If you’re like me, you can plan out the perfect day in the morning, but then your plans go awry once it’s finally time to execute them. The reason for this is that we try to make decisions on the fly, and we’re too influenced by what feels good in the moment.
Nighttime is a great time to make plans for the next day. Consider these ideas for effective planning at night and then following through with those plans.
Know your goals
What do you want to accomplish? You can’t make effective plans until you know what you’re trying to do. If you don’t know what your goals are in the short and long term, now is the time to set them.
Set aside time each night to plan the next day
Each evening, at a certain time, plan out what you’re going to do the following day. Do this with the same regularity as brushing your teeth.
Be ruthless with prioritization
Make sure to prioritize any scheduled activities. You only have so much time, so it’s important to make the most of it. Since there’s a hard limit to how much you can accomplish each day, work on the most important things first. You can determine the priority based upon your goals.
Ideally, your list will be pretty short. If you have 10 things on your list, that might be a little much. Stick to the most important 3-5 things. Can you imagine if you actually got 3 vital tasks completed each day instead of trying to float around the 50 things you need to do to achieve a big goal?
Once your biggest priorities are set, you can create another list for things that can be done after the items on the priority list are accomplished.
Make your evening decisions count
At night, it’s easy to decide that you’re going to go to the gym the following day. It’s easy to decide that you’re going to eat in a healthy manner. It’s during the day that you struggle to make wise decisions.
How many times have you planned on going to the gym at a certain time, only to talk yourself out of it when the time came?
The solution is to make as few decisions as possible during the day. Make your decisions at night and then just focus your energy on executing during the day. Avoid giving yourself the opportunity to change your mind. Just believe that you made the right choice the night before.
You can defeat procrastination
You made good decisions last night, so there’s no reason to delay beginning your day. When you prioritize your activities, you can be confident that you’re spending your time well.
Your decisions when you’re decision-making powers are at their best at night. It’s obvious what you should eat tomorrow to be at your best. It’s obvious that you should go to the gym, read a chapter of a certain book, or meditate for 20 minutes. It’s much harder to follow through on them when that time comes.
Make your plan at night and then focus on executing it the next day. Avoid allowing yourself to make decisions regarding those items during the day. You already thought about them and made your decisions. There’s no reason to re-negotiate them.
Sit down and make a plan each night for the following day. Fight like mad to stick to the plan the next day. You’ll love the results!