It sounds so cliché, but it really is amazing how quickly the day flies by. Though technology is supposed to make our lives easier and save us time, somehow I find myself with less time than ever. And I do believe technology is to blame! It’s all those emails, texts, tweets and Facebook posts that end up taking up the bulk of my day. Though I’m at my desk most of the day, I find that when the day is over, I really haven’t achieved all that much. Sound familiar? Out of sheer necessity, I’ve created a formula that has changed everything and allowed me to finally take control of my day. I hope you find this formula as helpful as I do!
- Before going to bed each night make your “to do” list for the next day. Your list should ALWAYS contain three BOLD action items that will help you achieve your personal and/or professional goals. Without these bold items, your “to-do’s” can become a constant hamster wheel with no real progress to speak of.
- Set your alarm for one hour earlier than you usually wake up. You can do this...I promise. You’ll be amazed how much you get done in that one hour—this is when your house is likely to be the quietest. For me it’s 5am.
- Be sure to leave your alarm clock in your bathroom so that you HAVE to get out of bed to turn it off. The chance of you hitting that snooze button is all but eliminated. This is ESSENTIAL!
- Whatever you do, DO NOT check your email or texts when you first wake up. Those emails will take your time and attention and will get your day off course. By choosing to check emails first, you’re letting someone else control your day. Their needs are coming before yours. This causes you to begin your day by being reactive to someone else, rather than being proactive about your own goals. Remember those three bold actions on your “to do” list? Start your day by achieving at least one of them over your morning cup of coffee. This starts your day by focusing on what’s important to you. The sense of accomplishment sets the tone for your day.
- Before you even think about opening your “inbox”, open your calendar and schedule two important things:
- A 60 minute meeting with yourself to achieve the remaining bold actions you laid out the night before.
- Two to three 20 minute blocks of uninterrupted time to return emails. Do not read or return emails at any other time. It doesn’t matter when it is—could be when you’re waiting to pick your child up from school or when you first arrive at work. This is crucial to taking back control of your day! Stick with this schedule...you won’t believe how much more you accomplish in a day.
- Don’t even consider going to bed until you’ve made your “to do” list for the next day. Don’t forget your three bold action items. And don’t forget to set your alarm...in your bathroom!
You’re on your way to taking control of your day and achieving your goals in record time. Please share your journey with me. I’d love to know if you find this formula as successful as I have.