Planning a day before it starts is indeed one of the most effective measures to increase your productivity and output. Especially for students, who are generally told to focus on multiple things from studies and health to passion and interests, planning each and every day becomes quite essential to ensure that each of that is fulfilled.

However, most of the students either don’t try, or give up on day planning owing to the myths of strict discipline and mechanisation involved in it, which is not actually the case. This article, after convincing you on the requirement of day planning for students, will provide a sample step-by-step guide to help you plan your days in the best possible manner.

Why is it important to plan your day?

  • It helps you to accommodate all the work that needs to be done in a day as per your comfort.
  • It eliminates the stress about work. As you already become aware of the time when you will be doing a particular work, you will not feel a sense of insecurity or stress about it.
  • The more disciplined you are, the more freedom you have. Consider this, if you need to study for a test, you will probably spend the whole day thinking and preparing for it in absence of a definite plan. On the other hand, if you allocate, say, 5 hours solely to study in a definite time slot, you will be free to pursue any other activity in the remaining day.
  • Effectively planning your day will always leave some ‘me time’ for you.You may have to struggle to take out time for yourself in absence of a day plan.

How to plan your day?

Step 1 – Create the four Quadrants of Time Management

Create 4 quadrants as shown above. Each quadrant shows the nature of work to be done.

Quadrant 1 = Urgent and Important work. (Studying for tomorrow’s test, completing due assignments, etc.)

Quadrant 2 = Important but not urgent. (Exercising, resting, preparing for next month competition, talking to friends and parents, hobbies, etc.)

Quadrant 3 = Urgent but not important for you. (Going to market for household chores, attending parties, etc.)

Quadrant 4 = Neither urgent nor important. (Social media, sleeping in afternoon, etc.)

List down all your tasks and designate relevant quadrant to each of them.

Step 2 – Prepare a strategy for each Quadrant

Works listed in quadrant 1 must be your priority of the day. Assign fixed time slots to each one of them. For example, you can study 3 hours for the test and complete the assignment in 2 hours. Mend it as per your comfort but these works must be completed today itself.

The second quadrant should be the next in the priority list. These are the works that needs to be done soon, but postponing it for some days or providing it a flexibility won’t harm you a lot. There can be two kinds of work in quadrant 2:

  1. Works that demand consistency. (Exercising, competition preparation, etc.)
  2. Works that are one-time jobs and aren’t required to be done every day. (Talking to friends)

From these, works falling under category (a) must be the priority. You may include or exclude category (b) jobs according to the availability of time in that particular day. If you have too much to do for quadrant 1, you may drop these works for today and postpone it.

You can try to delegate the works of quadrant 3 to some other people, as they need to be done on an urgent basis but are not important to you anyhow. For example, you may ask your sibling to go to the market.

The works in quadrant 4 are of no use anyhow. You must completely avoid them unless you have excess time in your day.  

Exclusive Tips to Keep in Mind

  • Always include a time to rest in the afternoon (20-25 mins) in quadrant 2. Try to accomplish it as far as possible.
  • It is advised that you fix your sleep schedule so you exactly know the number productive hours you have in a day.
  • List the works in the quadrants either a night before, or early in the morning after you wake up.
  • It is advised that you always keep this quadrant with you (either digitally or the hardcopy), so that you can always add or subtract work as the day proceeds.

All the best for a happy productive day!

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