Take control of your time and your choices.
Most people prioritise according to urgency, and then are driven to achieve what’s on their ‘to do’ list. If we pay more attention to what’s important – what will move the business and our contribution forward – we immediately increase the meaning in what we do. We each have times of our day when we are ‘on fire’ and other times of the day when we are a little less brilliant. Be clear about when your peak time is and use it well. Be selfish about it. Everyone can ring-fence some of that peak time. An hour a day to commit to getting the critical and important work started and moved along is all it takes. By disciplining yourself to push those projects on inch by daily inch, you trigger creativity, generate calm about having started them and excitement about what difference it will make for the business as they evolve. It keeps your head up by focussing on the vision instead of down on the operational grind.
Understand that energy is a finite resource.
Time and energy are finite. Jealously guard them both. Give up worrying needlessly, focus on what you can control and influence and take action there. If you ruminate or blurt about things that you cannot control or influence – then stop it – and use your energy in more productive and energising ways. Manage interruptions in a way that respects your own time – along with the needs of others. You are not an ATM that others can take energy from whenever they choose to. Look after the skin you’re in – eat, exercise and rest so that you can fulfil your daily potential.
Be clear about the single priority that matters right now.
A great time management system gives you clarity and focus so that throughout the day you are clear on what the priority is right now. Enjoy the focus of thinking only of that one thing and giving it your all. We can only consciously do one thing at a time. Focus on that priority and forget what else is going on. Then – move on to the next priority.
Be present in your heart as well as your head.
Most of our thinking is unfocussed and energy-sapping. Statistically, 65% of our daily thoughts are negative or redundant. Develop the habit of clearing your mind and resting in the moment, being consciously grateful for what you value about the here and now. That will allow your mental and physical energy to be deployed to the task at hand.
Relax and enjoy.
Once you know that you’re working on the right thing and are present in the activity, remember to relax and enjoy the moment. Be with whomever is there fully, think openly and be grateful for the stimulation in the moment. Smile a little – or a lot!