Take 18 Minutes To Keep Your Days On Track

Take 18 Minutes To Keep Your Days On Track

According to the Harvard Business blog, you can organise an eight-hour work day and keep it on track by creating a ritual that’ll only take a total of 18 minutes each day.

Photo by koyochi

Harvard Business blog’s Peter Bregman outlines three steps on how to avoid those days when you can barely remember what you intended to accomplish by the time you reach for your keyboard:

STEP 1 (5 Minutes) Set Plan for Day.
STEP 2 (1 minute every hour) Refocus..
STEP 3 (5 Minutes) Review.

Basically, you’ll start the day off right by grabbing a sheet of paper and writing down the goals which you can realistically accomplish that day. The important part is to immediately assign time slots to those tasks by order of importance and difficulty because these designated times make you more likely to accomplish your goals and give you a way of tracking your progress once every hour. At the end of the work day, you’ll take a few minutes to review not just the last hour, but the entire day. Did you stay on track? What can you do differently tomorrow to retain or improve your productivity?

Check out the full details on this time management ritual on the Harvard Business blog and tell us about how you organise your days and prevent slumps in productivity. Do you have a ritual or do you fly by the seat of your pants and hope for the best? Share your workday time management successes (or failures) in the comments.

An 18-Minute Plan for Managing Your Day [Harvard Business Publishing]


  • “Basically, you’ll start the day off right by grabbing a sheet of paper…” just made me wonder why “paper” is still the tool of choice at times like this. It certainly is for me too! Just got me wondering when, where and why do we resort to paper?

    • It’s easier to get *exactly* what you want down on paper, while word documents, even with the aid of a stylus kind-of miss the mark.

      I still take all my lecture notes down on paper even thought I have a netbook that I could do it on, because I like to link concepts together and it’s difficult to do on a computer quickly.

  • I use a Sticky Notes software instead of paper. Notezilla and 3M Post-it Digital Notes are good.

    You can get fancy and use Onenote or Evernote. But they seem a bit too bulky just for a notes sheet which you want on your desktop throughout the day.

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