Recently I finished a book called Managing your Day to Day by Jocelyn K. Glei. Many of the concepts are extremely relevant to entrepreneurs/artists. It discusses strategies for planning your day but it also incorporates an abundance of information about creativity and achieving goals.
How does this help you? It motivated me to get my day planned out much more efficiently, which means I have more time for writing blog posts to help educate/motivate/entertain you.
What are your primary goals? This can be personal, professional or both. For example, my professional goal was to expand how many clients/athletes are exposed to the science based training environment at Peak Condition, while still providing the best training experience in Portland, Oregon. With the goal in mind you determine what actions need to be taken. Then perhaps more importantly you schedule time for those actions. A simple example just occurred with a PC athlete who has a goal of losing weight. Their action item was to become more active during the day. I told her to schedule 30 minutes of walking during lunch. It’s not complicated but life has a way of getting in the way if you don’t have time blocked off.
I’ve noticed two huge reasons scheduling helps.
Stress management: Just like you experienced in school, the stress of a deadline was often worse than actual doing the project. When you have regularly scheduled time specifically for working towards a goal the stress associated with it disappears. I believe this happens for 2 reasons. One, you know you have time to work on it. When I don’t have time for a project it always raises my stress level. Second, the schedule provides a finite time to work. I’ve found that if you give yourself 3 weeks to get a project done it will take you 3 weeks. Even if it’s really only worth 1 week or sometimes 1 hour of time!
Improved Productivity: This builds a little off having a finite time scheduled for an activity. Our lives are inundated with technological distractions, Facebook, twitter, Instagram, Youtube….the list goes on. My personal distraction is either Superhero trailers (Spiderman, Captain America, X-men) or strength and conditioning continued education. It turns out that scheduling productive time is only half the battle. The other half is resisting distraction. When possible I find it helpful to remove the temptation by writing on paper instead of typing or disconnecting the internet, plus I always put my phone out of reach face down. This way I can’t reactively look at it or see the flashing notification light trying to distract me, because it can wait.
Perhaps the most valuable part of all of this is Happiness (what happens when I read Calvin and Hobbes). Less stress and more productivity always makes me feel better.
“Laziness may appear attractive, but work gives satisfaction.” – Anne Frank
Through his simple process I’ve developed a much better work to life ratio, which in return has helped me with the quality of my life. Instead of wishing there were more hours in the day become more efficient with the time you have. What is your goal? Schedule time for it, determine what steps you need to take and remove distractions. There is a reason we prefer to have all our athletes on a regular schedule for their personal training programs, it works.