Stop the cycle. Don’t let another unsatisfying day turn into an unproductive week. Stop for a second and consider the reasons why you’re not getting things done at home, at work, and in life.
It likely stems from one or all of the reasons listed below:
1) Poor plan/no plan – Life is too important and too complex to not create priorities for yourself. Yet, many choose to go through their day without a plan, or with vague tasks they haven’t truly considered whether they can, should, or even want to accomplish.
Instead do this: Set yourself up for success. Spend 20 minutes every Sunday listing weekly goals you want to accomplish, and spend 15 minutes each morning (or the night before) preparing the task list and schedule that satisfies these goals. Create a thoughtful plan for yourself and you’ll be more likely to follow it.
2) Unrealistic expectations – Is your to-do list too large? Many suffer by making “everything but the kitchen sink” lists and fall short because a) there wasn’t enough time, or b) the timing was wrong.
Instead do this: A successful outcome for your to-do list is having all your items checked off. Strive for this victory each day. Estimate the time of each task you want to accomplish and compare it to the time slots you see available in your day planner. What you don’t have time for must be delegated or pushed to another day. Keep it real.
3) You allowed yourself to be distracted: Whether it’s Facebook or a last-minute help request from a co-worker, all distractions lead you to procrastinate from what truly needs to get done.
Instead do this: Say “no” to requests, delegate tasks you don’t have time to complete, and stay disciplined. The weekly and daily plan you set for yourself is a personal commitment, don’t let yourself down. Time is your most valuable asset, protect it with care.
A final word of advice – The same way you plan for slow traffic on snowy days, you must plan for all the possible delays, tangents, and detours life throws at you. Pad your day with break time, meal time, and a little extra time for the unexpected. Leave yourself a little breathing room each day.
Day-Timer Spokesperson Jeff Doubek can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
[stopsign photo by z6p6tist6]