Daily time management techniques begin the night before. You play it back in your mind. "I didn't get everything done today. I have that important task staring at me tomorrow. I was so tired today I just fell into the couch and was asleep by 8:00 pm." How many of you have had that conversation with yourself or your spouse? Maybe you even received a little friendly help in remembering what you didn't get done?
Today I'll give you a handful of ideas to maximize each day. And it does start the night before. Give your subconscious the ammunition it needs to help as you sleep. Drift off with thoughts of what you will do tomorrow and how it will turn out exactly correct.
I'll give you some time management techniques that will set up your day in advance and will keep you on task and energized. And I'll suggest an empowering book to serve as a guide. It begins right here.
Set the alarm an hour earlier than normal. "What do you mean earlier? I just said I was whipped from the day before. Now you want me up earlier.?" Yes, earlier. I used to consider myself the ultimate night person. I told myself that I got the most done at night. Until I really looked at what was getting done. Or more importantly, not getting done.
Use that early start for some very important work to guarantee your success in this new day. There are a couple easy time management techniques you can do right away to get focused on a great day.
Visualize yourself getting everything done that you had gone to bed contemplating the night before. Many people will skip this step because they don't think it works. It does work. A few minutes setting the creative side of your brain in motion will open up ideas and insight to allow you to wade through the challenges. It works every time you try it. It fails every time you skip this step. You get to choose.
Write down what you have visualized yourself accomplishing. I know what you are thinking. " I don't need to write it down. I'll remember it." It isn't just remembering it. It is utilizing your entire brain. When you write down your plan for today, the executive decision-making part of your brain kicks in to problem solving mode right away. Unless you fail to......
Eliminate distractions. I used to get up, grab a cup of coffee and watch the news for thirty minutes. At which point my focus on the day ahead had been replaced by thoughts of another armed robbery at a gas station last night or a blown chance at a victory by the Red Wings in the third period. You can go over all that stuff at night when you've finished a completely successful day. Stay focused in the morning on setting up that great day.
We have an entire section centering around the amazing health benefits of the Mediterranean diet. Eating an excellent breakfast is part of that plan. This cannot be stated enough. Skipping breakfast or grabbing a quick cinnamon roll or breakfast bagel in a drive through lane is sabotaging your daily success and very likely leading to heart disease in the process. That will really wreck your day.
Refreshing power from eggs or maybe oatmeal, (the real stuff, not instant), along with some fresh fruit, will work well. It will keep you strong throughout the morning, until you grab a healthy, snack. Our page on Mediterranean diet breakfast ideas will offer some more great options.
Remember to eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper. Your energy level will zoom upward. As will your productivity and your feeling of empowerment.
I asked you to start an hour earlier than normal. Part of your regular schedule involved getting ready for work. You get to use part of this extra hour to eat breakfast.
Take about ten or fifteen minutes to read something from a book that further adds to your creative brain function. I like Zig Ziglar's book, "Something Else To Smile About." It has very short chapters, but big messages within the pages. Or maybe one of Robert Kiyosaki's books. They get me thinking, "What if?", and "Yeah, I can do that!". Reading something very positive each day is so powerful. Try it for a month. If it doesn't work, you can always go back to the depressing morning news blather. I think it will work for you, however.
This one won't apply to everyone. As I've written in the pages about cardiovascular health, thirty minutes of exercise is vital for every person. Sixty minutes is even better. But if your workout routine involves walking outside, such an early start may not be right for you. If it is, the time can be spent doing that very important first item. You can visualize your daily success as you walk. If you put in the exercise at night, you will be so energized from your successful day, that there will be no need to talk yourself into movement.
These time management techniques will sweep away some of the stress of racing off to work, not sure if you took care of everything in the house before leaving.
So you've gotten up earlier. You began right away with visualizing an excellent day and you've seen in your mind what you will accomplish today. You've written down what you fully expect to finish in a most spectacular effort. You didn't waste any time with television talking heads.
You had a fantastic, healthy breakfast and took about fifteen minutes to fill your mind with more knowledge from an uplifting book. Maybe you even got some exercise in, but if not, you'll get that done tonight.
After you've gotten ready to leave for the day, take just a few minutes to pack up some healthy snacks. If you have a place to store some fresh fruit, that is great. Almonds are always good because they can be stuffed anywhere, they will satisfy your hunger before lunch and they are so good for your heart health.
We're posting this page to help you plan for a successful day. Part of that is eliminating stress. That great breakfast will help because your energy level will be up. Another thing that will help is leaving in plenty of time to get where you need to be ahead of when you need to be there. Rushing and checking your watch will always raise that stress level and will undo all the good work you did by getting an earlier start today.
Get there early, get settled in and take five more minutes in some quiet reflection with yourself. Center you mind to the tasks at hand. Then take the next big step that too many people avoid. Of all the time management techniques, this one seems to bog people down the most.
Do the hardest thing on your schedule first. Take on that one thing you may be dreading and attack it right away. Clear it off the list and from then on the day will sail along. Your energy level is at the highest point at the start of your day. Your mind is most focused at this time. Use those two advantages to wipe out that big challenge. Procrastination also saps energy and causes a loss in focus. Decide to procrastinate later. Do the important things right away.
Brian Tracy is the master time management teacher. I highly recommend "Eat That Frog." In this short book he provides some incredible insight into time management techniques.
I would add here to skip the temptation to check your personal e mail or click on Facebook. That is all end of day stuff after your amazing accomplishment segment of the day following the time management techniques you set in motion the night before.
There is a place for Facebook. It is a useful business tool. We have a Facebook page for books-empower.com. Successful time management techniques teach us when and where to use social media forums.
Mark Zuckerberg has made an immense fortune from Facebook. But in my humble opinion, that type of social media has drained so much productivity out of so many people and caused great harm in many cases. I'm not blaming the portal. No one forces people to post things that get them in trouble. There are no successful time management techniques that involve such actions.
Use any break time at work to grab one of your healthy snacks. Evaluate your progress so far and make necessary corrections. Don't forget to congratulate yourself on nailing that first big challenge and then sweeping through the subsequent objectives. Good work on your part. Your time management techniques are already rewarding you.
Starting off your day an hour or so earlier is a proven key to massive accomplishment. You still need to get enough sleep, That will actually be easier with this new regimen. You'll be satisfied with your day and sleep will come easier as you drift off with thoughts of another great day tomorrow.
If you are third shift worker, the premise is the same. Your "morning" may be a different time on the clock. But you do the same things. Begin with solid time management techniques and let your brain power go to work.
Make it a great day!