People from all walks of life fall into daily stress and overwhelm
because they feel they have too many things to do each day – from corporate managers, to parents, even retirees. Of course they all have a lot on their plates but, unknowingly they can be making it worse on themselves. Here’s how:
When the daily schedule and the to do list is floating around in our head
things fall through the cracks. For most people, the first thing that falls through is the workout and other activities that have to do with taking care of ourself like a healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner. Ironically, these are the activities that actually give us more stamina and energy to succeed, even in our most challenging of schedules.
One of the things I cover when coaching clients on making healthy life changes
is how to best organize their time. Because people who are successful at getting things done, to include fitting exercise into a busy day, are those who are successful at organizing their time.
In my last post I shared a simple way to put your big goals and dreams into perspective so you can actually accomplish them. But then you’ve got to break those big goals into smaller ones… daily ones.
Beginning your day with a plan plays a very important part in moving your life in the direction you want it to go. If you don’t already have a system for prioritizing and planning that works, this post is for you!
Below are three ways to organize
yourself in the morning so you stay on track through the day. If you use only one of these daily, you’ll find yourself having more productive days and getting more done.
I started the simplest system below during my first job as director of a health club and spa with over 90 employees – with less than a year of middle-management experience under my belt. I wasn’t taught this on the job. I learned it from a good friend’s mom who was a productivity dynamo. It was lucky for me that I knew her at the time, otherwise I would’ve been floundering like a fish out of water. Depending on what I have going on, my daily plan looks like one of the three below.
1. The Simplest System
Wake up in the morning and write out everything that’s swimming in your head. Write out all the things you have to do and want to do for the day.
Once you feel you’ve gotten it all on paper, go through your list and star the most important ones. Things you absolutely need to get done today.
If it’s a workout day, write it in.
Keeping this simple list can help you to remember everything and keep you focused on top priorities.
2. The Time Centered System
If you have a full day of commitments and you fear something might fall through the cracks because of how tightly everything is scheduled, take this extra step.
After you’ve brain dumped onto a page (as in step one above) transfer the time-bound appointments and phone calls into their proper time blocks on a timeline. Make sure you schedule any time you need for preparation or travel.
Take the next most important priorities and transfer them into the timeline, fitting them into open time slots where they logically work. Continue moving things from your priorities list into the timeline until you have no more time slots left in your day.
Don’t forget the workout.
This list will not fail you. You have placed everything on a timeline (leaving a teeny room for error of course) and you can see how much you can realistically get done in this day. In addition, you won’t unconsciously squeeze out any of the important things you need to get done by spending more than the allotted time on any of the others.
3. The Goal-Centered System.
I adapted this system from Brendon Burchard this year and made one little change to it. Brendon coaches senior executives and business owners (clientele like mine except a different area of coaching) on productivity and effectiveness, among other things.
Using this system combined with mine has advanced my daily energy and effectiveness to another level. You can watch Brendon’s video “How Millionaires Schedule Their Day” here.
1- At the top of the page, write out your big goal, your big purpose (this can be an encapsulating sentence from your goal for the year).
2- Under that, write out the big projects your working on (should correspond to your big goal above).
3- Under that, write out who you need to get back to, and who you’re waiting on getting back to you (your phone call, e-mail list).
4- Under that, write your to-do list with the most important activities you need to accomplish (just like system 1 above). Ideally some of these activities are in alignment with your achieving your goals and projects from #1 and #2.
Exercise goes into this area.
Live your day by the list.
And, avoid unrealistic expectations. You might work on list #1 and #3 for a couple of days, and that’s ok. List #2 will obviously be finished in a day.
I invite you to rise to a new level of participation in life
by adapting one or all of these systems into your morning routine.
I wasn’t a natural at organization. But with practice, I managed to get good at it. These three systems and my day planner help me keep everything running smoothly.
I’m interested in hearing from you in the comments below:
Do you have a system that helps you to be your most productive and also helps you to get your workouts done? Share what you think about my lists and share if you have any additional info that might help others who are also reading this post!