For creative types, hearing the words “discipline” or “structure” can make you hesitant. After all, many artistic personalities thrive in uncontrolled environments, right?
You may do some of your best creative DIY and crafting work when the mood strikes, but staying true to yourself doesn’t mean you should totally disregard organization, either. A daily agenda is a powerful tool you can use to build your creative business beyond your wildest expectations.
Here’s how to craft a daily agenda that will help you meet your goals as a Maker — and still be respectful of your creative process.
WRITE A TO-DO LIST FIRST
To create an actionable daily agenda, first, write down everything you need to accomplish for the day. Anything business-related, personal errands, big tasks, and small tasks. Once you’ve written everything down you’ll notice that your responsibilities typically fall into three categories: people, places, and priorities. Then, determine which tasks are the most important or demanding. Which ones absolutely must get done? Which will take total focus and concentration?
ASSIGN TASKS TO TIME SLOTS
You’ll then start assigning tasks to time slots. Before you start choosing tasks, be sure to start your day with a little personal time. Take fifteen minutes, half an hour, or an hour to spend time on your well-being. During this time you may choose to meditate, read, pray, journal, or exercise. Or perhaps your personal time is spent cooking a nutritious breakfast and eating it mindfully with a cup of coffee. Whatever you choose to do during your alone time, you’ll be able to tackle the rest of your day with energy and a clear mind.
Now that you have your personal time on your agenda, you can start adding tasks. Begin with your most demanding or high-priority tasks first. Studies have shown that our brain function peaks in those first hours after waking, so it’s best to get those tasks done early in the day. If you have meetings scheduled for specific hour blocks, add those in next. Then, place your more flexible tasks in spots where they make the most sense.
TWEAK YOUR DAILY AGENDA IF NEEDED
Once you have your day planned out, look it over again. Are there tasks that would fit better on a different day’s agenda? Move it to that day instead! Are you afraid you haven’t blocked out enough time for a bigger task? Shuffle things around to give yourself more time. Know your limits and accept your habits. If you know you start feeling drained around 2 to 3 pm, schedule easier tasks for that period. Pencil in a short break so you can go for a walk to re-energize. Never be afraid to be choosy with your agenda.
And of course, schedule some downtime and playtime for yourself when you need it. When you’ve already allotted time to tackle your big important tasks, you won’t feel guilty spending a little time playing creatively or relaxing. Everything is accounted for.
If you aren’t consciously choosing your steps, your steps are choosing for you. Living life without structure seems fun, but it can grow into aimlessness and boredom quickly. A daily agenda can help you live with intention, spend your time efficiently, and meet your goals. With a little discipline and self-awareness, not one hour of your day is wasted.
XO, Amy Howard