A few years ago, when I lived in Japan, I spent a small portion of each evening writing down in my journal what I had learned that day. These were lessons that, no matter how big or small, I was sure I’d look back on and think, that was a great experience. I haven’t done this for a few years now, but I have begun doing something similar with tracking my daily achievements. Towards the end of last year I began analyzing my productivity. I would feel exhausted at the end of each day yet couldn’t think of what, exactly, I had accomplished to warrant such a state. And I was fed up. I’ll be the first one to say how precious hours and time in general can be. Most of us have dreams, ambitions, and goals that we want to accomplish in this life, but are we doing things each day to further those goals? Whether we take big steps or small, we can always work towards realizing our dreams.
In our lifespan we roughly have about 30, 000 days at our disposal. How are you spending yours? Truly?
Here are 3 simple things we can do to make the most of each day.
The best way to ensure you are excited and enthusiastic about the day ahead is to be grateful for what you already have, right now. Not only does it allow you to recognize that you have abundance around you, but it also gets you jazzed for what’s to come. Writing a list is good if you have a hard time thinking about what you are grateful for. Trust me, it is easy once you start going. Food in your fridge, a roof over your head, clothes on your body, friends to chat with, a job to go to, dishes to wash, kids to clean up after, shoes to walk outside in — the list could go on. This enthusiasm for the day will give you the drive necessary to meet goals you set and have a productive day pursing them.
Plan Your Day
If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times, but most people still ignore this essential tool. Our brains like patterns and order. In fact, it naturally seeks them out in waking life. Help yourself out and write down what you actually want to accomplish each day. A pitfall I often fall into is overwhelming myself with too many things to do in one day. Then, when I don’t accomplish all of them, I feel guilty. Not fun. Timeblocking events during the day goes a long way here too, as does being strict about adhering to that schedule. Think about how awesome it would feel to look back at your plan for the day and see that you had accomplished every thing on the list. Capturing your thoughts on paper is key! And I promise, you can still be a ‘free spirit’ when you plan.
Make a Most Valuable List and Stick To It
These items could appear on your list every day, meaning, they are so valuable to the accomplishment of your goals and feelings of productivity, that focused, undistracted time must be spent doing them. If they change on a day-to-day basis then prioritize which items go at the top based on knowing that when you accomplish this task, you’ll already feel like you’ve had a great day.
Staying on task is pretty important here because we can all easily get sucked into the distractions of modern live — getting pulled into a conversation at work, answering an email, reading a text message, or scrolling through newsfeeds are just some examples. Sometimes life calls for you to multi-task, but when you’re dealing with your most valuable list, giving each item your undivided attention is essential. If you start getting caught up in other things you’re working on at the time, chances are that item on the list will turn into an unfinished project. There is an art to getting your ‘stuff ‘ done, and it starts with staying focused on the most valuable tasks. Daily productivity = meeting or accomplishing goals.
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