Take Control of Your Day
We all want to believe that all of our projects can live in our heads, and that those one or two (or five) tasks that fall off the radar every week are no big deal. But over time, they are – and solving this problem is easier than you might think. Last week, we introduced you to some of the ways you can use one of the best productivity apps, The Arena App: Daily Planner. This week, we’re taking a look at a few more of the ways Arena provides the resources you need to be more productive.
Using the Calendar Feature in The Arena App
It doesn’t take much for your daily calendar to go from clear to a jumble of meetings, appointments, reminders, Post-its®, and scribbled notes. With your Arena calendar, practice only using it for appointments and commitments on a particular day. If something is optional on a particular day, or you really want to keep it in your calendar, at least mark it as such, perhaps by beginning the title with an asterisk (*), interrogatory (?), or a commercial at (@). This will help you sort out what needs to live on a particular day, and what could be recorded elsewhere (think of it as moving a Post-it® note back and forth, but with much less effort).
The “Unscheduled” function can also help when you know a project is due, but you still have a few days before you need to work on it. This allows you to know exactly where the project lives, instead of having to flip from page-to-page in your planner, desperately searching for where you wrote that ONE thing down.
Using a Daily Planner Effectively
Most people think they’re keeping their project list straight in their heads (spoiler alert – they’re not). Another key to using The Arena App effectively is to review your project list weekly and complete your commitments daily. A weekly review of your commitments for things you can delegate, delete, defer, or define makes a huge difference. David Allen (Allen, 2015 (2nd edition)) pioneered this approach and addresses it well in his books and course. A weekly review also serves as a reminder that you may have another project or task list in your head (that you forgot about), and entering it into Arena will help you take it off your plate.
Similarly, most people are accustomed to leaving things undone at the end of the day, so it’s a strange feeling to complete your day and see that stack of completed projects turn green. The game is to plan your day so that you don’t have to move anything out to “Unscheduled” or “Tomorrow,” but those are always available. The ability to see your day end with a clean slate adds a sense of accomplishment that may not have always been there.
Now that you’ve taken control of your day and completed all your tasks, take a few minutes to plan tomorrow. Choose the order for your projects in the “Play” view, then tap “Calendar” to see everything lined up for tomorrow. If something needs to be moved around, line it up so that you can get right to work tomorrow.
Be the Boss- Take Control of Your Day
Organizing your day efficiently is easy, once you commit to the practice of it. The Arena App can help you organize, prioritize, and have a better understanding of the time you have available for your tasks, and the amount of effort each one will take.
Everything is up to you. The Arena App is about you organizing your tasks and projects into one place, and then deciding how your day begins, progresses, and ends.