Have A Focused, Effective and Productive Day
It's the start of your day and you've got a lot to get done. You're thinking about all these things and they're whizzing around in your mind. You may well be feeling under pressure because there's so much and wondering how you'll ever do it all. The temptation is to think that you just need to get started now and plough headfirst into your day. This may achieve what you want, but is more likely to be ineffective and your actions are scattered instead of focused. Your mind will be preoccupied with everything else you need to do instead of being free and in the moment to concentrate on the particular task you're doing. Instead of this, I invite you to stop and take just 5 minutes to gather your thoughts and see a clear way forward for your day. A way for your day to be focused, effective and productive. This is what you want for your day, isn't it?
If so, here are the steps you need to consider.
1. Write everything down: Instead of leaving everything in your mind, put it down on paper so that you can clearly see what you're facing. While it's in your mind continually running around it will seem to be much more than when it's out on paper.
2. Choose your priorities: Looking at all the items, choose the one's for today that are important to you. These are the tasks that are chosen in alignment with your vision and values.
3. Remove future steps: Some of the tasks on your list may be steps that require something else to be done first. If so, ensure that you've identified the first step to take and move the other steps back to their individual projects.
4. Choose a manageable step: For the items that you've written down, which of these are larger tasks, the projects that are not going to be completed today? Define what the one step is that you're going to take today to move this project forward effectively and only have this one step included in your plan for the day.
5. Say no and delegate: You've heard this plenty of times and the acid test is are you actually doing it? Perhaps you're stuck in thinking that you're doing it enough or have good reasons for not doing it. However much you justify these thoughts to yourself, remember who you're cheating. You need to move from all the thinking that's going on in your head to your heart and really connect with yourself to see what if anything is stopping you from saying no and delegating more.
6. Choose your achievements for the day: By now your list of tasks for the day will be reduced, although there could still be way too much. You probably think that you can get it all done. But first stop and ask yourself how often do you get to the end of a day having achieved what you wanted and feeling good about yourself. Chances are for most people this doesn't happen and they get to the end of their day acutely aware of all that they haven't done. If this is you, then I invite you to choose tasks and action steps that you know you will comfortably achieve in the day so that you're not facing a never-ending list. If you complete all your tasks for the day and still have free time then you can choose one more task or action step.
7. Ask yourself powerful questions: Instead of using statements that keep you stuck such as "I don't know what my priorities are" or "There's nothing I can delegate or say No to", ask yourself powerful questions that open up possibilities. Questions such as, "If I knew what my priorities are, what would they be?"
If I knew what to say No to or delegate, what would they be?
What specific step do I need to take towards a particular project?
What will it take to only choose tasks and action steps that I know I have time for today?
Quiet your mind, ask the question and be willing to listen to and act on your answer.
8. Shift who you're being as a person: Being comes before doing, although most people operate the other way round. You first need to be the person who is . . . organised, focused on priorities, delegates etc. From who you're being is where you determine what you need to do. So, at anytime during your day if you feel yourself slipping, stop and ask yourself who do you need to be? From defining who you need to be, you'll naturally see what you need to do.
9. Schedule time for yourself: You are a priority and as such you need to ensure there's time in your day for you to do whatever feels good for you, and leaves you feeling refreshed, energised and nourished.
10. Have fun, keep playing & experimenting: Keep all of this fun and light-hearted. When you find a way to approach all that you do with this intention you'll find everything much easier. Keep playing and experimenting with all of these ideas so that you find what works for you as the unique individual that you are.
What I want for you is to be focused, effective and productive every day.
She works with business owners, professionals and executives to unlock their full potential greater success, joy and fulfilment. To receive Wendy's fre^e newsletter, send an email to: [email protected] or visit
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