6 Ways To Optimize Your Daily Schedule

By Indeed Editorial Team

February 17, 2021

Creating a daily schedule reduces stress while helping to ensure you’re as productive as possible. A daily routine will allow you to tap into a happier and more efficient version of yourself, allowing you to become the master of your own time. Optimizing your daily schedule takes time for planning and willpower in maintaining good habits that will lead to a happier and more productive life. In this article, we discuss the benefits of a daily schedule, how to optimize your schedule and share some apps to help you manage your schedule and achieve laser-like focus.

Related: 10 Tips for Being More Goal-Oriented at Work

What is a daily schedule?

A daily schedule is a plan designed to maximize your productivity and help you lead a happier and less stressful life. Knowing what you are going to do each day empowers you with a sense of purpose and focus. 

Benefits of a daily schedule

Here are a few of the main benefits of optimizing your daily schedule:

  • Daily schedules make us more efficient and save time, our most valuable resource.

  • Schedules help you prioritize what’s important.

  • Positive habits free up energy for important tasks.

  • Schedules help us get the most important tasks accomplished each day.

  • Having a schedule can increase self-confidence and momentum to persist.

  • It reduces the need for willpower since the schedule becomes routine.

Related: Self-Management Skills: Definition and Examples

How to optimize your daily routine

Here are some simple steps you can use to optimize your daily schedule:

  1. Make a list.

  2. Structure your day.

  3. Plan your day in advance.

  4. Combine related tasks.

  5. Use tools to help you concentrate.

  6. Take breaks.

Related: Tips To Demonstrate Work Ethic

1. Make a list

Write down everything you need to do each day. The point of the exercise is to do a brain dump and get a clear picture of all the activities you conduct each day and week. This could include activities like checking and responding to emails from the previous day, writing a company newsletter and any other activity you do regularly. You may even want to keep your notebook close by for a week and add activities as you perform them to ensure you capture everything.

2. Structure your day

Block your time for the day based on when you know you’re most productive. Group tasks by when it will make the most sense to complete them. If your daily tasks are different each day, you may want to block off windows of time where you will remain focused on specific types of activities.

3. Plan your day in advance

Prepare a list of tasks you want to accomplish the night before, when you will be more inclined to include difficult tasks. Of all the tasks on your list, choose three that are the highest priority and that, when accomplished, will make you feel highly productive. 

4. Combine related tasks

Research shows that productivity decreases dramatically when you try to multitask. Instead, group similar activities together to make the most of your time. For example, set aside a specific time to complete your phone calls or pay all outstanding invoices. Organizing tasks by related activities will make it easier to focus on the task at hand and increase your overall productivity.

5. Use tools to help you concentrate

Be proactive about eliminating distractions while you’re working. There are many tools you can use to help improve your concentration. Some allow you to track your time, and others block everything but what you’re working on at the moment. Identify where you need the most help improving your productivity and find a tool that will help you in that area.

6. Take breaks

Alternating times of laser focus with rest is necessary to stay on task and productive. Researchers have found that your mind naturally craves a break after 90 minutes of intense work. Schedule regular breaks away from your screen—or even your desk—every 90 minutes.

Tips for optimizing your daily schedule

Here are some bonus tips to help you maintain maximum productivity all day long:

  • Skip email first thing in the morning. Spend the first hour of your day making progress on work that is meaningful to you and your productivity rather than checking your email and reacting to the needs of others.

  • Schedule email time. Choose the schedule that works for you, whether it’s to check your email every two or three hours or block off two hours each day for email-free time. When you’re taking time to focus, turn off desktop notification and silence or turn off your phone. 

  • Tackle difficult tasks when your energy is highest. Get the most difficult tasks done at the beginning of the day when your energy is highest so it’s not distracting you throughout the rest of the day.

  • Set hard limits. Set rules for yourself for how much time you’re going to spend on certain activities, particularly distracting activities. This can help you stay on track with your daily schedule for the rest of the day. Use a time-tracking tool and set alerts when you go over your limit on those activities.

  • Be mindful of your energy. Pay attention to when you have the most energy throughout the day. If you are a morning person, you may find that you are more efficient when you get to work early and spend the first two hours of your day focused on your highest priority work. If you know you’re a night owl, you may notice you experience peak productivity late in the afternoon. Use this awareness of your natural energy flows to optimize your schedule.

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