Here was the notes I made before sleeping on Day Zero (two days ago)
Going to bed now. Great day.
Sleeping at 8:40AM.
Setting alarm with 4:40PM.
As soon as I wake up,
1. Immediately stretch, vitamins, etc, then review documents for consulting call.
2. Call 5PM to 6PM.
3. Then quick gym for chest, shower, and food.
4. Get back to the office at 8PM, post update to blog.
5. Work on one section for sales process.
6. Do 20 sales calls quickly.
Recommendation For Planning A Day The Night Before:
The way you make a good list the night before is to figure out the top 3-5 things you need to do tomorrow, depending. Then you can go back and fill in a rough timeline around them. It's nice because you can just jump into it. But the key is, you start with what's most important, and you fill in from there.
Time tracking for yesterday --
4:50PM: Morning routine. (10 maintenance)
5:50PM: Studied materials related to H call, call with H. (60 social / business)
8PM: Got gym stuff, gym, showered, went to get food but the quick shop was out, now at cafe. (60 fitness, 20 walking, 40 general-life)
8:50PM: Wrote blog, cross-posted to forum, clicked around a little doing random things. (30 productive, 20 semi-productive)
10:30PM: (60 sales-process-building, 20 semi-productive, 20 distraction)
11PM: (30 semi-productive)
12:20AM: (20 productive, 20 semi-productive, 40 distraction)
12:50AM: Three sales calls, 2 no-answers, one appointment scheduled for next Monday. (30 sales)
3:50AM: A mix of amazing time that went into semi-productive-lots-of-task-switching-time that went into basically useless time… funny how that works sometimes. Five more calls, one new client. (60 sales, 90 semi-productive, 30 distraction)
6:50AM: Ah, that's too bad. I wasn't satisfied with where I was at for the day, decided to take a short break before working more. And yet, the break never ended and now the day is about over. (180 distraction)
7PM: Planned all of tomorrow, notes, etc. (10 planning)
7:30AM: Sleeping. (30 general-life)
Biggest Two Mistakes:
Task=-switching will kill you, if you look at the time around 2AM (about half the people I work / in my life are in the USA, half are in Asia, so I usually wake in the early/mid afternoon and sleep after midnight) -- if you look around 2AM, I was on fire, but around then I started task switching and doing a few different things. It just sort of happened, and that derailed the day's moment.
The second mistake was the, "This is great! But I don't want to be done yet!" Would've been better to call it quits at 4AM instead of trying to get more in, which wound up just all being wasted time. The last few hours of the day are the least likely to produce more results if you push, especially if you need to get back into creative flow. It's a mistake I've made a lot -- trying to get more out of myself at the end of a particularly good day instead of sleeping.
Note though, simply a good day doesn't cover everything -
Fitness: Lifting for chest.
*Advancement on sales process.
*Discussed and wrote outline for next lead campaign.
*8 calls (target: 20)
*1 client added (1/22)
*1 appointment for next week
*Planned day the night before.
*Sharing on blog.
Which means I've got to keep things moving forwards and keep my eye on things.
Questions For You --
Have you tried planning your day the night before?
Have you tried time tracking?
Have you identified spots in a day where you've gone off the rails somewhat and burned a bunch of hours for no fun and no gain? (Switching between tasks, just being distracted without relaxing, etc)
I always try to plan my day the night before - and the coming week every Sunday.
Helps a lot getting more things done (and the big review/planning session Sunday helps making sure I get the right things done).
Actually wrote a post about using daily todo lists, http://www.genvejen.dk/dagens-todo-liste-endnu-mere-effektiv-end-den-traditionelle-todo-liste/ (in Danish...)
>Task=-switching will kill you, if you look at the time around 2AM (about half the people I work / in my life are in the USA, half are in Asia, so I usually wake in the early/mid afternoon and sleep after midnight) — if you look around 2AM, I was on fire, but around then I started task switching and doing a few different things.
Great share Sebastian !
I try planning in two ways : Calendar & RTM. With Calendar I can set rendez-vous and planned "task disponibility" which are time slices that I use to check my tasks in RTM. I have some recurrent tasks but I guess I can improve more.
For time tracking I use RescueTime in premium account. Currently not in the best shape because of many new tasks re-prioritizing because of top management changes which spoils motivation. I don't care much because I will get back on track once priorities will be stabilized.
Yes, I've been tracking time recently. Gets annoying to keep up with. Best to semi-automate it with a free rescue time.com account. Also helps because It's like putting a spy cmera on yourself, helps you be more aware if when you might be wasting time. I'm finding success with a set morning routine and then the rest of the day is somewhat open for manuevering as needed. Constantly putting yourself on rails is too constraining especially if you're the creative type. I tried what you're doing and it works partially but I need room to flow.
The day's plan --
Time awake target: Between 11AM and 3PM.
1. Review/analyze the last week. Look where falling short. Publish the numbers.
Total time: 60 minutes.
****NOTE: Revisted metrics for this week. Minutes into category. Respectable attempts.
For reasons you'll soon understand, I'm barely coherent enough to think, let alone write. I had a few ideas for posts to write, but since I don't currently have the wherewithal to do them justice, a summary of the past 24 hours of my life will hopefully give you a bit of entertainment.
It's the day before the cruise, which means that I have a bunch of stuff that needs to get done before I leave the states for a month. As I slide out of REM sleep I miraculously remember that today is the last day I can ship my failing RV batteries back for warranty service. Each one weighs 70 pounds.