5 Quick and Easy Ways to Get More Out of Your Time and Your Life — Start NOW!
In my last blog, I talked about people putting too much on their plate and the need to exercise discernment– if you truly want to get the most from life. Here are a few practical suggestions for how to do that:
When it comes to getting appointments with clients, potential employers or business prospects prioritize your list and make your calls in order of importance. Call the biggest prospects or most important people FIRST. Most people just start at the top of the list and work their way down, or they begin with the easiest calls (which are usually low priorities). As a result their best prospects and clients often fall to the end of the line, where there is no room on your plate. Your best prospects are usually the busiest. So doesn’t it make sense to call them when you can easily accommodate them in your schedule?
2. Baby Steps
Begin the day by identifying what three baby steps (i.e. single actions) you can take to get to your most important goals. All big accomplishments are simply a series of small single actions that take less then five minutes to complete, such as finding a phone number, writing an email, reading a memo, or brainstorming an idea.
Then take those three steps – BEFORE you get thrown into a whirlwind of daily activity.
Because success breeds success, creating momentum at the beginning of the day makes the whole day more productive. Even if the rest of your day is lousy, you can still feel great at the end of it, when you look back, and recognize that you made progress toward your most important goals.
Go into every situation clear about the outcome. Get very specific about how you will know if you were successful. Dig deep until you have something specific and concrete. Doing this on the front-end, forces you to think things through so you don’t have a whole lot of “woulda, coulda, shoulda” when its time for dessert.
If for example you will be attending a networking function, decide what outcome you want such as meeting three qualified prospects, or to connect with a certain decision maker. If you are cleaning your office, decide which piles will be cleared before you are done. Visualize the outcome first and you will be more likely to succeed. If you are having dinner with a close friend, decide how you want them to feel by the end of the evening, or perhaps what issue you want to resolve. This type of outcome-oriented thinking, backed by your actions will not only help you feel more accomplished, it will also have a very positive effect on your confidence and self-esteem.
Give yourself time every day to unwind, relax and be. Time to center yourself is not just important for your physical, mental and emotional health, it is actually the key to sustaining achievement. You can unwind with a lot more ease if you have implemented the steps above because you will have a sense of accomplishment.
5. Say “YES”
Whether you need a friend to help you clear clutter, a mentor to inspire you, a coach to hold you accountable, a workshop to acquire new skills, or seminar to nurture your spirit, get the nourishment you need. Say “yes” to getting help! None of us can do it alone.
The old saying: “if you keep doing what you been doing, You will keep get what you have been getting,” is true. Chances are, that if you COULD do it alone, you would have already done so. Getting outside assistance can give you the kind of perspective that is impossible for people to gain when working alone. It does not mean you are incompetent or incapable, it means you are smarter and more conscious than most because you realize your limitations. You will be surprised how much more effective you can be when you focus more of your time doing what you do REALLY well.
Setting priorities and having defined outcomes do not inhibit your ability to be spontaneous, in fact, it encourages it. That is because when you have identified and completed what is important, it gives you a sense of accomplishment which frees you to do what you want to do. The baby steps keep you moving forward and prevent overwhelm and procrastination. Top that off with periods of deep relaxation to rejuvenate mind, body and soul. Then sprinkle with meaningful connections, growth and connection with others.
It is recipe for success that works every time.