The Best Daily Planning Tool? My Hairdryer 03.03.2013

file00011016012It’s largely accepted in the community of time managers that your best preparation for a running start to the next day’s agenda relies on sorting out your action items and to-do list the night before.

However some people can successfully organize their day while exercising on the treadmill or cycling on the roads.  Others may find their daily structure gels during morning walks with their dog, alone with coffee at their desk or by ruminating in the shower.  For some reason, I find myself ‘in the zone’ for planning my day when I’m drying my hair.

Ironically it’s my least favorite part of the morning routine, but it has to be done – Every Day (no thanks to my familial gene pool).  I’ve always wished for one of those Jetsons-like capsules that you can walk into, push a button and you are dressed and coiffed for the day (why isn’t that pod invented yet?).

Regardless, in the 10 minutes it takes to mindlessly style my layered look, I’ve captured my short list of priorities for the day, assessed the client project I will be tackling later on, and quite possibly come up with a solution to a problem that faced me the night before.

Although I’m a pretty good list maker and use that approach as well, the white noise of the dryer acts as a catalyst to help fuse together all the loose ends rattling around in my brain.  Whatever your method for planning a productive day, the key is to:

  • Capture everything that has your attention
  • Prioritize items that offer the biggest value proposition
  • Limit the scope of your to-do list to a manageable few (start with three)

Do you have a unique way to plan your day?  If not, I hope to address in a follow-up post some helpful tools you can use, including paper and online planning resources that are easy to use and maintain.


Leave a comment

  1. Great advice Jackie. Taking time to focus on the day ahead definitely clarifies the objectives for me. I am more traditional – I tend to focus best while sitting at my desk, so that’s my first to-do each day, pull out all my tasks and prioritize.

  2. The shower is my planning tool. By the time I make it to the (oh-so-essential) hair-drying portion of the morning even, I’ve moved from task review to strategy. But it’s all essential. If I think I can postpone the shower for a morning of task completion, I usually find I’ve failed to prioritize efficiently. Apparently Lather.Rinse.Repeat = Review.Prioritize.Act in my corner of the world.

    Thanks for the great perspective!

    • 4.clearinghouse

      Julie thanks for the comment, I like your equivalency formula – a visual bonus! I hope to blog to your level someday…thanks for the support!

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