October 21, 2009, 5:00 am

When Do You Start Thinking About Tomorrow?

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Business,Career
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chess-gameEven though I am done with my MBA, there are still things that come back (to haunt me!) to mind. Today, I will discuss a trick to improve your time management efficiency. I learned it from one of my colleagues during an MBA class (conspiracy theory man).

At one point during the day, he used to say now, I start thinking about tomorrow”. At first, I didn’t understand what he was saying (I was too busy listening to the professor… I mean planning for TFB!).

The guy was a manager at UPS for 10 years. Therefore, he was used to calculating everything (and he still does 😉 ). At UPS, they were so detail-oriented that there was a prescribed method for drivers to hold their keys in order to not waste time when returning to the delivery truck!

When I asked him what he meant by “thinking about tomorrow” he replied back: “the sooner you start thinking about tomorrow in your day, the more ahead you will be. This is what great managers do”. And I know him well enough to realize that he was not talking about himself but talking about “the big guys” ;-).

If thinking about tomorrow would be a principle, I would describe it as the following:

“At one point during each day, there is not much more to be done to improve today’s productivity. Therefore, you should “follow” the course of things while planning what needs to be done tomorrow. In other words; leave the unproductive tasks at the end of the day to plan the productive ones for tomorrow”.

I actually tried this principle at work and now I know when I have a very productive day (i.e. start doing calls for tomorrow or next week at 2pm) and when I am very unproductive (working late doing administrative chores!).

I am a big fan of working less and accomplishing more. Thinking about tomorrow is an awesome way to do it!

How can I apply it in my daily life?

As is the case with the Pareto Principle, you can extend this to your personal life. Imagine how your spouse would love you if you planned to take the garbage out 😉

But seriously folks, you could start thinking about what you want to do in your life. Instead of thinking about today, look ahead and see tomorrow, think about next year, in 5 years. Set up goals and ways to achieve them.

By thinking about what is coming up, you will definitely feel more organised, you will never again be lost and you will probably arrive everywhere on time!

An easy way to start:

The easiest way to start thinking about tomorrow is to take a piece of paper and write down what you need to do tomorrow. Then, take note of the time you actually do it. After a few weeks, you will notice that you can plan your day ahead sooner and sooner. At work, I now plan a week in advance 😀

So, if you feel that you are spinning your wheels, that the same old things are being done day after day without much progress. Set up your goals and start thinking about how you will achieve them, one day at the time.

image source: mukumbura

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Comments

My friend, a business owner, has a good approach. He spends the first hour every day thinking about how he can improve the business. No phone calls, emails, faxes. That is all he does. In other orders, he takes time to think ahead. I wish I could do the same!

by: The Financial Blogger | October 21st, 2009 (2:03 pm)

It’s a very good trick!
I try to do the same when I am on the treadmill in the morning but sometimes I’m having a hard time to breath and think at the same time ;-0

Writing down the goals/plans/ideas is key. Also, planning to plan is important 🙂

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