Hey there guys! My name is Ira and I’m super excited to be here and guest posting for the lovely Caylee. I have a lot of juicy stuff that I’m about to share with you and it’s all about being organized and plan your day like a boss. I’m pretty sure you can’t wait to know more so let’s dive right in!
As a creative person, we may feel like we don’t need to plan out our day. We often work at irregular hours and there’s no fixed schedule either. Most of the time, we work whenever and wherever. Did you know that you can accomplish so much and lead a happier life if you take the time to carefully plan out your day? If you want to start planning your day and wonder how to do it in the most effective ways possible, then fret not. I have just the thing for you. Today I’ll be talking about how and why you need a daily plan as a creative. First, let’s take a look at the reason why you need it.
Why you need to plan your day
Plan your day to avoid procrastination
I know a lot of us creative people tend to procrastinate. We absolutely love to do our work at the very last minute. Well guess what? Those works always turns out to be the ones that we feel like we could have done better. It also leads to us being stressed out when in fact it can be avoided by simply planning out your work ahead of time.
FUN TIP: If you feel like you always fall into the procrastination trap, then try this tip. Every morning after you wake up, do one thing such as making a coffee or eating your breakfast before you start working. Do this every day in order to develop your own routine.
What it does is that every time you perform the routine, it helps telling your brain to tap into the working mode. You’ll automatically head straight to your workspace and start doing your work instead of lounging around and waiting at the very last minute to start working on your project.
Plan your day to make you more productive
Planning out your day has been proven to help you become more productive and get more things done. I have noticed that when I decide to carefully plan out my day I become more focused and determined to finish all the tasks on my to do lists. The way it makes you become more productive is by letting you plan everything in advance and you can actually arrange how you are going to spend your time. This makes for a more productive day because you are more likely to follow through and not missing any important stuff.
Plan your day to be well prepared
Planning out your day lets you be physically and mentally prepared for your day ahead. It lets you know exactly what you need to do and when to do it. This definitely gives you a peace of mind knowing that you won’t be forgetting that important meeting with clients or failing to complete the project on time.
Plan your day to practise a form of art therapy
This is one of the reasons why I started planning out my day. My planner is a space where I get to decorate and be creative. It is also like a form of an art therapy because I feel so in touch with my creative side and feel so happy whenever I get the chance to sit down and make my planner pretty. There is an instant gratification that I get when I see my beautifully decorated planner.
Now that we’ve covered the why, it’s time for the fun part: designing our day. Hopefully I have convinced you enough as to why you need to start planning out your day. It’s time to talk about how you can do it as a creative person. I will show you things that you can include in your daily plan. These are my own suggestions and I personally use this myself so feel free to implement the ones that you think will work for you and leave out the ones that don’t.
The easiest way for you to get started right away is by taking a good ‘ol pen and paper and draw 4 columns. Then you divide it according to the 4 categories listed below;
- Important and urgent
- Important but not urgent
- Not important but urgent
- Not important and not urgent
What this list does is basically it provides you with an overview of all your to do lists and projects. It also helps you to prioritize your work and further plan out what kind of actions you need to take in order to complete the tasks. This is going to prevent you from being too overwhelmed and act as a brain dump, but in an organized way. If you’re ready to take it a step further you can use the guide below to help you optimize you day planning activities and get more things done.
Daily Planning Essentials
- Micro breaks
- Time Blocking
- Social Media
- Skill/Hobby Time
Optimise your daily planning with micro breaks
As a creative, we tend to get so passionate about our work and being so immersed in it that we often forget to take a break. This often results in feeling burned out by the end of the day because we sit down all day and stare at the computer screen for too long or even worse; we forget to take our lunch.
This thing can be avoided by taking micro breaks throughout your day. It means that for every 2 to 3 hours of working, you take about 10 to 20 minutes of breaks. You can use this time to step out of your workspace and make yourself a cup of coffee, going out for a walk, talking to someone or simply stretching your body. It helps you feeling refreshed and most of the times that’s when inspiration strikes the most.
Optimise your daily planning with Time Blocking
This is one of the most important parts when you are planning out your day. This is especially true if you get caught up and working with multiple projects all at once. Time blocking helps so much in avoiding distractions and actually getting things done. Basically what you need to do is schedule for uninterrupted time every day. You can then use this time to really focus on your work and project and this has actually helps me finishing my work a lot faster. I am becoming more and more productive just by time blocking and not wasting my time on social media.
Optimise your daily planning with Rewards
The idea is that you will have a checklist of everything that you absolutely have to do that day and if you manage to check off all of it, you are entitled to a reward. This reward is simply a motivation to get you to follow through with your plan. I am guilty of always planning out something and in the end not doing it and keep giving myself excuses after excuses. I find that after I implement the reward based system when planning out my day, I tend to follow through with my plan no matter what. The rewards does not have to be big or expensive, just the little things like binge watching your favourite show on Netflix or extra hour playing games. You get to choose your own reward and get excited about it. Once you make it a habit, you won’t need to reward yourself anymore but it’s actually a nice way to get yourself motivated to do something and I highly recommend you do this once in awhile.
Optimise your daily planning with Social Media
This is the exact reason why you should block your time on social media and only use it for your own advantage. You can do this by allowing yourself to spend a certain amount of times on it. My Social media schedule is 3 hours, 3 times a day. I’ll spend an hour on Facebook, an hour on Instagram and an hour on Twitter. I use this time to post contents and interact and engage with my followers and potential clients or customer.
The biggest struggle that I find when doing this is trying to stay disciplined and be consistent about it. I recommend staying away from your phone when working and use any social media block apps to help you from going on social media. I find that there are many benefits that I get by doing this. I am able to finish my work on time and I get more time to do things that I love and feel so confident about it. I absolutely recommend you to try blocking your time on social media and I’m sure you’ll be amazed at how productive you’ll become.
Optimise your daily planning with Skill/Hobby time
It is a good idea to allocate some time to practice your skill or do your hobby every day. As a creative we tend to spend so much of our time and energy doing work for others that we often forget or simply don’t have time to do the things that we love.
Allocating some time to do your hobby is a perfect way to wind down after hard at work. It makes you relax and can reduce your stress level. Furthermore it can really help you build a portfolio and make you better at what you love to do. Sounds like a win-win right? Even though you just do it for fun you are still going to feel amazing afterwards, trust me.
And there you have it folks! Hopefully you guys are digging my lengthy post and if you’re reading right through until the end then you’re awesome! I really hope that you will find this helpful and knowing how to plan an effective day as a creative, get things done and be more productive.
Ira is a creative mompreneur who is obsessed with the word organizing and design. She thrives on helping creativepreneur leads a happy and soulful life while running a rocking business. When she’s not working, you’ll find her dancing with her one year old daughter to the tune of Beyonce’s Run the World.