Increase Productivity By Planning The Night Before

increase productivity for successLife is busy. As college students, we always have different responsibilities that pull for our time. So, it is usually hard to get everything done each day, especially if we plan on hanging out with friends or sleeping.

You might ask, “What can I do to be more productive?”

Well, I try to only give advice from experience. And making a to-do list the night before has been huge in increasing my production. Absolutely huge!

How To Plan The Next Day The Night Before

Planning the next day the night before should not be a long drawn out process, otherwise that would defeat the purpose of increasing productivity if you had to spend hours doing it. Instead, spend around 10 to 15 minutes thinking of your tasks for the next day.

Then, consider these tasks in context of their importance to your long-term goals. For example, two tasks that are regularly on my to-do list for the next day include writing another blog post and homework. I always give more priority to a new blog post—as that has a larger importance in my future goals—than homework, because I’m graduating in a couple of months and there is less riding on how well I do in my classes. But, I will give more importance to homework than something that can be put off, like laundry.

The final step is to write down these next day’s tasks on a post-it note or loose leaf paper, with some type of system to mark important tasks that need to be done tomorrow to accomplish your big goals.(Personally, I find post-it notes to be the most convenient as I stick it on the open space to the left, or right, of my MacBook’s trackpad.)

So, your system that signals the important tasks could: numerically rank them, highlight them, or put a star next to them. Someway or somehow, make sure you know what needs to be done the next day to set yourself up for success.

Why Writing A To-Do List For The Next Day Works

This productivity tip works because when you make a plan the night before, you’re instantly giving yourself a head start when you wake-up next morning. By using this strategy, you’re not going to waste time thinking of what you’re going to do and when you’re going to do it. Plus, you will accomplish the most important tasks first, and then see if you have time to do less valuable activities.

The concept is similar to how runners put their running outfit and shoes by their bed at night, so in the morning they can instantly put them on and go outside to run. Limiting decision-making will give you more energy and time to get your tasks done.

Also, research says that writing your goals down, whether short-term or long-term, improves your chances of achieving them. So, just do it!

Soon, you’ll watch the momentum from your daily achievements transform your future weeks, months, and years. The more experienced you get, the better you can fine-tune your to-do list and production over time.

Action Steps

1. Take out a post-it note or loose leaf paper the night before.

2. Spend 10 to 15 minutes thinking about what needs to be done tomorrow, and how important each task is to accomplish your major goals.

3. Write down these tasks in the order of their importance.

4. The next day, finish tasks and do my favorite activity: cross them off your list! It’s so satisfying.

5. Repeat these four steps.

Brian Robben

Brian Robben is the founder of Take Your Success, a site dedicated to helping entrepreneurs and wantrepreneurs grow a profitable business and reach freedom. For in-depth training, visit: