Today we are Wrapping Things Up by Talking Time…
AND HOT DAMN…DO I HAVE STRONG OPINIONS ABOUT THIS ONE!
One of the biggest things that people come to me for help on is getting organized. They constantly feel disorganized, that the important things are getting deprioritized and that they never have time for themselves and for the things that they want to do. I mean, just think about it. When you set a goal to get healthy and don’t follow-through, what do you say? “I don’t have time”, probably, am I right? What about the hobbie you’ve been dying to get back into? Or that book you want to read or write? Or maybe going out to lunch with that old friends? What’s one of the single most common excuses people use for not achieving their goals and getting what they want out of life? If it’s not having enough money, it’s that they don’t have enough time.
I get it. And today, I’m going to give you my absolute top tips for taking back your time so that you can start spending yours doing the shit you actually care about!
Take care of yourself physically. This is perhaps the biggest, but most underappreciated aspect of productivity…your physical health. Think about the days when you’re hungover or sick. What do you feel like doing those days? How motivated and disciplined are you? How efficient are you? I’m guessing that your answer to these questions is “Not very…”, am I right? Because in both of those states, we’re not physically at our best! When we lack sleep, we’re tired and unmotivated. When we’re not eating well, we’re tired and unmotivated. When we haven’t worked out in a while, we’re not as energetic. It’s a proven fact that physical self-care gives you energy and vitality and when you have that in your body, you also have that in your mind. Taking care of yourself physically is one of the single best ways to increase your productivity. We all know this, but few of us do it. It’s simple. Get enough sleep. Get daily movement in. Eat whole foods. Hydrate. That’s it. Take a moment to schedule your physical self-care.
Schedule FRICKEN Everything. This is another simple thing that we know we should do, but so many of us don’t. We rely on our brains to remember way the eff too much. Not anymore though. Want to level up your productivity? Schedule everything and anything. And I’m not just talking about the obvious things like work meetings, your kids piano recitals or soccer games, appointments, etc. I’m talking everything. Brendon Burchard likes to say, “Ambition sucks without a calendar” and I love that saying because it applies to any and all aspirations that we have for our lives, whether they’re related to our career, health, relationships, etc. Do you have a weekly workout goal? Okay. Schedule into your calendar when you’re going to workout. Do you have a goal to grocery shop and meal prep each week? Schedule it. Weekly date night? Schedule it. Time with your kids? Schedule it. It may seem ridiculous to put this many things into our schedule, but it’s, in my experience and from the experience of so many high-achieving individuals, it’s the only way to increase the likelihood that things actually get done. So get out that calendar and get scheduling.
Review. Review. Review. We all have a lot on our plates, especially in this technology and abundance driven world. There’s a lot of things pulling at our attention and time. Even when we’re great about scheduling things into our calendar, things can still fall through the cracks. That’s why next tip for you is to review, review, review. Each month, I do a monthly review. Not only do I look back at the month that’s passed and reflect on what’s gone well and what hasn’t, but I also look forward at what’s to come. This let’s me know what birthday’s, appointments, deadlines, etc. are coming up and also allows me to plan my commitments, goals, etc. into the month. I do something similar each week, reflecting the previous week and planning for the week to come. Just as I do for the month, I plan my commitments, appointments, goals, workouts, meals, etc. Lastly, each morning I do something similar, except on a smaller scale. I look at the day ahead of me and plan my priorities and goals for the day. If I need to make changes to my workouts, priorities, goals for the day that morning, I will. But doing this sort of consistent review not only makes me more sane because I feel prepared, but it keeps me on top of my goals and commitments. I highly recommend you do something similar. I suggest starting with a Weekly routine. Schedule your next weekly routine into your week and give it a try.
BONUS: Habitualize everything! It’s BONUS tip time! And my first tip is to habitualize everything. What do I mean by that? Simple. Habits and routines are things that we’ve fine-tuned and structured enough that we no longer have to think about them. When we turn certain daily, weekly and monthly activities into part of a larger habit or routine, it ultimately just makes it easier for us. It allows us to focus our time and mental/physical energy on more focus intensive tasks. Some examples of things that you can habitualize – meditation, journaling, workouts, stretching, hydration, meals, meal prepping, laundry, checking email, cleaning your house, etc. Take a moment to brainstorm some things you can habitualize and make a game plan to give them a try.
BONUS #2: If it’s not “Hell Yes, it’s No.” One last BONUS for you. And this one in particular is for all those people that find themselves overwhelmed with commitments and who feel like they never have time for themselves. You my friend need to start setting boundaries around your time. So many of us operate from a misguided set of beliefs that it is our responsibility to make everyone else happy. So, we say yes to everything. Every social gathering. Every lunch or coffee date. Every assignment at work. Every volunteer activity. We say yes to baking brownies for that bake sale for our kids and end up pissed off and frustrated because we’d rather be spending our one free night of the week watching our favorite TV show. And what does this do? It makes us bitter and burns us out because we never have time to rejuvenate. Understandably, there are times when you don’t have any control over being overloaded at work. But in the rest of our lives we have control! And we need to take that control back. The rule I operate by is, “If it’s not HELL YES, then it’s no.” If my first inclination when I’m given the opportunity to take part in something isn’t “HELL YES”, then it’s no. If I’m not pumpe and unbelievably excited about partaking in said activity, than I’m not going to partake at all. That is the rule of thumb I live by, and I invite you to do the same. Regardless of if you do though, it’s important to set boundaries around your time. STOP SAYING YES TO EVERYTHING other people want you to do so that you can, instead, start SAYING YES to the shit YOU actually want to do!