Hey, it’s Michael Zipursky from ConsultingSuccess.com. Hope you’re having a wonderful day. And today, I want to share with you one step that I’ve taken to significant increase my productivity, one step that’s allowed me to build multiple businesses, generate millions of dollars, write several books, hundreds of articles, work with clients all around the world, and still enjoy a lot of freedom, a lot of time to travel, a lot of time with my family, with my wife, my daughter, and just other loved ones around us.
Anything that’s lower value, I’m going to be delegating that to somebody else. But the high value stuff or the things that’s critical that I work on, that’s what’s going on my list. If you’re not planning for your day the night before, I would highly recommend that you do so.
That secret to productivity, rather than calling it a secret, because I think that word is kind of overplayed right now and has been for quite some time. But one step that I take to really become much more productive is planning for the next day the night before. Now, there’s variations of this. I also plan for the next week. During the current week, I’ll plan for next week for example this week. But one step that really helps me to just get a lot done is planning for the next day the night before.
Simply what I’ll do is I’ll get a notebook like this. And I will just think through what are the priorities. What do I need to get done? Typically starting with the most important, the activities or actions that will create the most value or have the biggest impact. Even if they’re the most difficult, you want to get those done and out of the way first, because once they’re out of the way, you’ve already made the most progress even if they’re hard. Start your day with them, get them done, and then move on to other stuff. But I’ll list that out. I’ll actually list out what do I need to do?
I’ll plan this the night before. Because if you wait until you get to the office or whether it’s a home office or an outside office, if you wait until that day to do your planning, you’ve lost a lot of opportunity. What I find is that when I plan the night before, my mind is already … First it’s at ease, because I know exactly what I need to do the next day.
There’s no feeling of uneasiness or there’s no lack of clarity. I have clarity because I know what I need to do the moment that I start working the next day. I also find that my mind can then be more focused. I’m able to start seeing and visualizing what’s going to happen the next day. And then the other factor is that the moment that I get into the office, I can just go to my list. I just look at my list, what I’ve written down, and I start working through it.
I will, as you can kind of see here, I will cross off things. I’ll put them down. Here’s pages from previous days and weeks. I’ll go through and I’ll cross those things off. I’ll have the date at the top. I’ll write the item, the next item, line by line. And then as I actually complete them, then I just cross it off, feels good. Yes, got it done. Move onto the next.
And then I know, as I’m looking at my day, if I finish everything that I want to finish early, then maybe I’m taking the day off a little bit earlier. I’m leaving the office earlier. Or maybe I’m going to get a bit of extra stuff. Or I’m going to make a few extra calls to clients. Or do whatever, do some additional reading. But it allows you to ensure that you’re making a lot of progress and making the most of your day.
Now the second layer here is that if you connect this to your weekly plan and then to your monthly plan, you will always be on top of things. When I decide what I’m going to be doing for that specific day, I’m not just doing it for that one day. I’m thinking about it in terms of what needs to happen for that total week and that total month and the six months or whatever the plan is, our overall company direction, it’s all connected.
It’s not just one offs. Anything that’s lower value, I’m going to be delegating that to somebody else. But the high value stuff or the things that’s critical that I work on, that’s what’s going on my list. If you’re not planning for your day the night before, I would highly recommend that you do so. I think that you’re going to find you’ll become much, much more productive by doing that.