I had an incredibly effective exchange with Elder Wainwright this week, one principle of effective planning that I drew from it was this- always leave enough time between appointments to contact everyone! In the past, I've had a tendency to try have all appointments in immediate succession. This is an example of "better" as opposed to "best." It also can create punctuality issues. By better using my daily planner (and my brain) I've found that the days fill up much quicker and time is used far more wisely. It all goes back to effective planning!
Another thing that Elder Wainwright and I discussed at some length was accounting, what we account for, and how we account for it. We'd both found that many missionaries, ourselves included, had a tendency to try and create something new. Some idea that will promote greater effectiveness in some part of missionary work (especially in working with members.) Some new key indicator to focus on. Sometimes this is incredibly effective... until the whole zone moves. What then happens is that missionaries take this idea and apply it in there new areas and districts and zones... until eventually everyone is accounting for far too many things far too often. The secret is to stick to Preach My Gospel! All we need to do to see success in EVERY part of missionary is simply follow the counsel given to us in Preach My Gospel, the White Handbook, and the Scriptures. If we do that, we won't need anything else! The Spirit will direct us and the work of salvation will move forward in unity throughout the mission. I know I just went on something of a rant, but it was a wonderful discussion that I gained a lot from.