If you’re anything like me (and it’s entirely possible that the thought of that might scare you to death), you are a person that wants to nail down the to-do list and get ensure that you’re getting the most out of your day. That doesn’t mean that you’re trying to squeeze 4 more hours out of your alloted 24 hour day, rather it means that you’re making effective use of the time you have. I’ve got some ideas for you about how to get the most out of your day. HOW TO CRUSH IT EVERY DAY
- WHAT’S NUMBER ONE? What’s the one thing you have to do today? Write it down. When you know what the one single priority item you have to do today is, it makes it easier to accomplish. Whatever you do, don’t make some huge list of all the things you have to do by the end of the day, because if you don’t manage to kill all the items on the list, you won’t feel like you accomplished anything.
- DON’T LET THE SUN FIND YOUR ASS IN BED. I’m exaggerating a bit, but if you get up an hour or two before the other folks in your house do, or before friends and co-workers start distracting you, or before you start finding reasons to do other things, you’re going to find that you can get a whole lot more done. I promise you, once you realize what kind of forward momentum you can gain if you get up early and get things done, you’ll never sleep late again.
- THE CALENDAR IS YOUR FRIEND. The last half hour of your day before bed should be spent making a plan for the next day. That one thing you HAVE to do tomorrow? This is when you write it down. Schedule out appointments. Block out your time for your most important work and other tasks that you would like to get done. Calendars are there for a reason, use them to block out your day. (Important: once it’s in your calendar, it’s a commitment. You have to have that mindset, or frankly, nothing is going to help you.)
- WHAT OUTSIDE WORLD? Your time is your time. Don’t let anything in. Turn off the phone. No social media. Nothing that is destructive to productivity. I find that listening to music that has a catchy beat or lyrics is really distracting to me. (I listen to this album most of the time when I’m writing.) When you don’t fracture your attention, you not only turn out a lot of work, but your work will be of a quality you hadn’t thought possible.
- THE FUDGE FACTOR. Don’t kid yourself, you’re not going to get it all done every day. So schedule ‘fudge time’ into your calendar later in the week to tie up the loose ends. Doesn’t matter when it is, but make sure you have time scheduled out to take care of business you didn’t get to during the week. If you knocked it out of the park, take the kids to the park. Take your wife out on a date. Go see friends, or go spend that time by yourself out at a place that brings you some joy. Or...
- REVIEW. You could take that time to do a weekly review of what you accomplished, and make a plan for the next week. Put some time in the calendar to review in any case. If you take some time to acknowledge what you managed to get done, you’ll find yourself motivated to keep going. Celebrate what you did, set goals for what you want to accomplish in the next week, and think about what you want to do a little further out, but no more than about 90 days or so. This is targeted stuff here, the brain dump of all the maybe someday is another story for another post.
One other thing I want to tell you about crushing it at productivity every day: Water is your friend. Start your day with water, BEFORE caffeine. I drink one 16 ounce bottle first thing in the morning, then I hit the caffeine, and follow that up with another 16 ounce bottle of water shortly thereafter. Most of the time, when you wake up, you’re thirsty (at least, I am. Your mileage may vary) but more often than not we reach for something that dehydrates us further first thing in the morning. Grab the water first and give your body a chance to hydrate, I promise that you’re going to feel much more alert and ready to go when you give your body what it needs, when it needs it most.
Do you have any methods that you practice every day?