Being Aware And Planning Ahead

Many of the productivity problems we find ourselves in, are caused by not taking a few minutes each evening to have a look ahead and see what's coming up. While we can get a good idea of what's coming up when we do our weekly review, as the week progresses things change, appointments get made, adjusted or cancelled and suddenly you are faced with an overloaded week that you didn't see coming. 

To avoid this from happening, it is a good idea to make it a daily routine to check your calendar and todo list at the end of the day to see what has changed and if anything needs bringing forward or pushing back. This way you can rearrange some of your scheduled todos and appointments if you think that you need to create more space and time in your day. A lot of productivity advice revolves around having a fixed mindset and a set routine for doing things, when to be at your most productive having a flexible mindset is a far more effective method.  

An example of this happening is if I have a class cancellation. I always have either my iPad or laptop with me. If I get a cancellation I know I can take advantage of the free time the cancelled class has given me to bring forward some writing time. Usually, I schedule my writing time for either early in the morning or in the evening. Cancelled appointments allow me the time to get on with some writing. This then frees up my evening for other things I might be in the mood for. 

this happened to me last week. A lot of scheduled appointments for Monday and Tuesday got pushed to the end of the week, leaving Thursday looking like a day of chaos and stress. Fortunately for me, Tuesday and Wednesday were quiet days and so I brought forward some scheduled work from Thursday and Friday to Tuesday and Wednesday, leaving me with only meetings and classes to focus on on Thursday and Friday. Had I not seen what was happening, I would have had a terrible day Thursday and this would have effected my energy levels for Friday as well. 

Being aware of what's coming up also helps you to mentally prepare for the busy days. Knowing that I had little admin work to do on Thursday evening gave me a much more positive frame of mind for Thursday morning which led to more energy throughout the day. I knew that all I had to focus on was my classes and meetings. All 'paperwork' that needed to be done had been done. It was a very liberating feeling.