Plan the Day
You do everything you can to plan your day in advance so that when you get started, you know what needs to be done and when it needs to be done. But then something happens and it manages to throw off your entire day. So how do you get back on track? What is it that makes us decide to return to our plan? Or, more importantly, what happens when we decide not to return to our original plan? Keep reading to learn how to get back into action.
A Bump in the Road
If you’re lucky, whatever comes up may just be a slight hiccup in your day. There are a number of ideas for how to get your day back when something small happens: take a short walk, step away from your desk for a few minutes, meditate, etc. The most important thing to remember with whatever method you choose is that you have to be intentional in that choice. Need to take a short walk to refresh and re-focus? Set your intention before you go so that when you’re back at your desk, you know exactly what to do next. Otherwise, you’ll be right back where you started, needing another walk to regain your focus.
Every once in a while, though, something will pop into your day that is completely unexpected and somehow manages to take up a big chunk of time. You planned your day in advance though, so you still know what needs to get done, but you also know that you won’t be able to get through it all. You manage to choose what to do and what to re-promise, but you’re still struggling to get started on it. Despite your best efforts, the day seems to be running you, instead of the other way around, and it would be easier to let it stay that way. However, it isn’t too late to plan the remainder of your day; you can still make an intentional choice.
Every once in a while, we get stuck in an entirely different kind of rut: We lose sight of what it is we are supposed to be producing. If you don’t know the outcome, it becomes more difficult to complete your task! This can lead to a special form of procrastination: it is difficult to find a starting point when you have no idea where to end. If you find yourself in this situation where you are unsure about the inspired action, get into communication with the person who can help you see what the outcome should be. Sometimes this is as simple as just talking through all the pieces you have, regardless of whether they seem to fit together or not. Other times, it might be someone who does know the outcome, just not the other steps. Once you have your outcome in place, you have a starting point for your task and can be off and running.
Regardless of whether your day goes according to plan or completely off the rails, the most important thing to remember is to make intentional choices. Need a break? Take it, but know what you’re coming back to focus on. Lost your day to a surprise deadline? Get it done, and then figure out which of your remaining tasks can be pushed and which have to be done today. Distinguish a mindset that allows you to know in advance how your day should go, but also allows you to make the best choice in the moment.
And having a good daily planner to help you through all this doesn’t hurt either!