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How to Organize Your Day

Mar 09, 2020

Hi!  It's Karen from Karen Vincent Solutions. 

Where did the time go?  How many times have you said this to yourself or others?  How many times have you gotten to the end of your day or week and wondered what you actually got done?  We have all been there…a lot! 

If you are reading this, you are likely busy and a doer.  I already like you…you are my kind of person!  There have been many weekends where I get to Sunday and think…where did two full days go?  I used to get really frustrated so I was motivated to come up with a system where I make sure that I am accomplishing the things I need to accomplish each day, week, month, quarter and year.

Before I go on…let’s talk about “to do” lists. I am a list person, so I am not here to tell you not to have one.  However, I used to make these super long “to do lists” that were overwhelming for me to look at, let alone act on. 

I also used to do the classic move of putting something on my list that I had already done, just so I could cross it off. Come on…you’ve never done that??!!  We must be realistic that there are only so many hours in the day and that we need to prioritize what needs to get done. 

For example, if you are looking at a work “to do list”, consider whether there are external deadlines, are others waiting on something from you or will something help you advance your career.  Also consider if there are items that are “must do” versus “would like to do” items.   Use that criteria (and any other that makes sense for your situation) and write two to four things that must get done each day. 

Once you determine what your items are for the day, determine how long you think it will take you to get each one done.  The most important thing to remember is that you shouldn’t write down everything that needs to get done for the next month and try to look at that list as your daily plan. You will feel overwhelmed and then feel bad that you did not accomplish what you intended to.  

If you like to plan into the future (and I recommend you do), start with the year, the quarter or the month and then pull actionable items from the longer-term lists into each week and then into each day.  Remember, keep your daily list small and manageable.  The goal is that you actually accomplish what is on your list which will get you results and keep you energized and motivated.  We all want to feel like we are making progress and being successful and this process will help make that happen.

Years back there was a big push for us all to have work/life balance, however, that is not usually, if ever, a realistic goal. There are times where you may need or want to put more effort into work and times where you may need or want to put more effort into your personal life. 

Let’s face it, it is never going to feel like there are enough hours in the day so don’t beat yourself up about the fact that you stayed at work to finish an important project and that the laundry did not get done.  Or don’t beat yourself up about the fact that you had to reschedule a meeting so that you could attend your child’s school performance or sporting event.   Or don’t beat yourself up that you did not get the grocery shopping, the meal prep, the laundry and the house cleaning all done. 

Decide what the top few priorities are and focus on those.  And by the way…if today your priority is to relax under a warm blanket while reading a great book…you should not feel guilty about it and it goes on the list!

3 tips for organizing your day

  1. Identify your priorities. As I discussed above, each day you should identify the two to four things that must get done.  I know, you feel like there are twenty things that need to get done but you need to be realistic.  What are the handful of things that NEED to get done today?  Planning this the night before can also be helpful.


  1. Schedule your day. I think this is critical to accomplishing what we need to accomplish each day.  If you give yourself two hours…you will take two hours to do something.  However, if you tell yourself that you can get something done in one hour and you schedule it in, you will likely get it done in one hour.  Every morning I get up and schedule my day by the half hour.  I identify my priorities for the day and then I allocate blocks of time for them.  This allows me to be so much more productive because I am not jumping between things.  It might look like 5:00am wake up, journal, meditate.  5:30am, work on X.  6:30am workout. 7:30am shower. 8:00am breakfast.  8:30am Work on x project, 10:00am – 2:00pm, VIP coaching calls, etc.  Hopefully you can see the point.  Identify what you want or need to accomplish and then put it in a schedule, so it gets done.  This helps eliminate the things that steal our time like scrolling social medial, checking email constantly, getting caught up in a never-ending group text or stopping to chat with people in the office or at the school pick up.  While none of these other things are “bad”, they could result in your not owning your day the way you wanted to.


  1. Stay off email and social media first thing in the morning and for much, if not most, of the day. Raise your hand if you get up in the morning and are checking your social media and/or email within the first half hour…or even the first minute.  I’ve been the person checking email before I even get out of bed.  I’ve been the person who scrolls social media and suddenly wonders where the last half hour went.  The reality is that it can be addictive because it either allows us to numb out or it gives us a burst of dopamine, which causes us to feel good, and therefore motivates particular behaviors.  What I learned (and it took a long time) was that when I did this, my plan and goals for the day were trumped by my interest in the lives of others on social media or by the agendas of people who emailed me at work asking for things. I discovered that it will all still be there when I am ready to get to it and it will be the same for you.  If someone close to you needs something urgently, they will call or text you. Changing this pattern of behavior made a huge difference for me in terms of my being in control of my time.  I used to get caught up in other people’s “stuff” early in the morning and it really threw off my entire morning routine.  Give it a try for a week or two and see if you feel you are more productive in the morning and more successful in crossing off the two to four items on your daily list. 

Live your best Boss Lady life!

~ Karen

Karen Vincent Solutions

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