to better organize them all throughout your days.

If you decide to trace a weekly planning, it’s important to take a few minutes every day to evaluate your progress and analyze the tasks you have to do for the day – if your planning is on track, if you’ll need to re-prioritize tasks, change due dates, etc.


 

Plan your day with Pipefy!

Planning can be fun, specially if you have the right tools to help you in this endeavour! Pipefy’s Task Management Template offers you the optimal structure to manage yours and your team’s tasks better, clearly showing you what everyone has to do, what are the priorities, what’s on time and what’s late.

Free Task Management Template!

Written by Isabelle Salemme, Product content manager at Pipefy. She uses her extensive Pipefy knowledge to write informative pieces teaching users to make the best of Pipefy. Besides being responsible for all product-related content, she's an avid reader, a coffee lover and a professional photographer.