How often do you end the day having accomplished everything you set out to do at the start of it?  The answer is probably less than we would care to admit.

In the morning we do our best to map out a pretty picture of how the day will look – sneaking one brief moment to plan while in the shower, guzzling coffee or driving into the office. But then you arrive, and suddenly you’re bombarded with what others have planned for you: emails, calls, technical challenges, questions from clients or employees… the list goes on.

Before you know it, the day is over and you look back thinking, “Boy was I busy today… but what did I actually accomplish?”

Although you may have the best intentions of starting your day on track, I’ve found there’s only one solution to make sure that it actually stays there- and it all starts the night before.

Rather than trying to plan your day in the morning, planning it at the previous day’s end is one habit that will double your productivity for the following day.

Planning the night before works for several reasons.

First, you get everything from out of your head onto paper. This will help you sleep better, no longer waking up at 3am thinking, “I can’t forget to do that!”

Second, you’ll free your brain up to do the things it was created to do: come up with creative ideas, solve problems, and operate in your area of genius. Who knows, you might even wake up with the solution to something that’s been bogging you down for days!

Third, you start the day off in control – knowing your priorities, and even checking one off the list before the day starts happening to you. No more wondering how it got to be 11am before you got around to making your to-do list for the day.

Try it tonight. Plan tomorrow before you wrap up today, and of everything on your entire list, highlight your top 1-3 priorities. Then congratulate yourself, because you just doubled the chances of actually getting them done.


About Your Columnist

Karie Kaufmann is a featured columnist for Women Taking Charge, the official blog of Connected Women of Influence, where she covers everything about “action and results” in growing a successful business. Since 2005, Karie Kaufmann, MBA, has coached over 400 business owners to achieve their goals, with her clients reporting an average of 31% increase in revenues year over year. Her passions include: her family, her dog, food, traveling, shoes, spreadsheets, iced coffee, and helping business owners grow their profits.

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