How to plan effectively

April 22, 2020Rabea

The right planning of a week or day can make or break your productivity. That’s why I wanted to talk about how to plan effectively. Working smarter, not harder.

How to plan effectively th

Eisenhower Matrix

This is something you might know OR you’ve never heard of it in your entire life. The Eisenhower Matrix helps you figure out which of your to-do’s are the most important and which can wait. Here is a little graphic describing it better than I ever will:

Eisenhower Matrix explained

As you can see, this is a super simple way to prioritize your tasks and know what you need to do first to get the most out of it. Most of the time I do tasks from the two pink boxes and if I have time after that I tend to do stuff from the blue boxes. If I have a day free for small to-do’s I’ll even have a little Life Admin Day and get a ton of them blue tasks done to have them out of my mind.

30-60-90 minute time blocks

Having time blocks in your calendar will literally safe your life if you do it right. It takes a while to figure out how long certain tasks take and how long you need to get into a flow state while doing the tasks, but this technique is totally worth it. My big creative to-do’s take 90 minutes, tasks like studying, cleaning and organizing usually take 60 minutes and everything smaller than that takes 30 minutes. Super small tasks can just be put into categories and you can give the category 30 minutes (i.e.: smaller cleaning tasks, emails, phone calls).

Enough breaks

If you have those time blocks you should definitely also use them to schedule breaks in. After 2-3 hours of work, you NEED at least 30 minutes to do nothing work-related. If you’re working a day job, you can take that time to do some mindless tasks or simply go slow. I work from home and happen to have a shaky mental health when it comes to balance, so I tend to work 1-2 hours and take one hour breaks. You need to know what’s the right interval for you. Nobody needs burnout and we should all do our best to prevent it.

Have long term goals

If you don’t know what you are working for, it will be hard to stay on track. Always have an end goal in sight. Of course the journey is more important than reaching the goal, but you can’t really have a great journey if you don’t know what you are even working towards. Is it a certain level of income? Owning a house? Buying new furniture? Having children? Getting out of debt? There is no goal that isn’t valid, well, unless you wanna do some serious illegal stuff, but I think that’s obvious. Jokes aside, know what you want and write it down, remind yourself of it when you’re feeling down.

Weekly Reviews

How you keep all of the above in check? By checking in with yourself once a week in a weekly review. I’ve started doing weekly reviews last year and it has changed the way I work so much. I’m more productive, stay on track more and have better priorities. I wrote an entire post about how I do my weekly reviews and have a free cheat sheet in my freebie library that you can follow. Look back at the last week, the last month and plan the next week. All while reflecting on what you could do better and if you need more breaks or different priorities. It also happens to be a great time to check on the tasks in the Eisenhower Matrix chart that you determined as “to do later”. Get that sheet in my freebie library and mark your weekly review in your calendar now:

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How to plan effectively

How to plan effectively by Rabea

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