18 Minutes To Plan a Productive Day

Time management

18 minutes plan to time management (Photo credit)

18 minutes might seem like a lot to invest in just planning in a single day. But Peter Bregman, the author of 18 Minutes simplifies it for us in just 3 steps. The book is based on Bregman’s highly viewed columns in Harvard Business Review. In this column, he talks about how an 18 minute plan in a day can help you keep track of your to-do list and achieve the maximum in a work day.

Bregman starts with a 3 minute quiz to help you check how you manage distractions. My score was pretty low and I need to really put my blinkers on to get my work done! Check what’s your score  here and also get a 6 box to-do list and a daily template free with the results.

Here’s the whole article along with the 3 minute quiz on how you manage distractions:

Yesterday started with the best of intentions. I walked into my office in the morning with a vague sense of what I wanted to accomplish. Then I sat down, turned on my computer, and checked my email. Two hours later, after fighting several fires, solving other people’s problems, and dealing […]

An 18 Minute Plan to Manage Your Day

The 3 step process of Bregman is based on the principle of ritual. He says that once you set a ritual and perform it consistently, it becomes a part of your life – “If you choose your focus deliberately and wisely and consistently remind yourself of that focus, you will stay focused. It’s simple.”

And making these three steps a part of your time management ritual will ensure that you remain productive everyday. Here’s a quick recap:

  1. Set plan for the day (5 minutes): Even before you switch on your computer, jot down a list of things you can finish in a day. Put the hardest task first so that you don’t stress about it the rest of the day. Top tip to ensure you stick to your list – write when and where will you do the task. Read the article for examples to prove the effect of the tip.
  2. Refocus (one minute every hour): Stop for a minute every hour and review what you have achieved so far in the day. Recommit the rest of the tasks based on the status.
  3. Review (5 minutes): At the end of the day, review the day to figure out what worked for you and what did not. Evaluate distractions and what were your learnings.

I think this is time management at its simplest. While the number of things vying for our attention has only grown in the recent past, it has become all the more important to sharpen our focus long enough to accomplish our everyday tasks. Keeping our eye on our plan for the day is a good start.

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