Anyone can develop the habit of preparing for tomorrow the night before. You’re set up
for a good day when you have items placed in a regular “launching spot” and
appointments confirmed the day before.
Those who plan tomorrow the night before have learned it takes just a few minutes once
they consistently practice the habit. Now they are no longer surprised that someone
doesn’t show up for lunch because they had it on the wrong week or they missed an
appointment because they forgot.
At home, there are numerous ways to plan tomorrow the night before. Consider the
- Prepare your grocery list.
- Find your receipt to return an item.
- Pull together the dry cleaning to drop off.
- Schedule an online package pickup with your mail carrier.
- Get your old watch battery ready so you purchase the correct size.
- Call to confirm your babysitter.
At work, there are numerous ways to plan tomorrow the night before. Consider the
- Confirm tomorrow’s meetings.
- E-mail your group, reminding participants of the meeting time,
- Put all directions in your phone and confirm with the client the time and topics.
- Go through your in-box and list important items and time frames in which you’ll handle them.
- Check with support staff on the status of project steps.
- Confirm due dates with team members.
The Rewards of Planning Ahead
The bonus for planning ahead is a successful day, meeting people on time instead of
showing up to a locked door of someone who forgot an appointment with you. Errands
get done when you gather materials the night before, so your clocks get fixed, lightbulbs
get replaced, and you can stay home for the rest of the evening.
“With so much to do every day, you can actually spend time getting more things done while
spending less time doing them— if you plan tomorrow the night before.”
Marcia Ramsland, Simplify Your Time Tip #22
It’s Your Time
Lucy, a busy executive, liked to have our daughter babysit overnight for her children
while she was on business but often missed getting her to babysit because of waiting
until the week of her travels to call. When Lucy learned to call immediately when a trip
came up, she got her dependable sitter almost 100 percent of the time.
My husband regularly saved time by neatly zipping up his computer case with his
papers inside at the foot of the stairs at night. He had a mental checklist of items laid out
on his dresser to take: his watch, his work badge, and his favorite pen. He has never
had a bad day because of a forgotten necessity.
How About You?
Plan Tomorrow the Night Before (Time Habit #6)
- Call or e-mail to confirm your events for tomorrow.
- Write out tomorrow’s appointments and tasks the night before with a time attached.
- At night, review how well your day’s list worked and improve one task for tomorrow.