As we have learned, effective habits enhance performance and lead to achievement. Planning tomorrow before tomorrow begins is one of the most effective habits you will ever develop.  But to make this truly successful, you must work your daily plan with an effective management tool.

Whether you prefer to use manual planners or electronic tools, the most important thing is that you use SOMETHING rather than your memory. This is because our brains are most useful when we are being creative and solving problems. When we use our brains for remembering important bits of information, such as when and where to go, we have rendered this vital resource less than effective.

More importantly, your planner will also keep your goals visible to you on a daily basis, which will keep them front and center in your thinking. If you have already set your annual goals, they have been added into your monthly plans by target dates, then brought into action by your daily planning. 

Manual vs. Electronic Planners

Your daily management tool needs to be effective at reminding you of your schedule throughout your day. If you use a manual planner, you must keep it with you at all times and allow it to guide you throughout your day. When you are at your desk, on the phone, or in a meeting, develop the habit of keeping the planner open in front of you as a stimulus to stay on time.

I have always used a manual planner simply because I find that writing stimulates clarity of thought and clarity of thought motivates action. I have not experienced that with electronic tools, but those may be helpful to you. If you choose to utilize an electronic planner, be sure that it does the following:

1) Allows you to track daily action steps along with your daily time schedule.

 2) Allows you to transfer incomplete action steps to the next day, until completed.

 3) Allows you to defer things to remember to tell others to a permanent place to remember for you.

The key is that you want to free your thinking from too many things to remember. Keep in mind that our brains are most useful when we are being creative and solving problems. Having to try and recall every detail of our schedule from memory really limits our effectiveness.

Successfully managing your daily choices and actions is dependent upon managing from a plan and not your natural instincts. Remember – without an effective management system like the Next Level Achievement System, most, if not all, of our choices will cater to our comfort zones. You must give yourself the right arsenal to keep yourself on track to achieving your goals the right way – one effective choice at a time.

Using an effective management tool frees you to simply work from your plan and not renegotiate daily with your habits and comfort zones. Choose the right one for your situation and your goals, use that management tool to its full potential, and you will be well on your way to achieving!

Inspiring genuine growth and achievement in leaders, David Byrd has 30 years of experience working with top business executives and their organizations. He is a master of effective leadership and works closely with leaders worldwide to maximize their leadership potential. For more information about The Next-Level Achievement System® or David’s book, Achievement – A Proven System For Next Level Growth, visit
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