How to Plan Your Day: 5 Effective Rules for Scheduling Tasks | Hacker Noon

As an employee of the company, these rules have helped me to stop worrying about my productivity. Plan a maximum of 70% of your time, leave the remaining 30% for unforeseen tasks. Don’t go to extremes and don’t plan your day with great precision – it doesn’t work. The more we keep information in our head, the more likely we are to forget something and because of this we usually experience stress. Remember the Pareto rule – 20% of effort gives 80% of the result.

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I use these 5 rules myself and these have helped to significantly reduce the level of daily stress. I adhere to these rules not only at work, but also in life, and I plan my everyday activities in the same way.

What happens to a computer when it runs out of RAM? That’s right, it starts to work slowly, glitches, or freezes altogether and requires a reboot with the loss of all unsaved data.

Our brain behaves the same – the more we keep information in our head, the more likely we are to forget something, and because of this we usually experience stress.

The purpose of the rules is to free your head and not keep in it all the tasks that you can forget.

Rule 1 – Add all Scheduled Tasks to the Calendar

Include a notification for this event. In this case, the calendar can contain not only some appointments, but also a reserve of time for certain daily operations – for example, checking mail. This is true for those who receive several dozen letters per day in their mail. For me personally, mail has ceased to be a medium where I have to instantly respond to messages. As a rule, the mail is used for voluminous and important requests, and urgent ones are resolved through messengers or by phone.

Rule 2 – Leave Space in Your Calendar

There can be urgent, spontaneous tasks. Plan a maximum of 70% of your time, leave the remaining 30% for unforeseen tasks. Also, don’t go to extremes and don’t plan your day with great precision – it doesn’t work. In our modern dynamic environment, everything changes so quickly that the plan may become outdated while you are drawing it =)

Rule 3 – Keep Your Head Free

Write down all your tasks. But where? The simplest way — a sheet of paper and a pencil. Of course, such lists are not very convenient to maintain. Therefore, the more records you have, the cooler the instrument should be. For example, note-taking apps – Evernote, Todoist, Trello, etc. They make it much easier to maintain and update your notes. Well, if you have so many notes that it takes a long time to reread your to-do list, then there are special techniques for managing them, for example, Getting Things Done.

Rule 4 – Answer Emails Rightaway (If you can)

if you use mail for work, then you probably faced a problem when you missed letters because you read it, though you needed to answer it later, and forgot about it. And I am no exception. I only stopped skipping emails when I started using the Zero Inbox method. Everything is very simple here – you should not have letters in your inbox. Answer letters in order – start with the oldest ones. If you can reply to an email within 5 minutes – don’t delay, do it! If it takes more time, move it to a special folder and return to it later. You can think of many sorting methods that are convenient for you. The main thing is to archive all letters to which you have already answered.

Rule 5 – Prioritize Your Tasks Correctly

Remember the Pareto rule – 20% of the effort gives 80% of the result. Therefore, it is very important to focus on the important tasks that will bring maximum results. To do this, you can use the Eisenhower matrix. It assigns importance and urgency to each task.

Non-urgent and unimportant tasks do not need to be done at all. Urgent and unimportant – delegate. But the tasks are important and not urgent, you must complete. If these tasks are not completed in a timely manner, then they become important and urgent. This means that you are in time trouble.

As an employee of the company, these rules have helped me to stop worrying about my productivity. First of all, I eliminated losses in communication, increased efficiency, and minimized the level of stress.

As a leader, it is better for me to teach people to work more efficiently and more conveniently than to constantly control them. After all, if they also conduct their own affairs, then they will not have to be particularly controlled.

At the same time, an added bonus for employees will be a decrease in their level of stress, and then they will be more pleased to work on projects, and you will be able to fully rely on them.

After all, when a person realizes what he is doing, he starts to like it, and he will work harder and better. You will see how your employees will make progress and how their work will go.

In general, I am in favor of control through motivation. Especially now, in the conditions of total remoteness, the old methods of control cease to work. Therefore, improve your employees’ soft skills and start nourishing leaders in them – this will lead to an increase in their responsibility.

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