Today let’s look at time management, and how I use the night before to plan for my day ahead. Could this help you? Is your productivity where you want it to be? Or are you under performing? Are you finding stress is increasing in your life? Maybe it has reached uncomfortable levels. Are today’s reality and tomorrow’s dreams miles apart for you? Maybe the bridge between the two is getting bigger day by day, alas it is for so many that I speak to. More often than not the reason for this is they are lacking in direction and purpose, and their days never seem to have any structure to them. How often do you make the time to construct your priorities and design your days? Time Management seems to be a subject where many of you are searching for solutions.
The bad news is, you will never be able to find more than 24 hours in the day. But the good news is that by just taking a little time to identify what needs to be done, organising the resources you require, and seeing clearly your highest priorities, you can ensure you’ll get so much more done than normal.
How often do you start your day with the best intentions, having a vague sense of what you want to accomplish, but things just don’t work out like planned. You end up fighting fires, dealing with problems, and handling whatever comes your way throughout the day.
It seems you are always working against the clock. You’ve always got more to do than hours in the day to do it. So how you spend your time is a key strategic decision. That’s why it’s a good idea to create a to do list and an ignore list. It is essential you determine the few important things you can focus on to get the best use of your time.
A great influence on my life came from Jack LaLanne, the fitness, exercise, and nutritional expert and motivational speaker sometimes called “the godfather of fitness” who introduced me to a morning exercise ritual. He spent the first two hours of his day exercising. Ninety minutes lifting weights and 30 minutes swimming or walking. Every morning. And for many years this is what I did, and loved it.
It also showed me the benefit of regular routines. Anything worth doing is worth doing well and deliberately. You have to work consistently and deliberately, toward your goals. Those things you care about enough are worth building into your schedule.
So isn’t it time you started each day not only with the best intentions, but with a sense of knowledge that you will achieve everything you set out to do. You need to be creating a schedule for yourself where you focus on your priorities throughout the day.
One of my best routines is the 25 minutes I spend the end of every evening designing my next day schedule. I sit down with a blank piece of paper and ask myself ‘What can I genuinely achieve that will further my goals and allow me at the end of the day to feel like I’ve been productive and successful?’ It’s so important to be focused on the steps necessary to take you closer to the fulfilment of your goals.
Then I write down the activities I will need to perform. Once I’m happy with my list, I schedule each activity into time slots, beginning with the most important task. I will at the end of scheduling my timetable ensure I’ve accounted for each hour of my working day. It’s so important to manage your day hour by hour. Creating a schedule is highly important part of effective time management. It is very important to make sure, that this daily goals are realistic, possible to achieve.
During the night, your unconscious mind replays and processes this late-night input up to six times more often than anything else you experienced during the day. As you drift off to sleep, you enter into the alpha brain wave state of consciousness—a state in which you are very suggestible. It makes sure it organises the day ahead for you, so you are totally focused and ready to do what it is you have scheduled.
I also make sure I analyse my day’s performance. As I sit calmly in a state of quiet meditation, I see the events from the day just gone in my mind. I just observe them without any kind of judgment or self-criticism. When I have played through all the events of the day I then focus on each individual incident and replay it in my mind the way I would have preferred to have done it, if everything had been perfect. This creates a subconscious image that will help form the desired behavior the next time a similar situation occurs. It prepares me to be more conscious and deliberate the next time around. After all they say practice makes perfect. They also say learn from your mistakes. I find this time spend overviewing my day an awesome way to personally develop myself and my abilities.
Tomorrow I will pick up on creating your ‘ignore list’. How to make sure you no longer allow those time wasters to eat away at your valuable time.
Planning your day ahead will not just let you be organized but will also help you be far more productive and far less stressed. Try it for yourself, it really does work.