One of the most important things you can do today is plan for tomorrow. Taking a few minutes at the end of your workday to make a realistic plan for the next day can help you alleviate stress and end your day with a clear head. The practice can also help you begin your next workday with a running start, according to Alexis Haselberger, a time-management and productivity coach. Haselberger says that you don’t even need to set aside a huge chunk of time — she typically only takes five minutes to tie up her workday.

In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share Haselberger’s thoughts on the top pitfalls to end-of-day planning and how you can avoid them.

Pitfall No.1: You’re not actually planning. Haselberger says that many of her clients confuse planning with reviewing or updating. Remember that a review covers the past while a plan focuses on forward momentum. Haselberger advises that you make sure you have time available for what you have on your plate. What you plan should be doable.

Pitfall No. 2: You lack the energy to plan. At the end of the day, you may feel simply too tired to plan. However, Haselberger encourages you to prioritize end-of-day planning. You can either take 10 minutes to plan for tomorrow and enjoy your evening knowing you have a plan for the next day. Or, you can say you’ll plan in the morning and spend your evening feeling distracted or thinking about what you need to get done. Think about those two “future you” scenarios and think about which one sounds better, Haselberger says.

Pitfall No. 3: You only need to send “one more email.” There always seems to be one last task you need to finish before getting into planning mode. But Haselberger says there’s a secret: Your end-of-day planning doesn’t need to be the very last thing you do in your workday. By mid-afternoon, you probably have a good idea of what you’ll be able to finish today and what’s on your calendar tomorrow.

Pitfall No. 4: Planning takes longer than you expect. Haselberger recommends setting aside 10-15 minutes (or less). But for end-of-day planning to be quick, she says it helps to have a plan created for the whole week. Haselberger spends about 30 minutes on Friday making a realistic plan for the following week and then only needs a few minutes at the end of each workday to plan for the next day.

Whether you’re a natural planner or you prefer to wing it, try setting aside time at the end of each workday to make a plan for tomorrow. Once you get into this habit, you’ll likely see a boost in your productivity and overall happiness. You’ll be tying up your workday so you can start the new day fresh and ready to go.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Alexis Haselberger is a time-management and productivity coach. She is the founder of Alexis Haselberger Coaching and Consulting.