Make the most of your day with this simple 10-minute ritual.
When you know the order in which your tasks need to be done throughout the day, you no longer feel as if you’re simply floating along without any purpose.
Setting priorities for the day the first thing in the morning can be a powerful tool to live a productive and fulfilled life.
Psychologists argue that goal-setting is an essential tool for self-motivation and self-drivenness — both at personal and professional levels. It gives meaning to our actions and the purpose of achieving something higher. Experts at Psychology Today agree that prioritizing is the solution to time management, moving forward, and finding fulfillment
This post discusses the steps you need to take care of to set priorities for the day and achieve them.
The best news?
The process only takes about ten minutes and you can complete it right before breakfast every morning.
Step one: Get in the mood
This is the most important step in the process. The good news is that it takes barely a minute or less.
Before preparing yourself for setting priorities for the day, you need to bring your mind on board the task.
Breathe in, breathe out, and tell yourself that the next few minutes are going to be the most important minutes of the day. Tell your brain it needs to filter out all distractions and be mindful of the moment.
Step two: Write it out
The next step is to write out all the work you hope to achieve during the day. Don’t hesitate to add moments for self-care and relaxation as well.
A journal can help you do exactly that. Experts agree that journaling is a great way to organize your day without spending massive effort.
At this stage, don’t worry about writing the most important task first. Until now, the goal is to get everything off your head and onto the paper.
Step three: Prioritize
Once your priorities for the day are written down in front of you, you’ll get some clarity on what you need to achieve first and how to do it. This is where you prioritize your priorities. This means you need to order them in the sequence of how important they are to you.
You can characterize your tasks into these four categories as proposed first by the Eisenhower Matrix:
- Urgent and important: do it now.
- Important, but not urgent: decide when you will do it.
- Not important, but urgent: do it later.
- Urgent, not important: delegate to someone else.
Step four: Make a plan
Once you’re written down your priorities and addressed the order in which you need to tackle them, the next step is to plan out your day according to the tasks at hand.
Make checkboxes on your planner and time block your entire day. Visualize completing each task and mentally calculate how long each task will take. Then, accordingly, fill your planner with details on how you will complete each task, how long it will take, how long a break you’ll allow yourself after they are complete, and what will be the time of the day when you’ll be done.
Some important points to keep in mind here are:
- Batch your tasks.
- Don’t add important but not urgent tasks earlier in your routine.
- Schedule breaks so you don’t run the risk of burning out.
- Any work that can be delegated to someone else — do it now.
Bonus: Have a partner
Having someone else do it with you can make building any new habit easier. If you can’t find a friend who’s also learning to set priorities for the day at the same time as you are, you can hire an accountability coach to help keep you on track. These are trained individuals who will hold you accountable and help you get back on track if you ever fall off the wagon.
You can also turn to technology and download a free habit tracker. This is a great way to mark your progress on the calendar and use it to motivate yourself to keep pushing on.