08 Mar Ready to Take Back Your Day?
It’s 8 am. You’ve had a good night’s sleep. You’re sitting at your clear desk with a fresh cup of coffee in your hand and you’re wearing your favorite scarf. You’re ready to take on the day! Then it all falls apart.
By the time 5pm rolls around, you’ve spilled your fifth cup of coffee onto your favorite scarf, taken so many phone calls that your ear is numb, and your desk is not only no longer clear, you can’t even find it under the mounds of paperwork.
“What happened?” you ask yourself.
It’s a common scenario that happens every single day across the country. The best of intentions for a productive day are obliterated by 9am. You find yourself spending your time “fighting fires” and reacting to your day instead of telling your day how it’s going to go.
Here’s the most effective way to take back your day:
Have a to-do list. I know, I know. This is not new information. To-do lists have been around since the caveman days. But this to-do list is different. It’s based on planning your time and not just a list of things that need to get done. It’s easy, really. In the same way you plan out your meetings for each day, use your planner to plan your “To-Do-s” as well. This way, you’re treating the tasks you need to get done with the same respect as you treat someone you’ve made an appointment with.
Here’s an example: You need to work on your marketing plan for next quarter. You write it on your (old) To-Do list, but it’s been there for weeks and it’s not getting done. Instead of pushing it off every time something exepected occurs until you’ve basically run out of time in your day, treat it like an appointment. You wouldn’t interrupt a meeting with your client for an unexpected phone call, would you? Assuming it’s not an emergency, you would let the caller go to voice mail and return their call as soon as you were free.
This can work for anything you feel you haven’t had time to get done: exercise, industry research, personal finances, even reading with your child. Make an appointment with the task, and treat it the same way you would treat a person: Respect its “time.”
Making appointments with your To-Do list can be done with either a digital planner/calendar or one in a paper format. My (current) favorite planner is Action Day: (Available from www.actionday.com)
Another good way to plan your time is to use a Schedule Tracker by the author of Cultivating Peace, Stephanie Haynes. (Available at www.stephaniehaynes.net). The Schedule Tracker gives you a chance to look at your week all on one page so that you can plan your week in a more balanced way.
So what do you think? Is it time to take back your day?