Whatever your profession, or daily routine is; whatever your level of seniority, planning your work-day is an essential part of being as effective and productive as you possibly can be. However, daily plans are rarely completed in their entirety, necessitating either the need to extend your working hours into the evening or weekend, thus eating into your "quality time". Alternatively, you could carry forward the uncompleted tasks to the following day, which means that that day's planned tasks get more squeezed. It's a vicious circle. Set out below are four reasons why things don't get done as planned, along with suggestions of how to avoid falling into the traps they set.
If you just hate doing a particular task, for any reason it is common to put it off, and off, and off, always finding something you enjoy doing to do instead. It does not matter why you hate doing something. Perhaps you find it too difficult, perhaps you find it boring. There are a multitude of reasons people hate doing particular things. However you have to be an adult and realize that everything needs to get done in the end.
Get the least enjoyable jobs done with and out of the way first. There are two advantages of taking this course of action. Firstly, while you are completing the least enjoyable tasks, you can look forward to relaxing a bit later in the day while you are completing the jobs you enjoy doing more. Secondly, while doing the more enjoyable tasks you can breathe a sigh of relief that that you have got those you detest doing out of the way early.
2) Over Optimism
When you set your mental or written daily plan it is very important to be realistic. Things are always going to take longer than you expect, you are going to get distracted by one thing or another. Leave gaps in your schedule for tea breaks, loo breaks, time to make or return telephone calls, answer or write emails, and a myriad of other things. If you complete all of your allotted tasks, go home, or leave your at-home office happy. If you have completed your list, never stop work thinking that you could have achieved more.
3) Taking Too Long
Often people take more time than they should to perform a particular task. This leaves less time for jobs that have to be performed later. Your mental or written plan should include an approximate time frame for each task. Buy a cheap kitchen timer for your desk and each time you start a new job, set it to ring five minutes before the end of the time you have allotted to the task. This will give you time to complete the task after the bell has rung.
The main reason for taking too long is distraction. Try not to get distracted so you can concentrate solely on the task at hand. If you are disturbed by telephone calls that are not directly relevant to what you are currently doing, be polite but tell the caller that you are currently busy and will call back shortly. Take a quick note to remind you to call back, and a number if necessary. Use one of the time spots mentioned under point 2 to make the call. Other common causes for distractions are office gossip and the ever present, ever tempting computer games.
4) Get Enough Sleep And Eat Breakfast
Following a demanding daily work plan takes a lot of concentration and hard work all day long. Concentration and hard work all day long requires a lot of energy. To fill your body with enough energy to enable you to complete your requirements, it is essential to get enough sleep and to eat a hearty cooked breakfast. Even if you work from home, a good breakfast is important to give you the energy that is required to put in a full, productive day's work.