Feeling energized and excited about tackling your work day is becoming less and less common. In fact, a recent poll by Gallop Organization shows that only 13% of employees worldwide are engaged at work. Thirteen percent! That number doesn't feel very encouraging, but the good news is there's a fairly simple thing you can start doing now to increase your performance and engagement...daily planning.
According to an article published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, employees can take back control of their performance by having a daily plan. The type of plan, though, is where you'll get the most bang for your buck. There are two types of planning typically used day-to-day, time management and contingent. Time-management planning is your to-do lists, prioritizing and essentially managing your time. With contingent planning you'll consider possible disruptions or interruptions in your day and create a plan to address them if they occur. It's less commonly used, but a key to increasing performance.
Both types of planning force you to think about how you work and what keeps you motivated. Start by recognizing your Zone of Genius. When are you in the zone? This is the kind of thinking about problem solving that keeps you in your sweet spot of challenge. This will help you determine which tasks are most fulfilling, and the ones you'll be able to tackle more effectively.
Next, think about the type of day you'll have. Will you be interrupted frequently? Based on previous days, how likely will you actually be interrupted? Can you create boundaries around your time so you create fewer interruptions? If you expect to have multiple distractions in your day, you can use contingent planning and understand what tasks can best be accomplished during that time and how best to react to it. If you don't expect to have many interruptions in your day, you can use time-management to plan out your day. But remember, it's important to prioritize your work by enjoyment. For example, maybe you start off your day with the tasks that involve the problem solving that you love doing most (using your genius) and then end the day with a task that is less enjoyable but needs to get done.
Employees will constantly be bombarded with distractions, making engagement harder to maintain. By incorporating a daily plan, and figuring out which works best for you, you'll get you back in control in no time.