Some of these things I do already, and I find that they really help. Others—like the “NOT to do list” have never occurred to me, but I do believe I’ll start using them.
7 Ways to Make the Most of Your Days
Wouldn’t it be nice to get the very most out of the 24 hours we’re blessed with each day? Good news! Getting the most out of your day can be as easy as these 7 simple ideas.
1. Write a To-Do List.
Using your Master List as a guide (you do have a Master List, right?), create a To-Do List every day. Include from 4–6 tasks on your To-Do List, and work on those items. Don’t allow yourself to put anything else on your list until those initial items are completed. In addition, be sure you have a mix of A (High), B (Medium), and C (Low) Priority items on your list. Try to have your list reflect 60% ‘A’ Priority items, 30% ‘B’ Priority items, and 10% ‘C’ Priority items.
2. Write a NOT To-Do List.
Write a list of what you’re doing each week that you want to stop doing. Are you involved in activities that you don’t enjoy? Are you always helping someone out and never getting any time-saving favors in return? Are you tired of dinner being interrupted so that you, or family members, must answer the telephone? Remember, you have the power to say ‘No.’ The choice is yours.
3. Give yourself an hour.
With everything going on in a given day, it’s no wonder that people schedule time for a million things, but never schedule time for themselves. Give yourself a minimum of an hour a day. Use this time to read, meditate, enjoy your garden, take a walk in the park—whatever it is that you love to do. And whatever you do, don’t break that appointment with yourself.
4. Get enough sleep.
Most people need between six to eight hours of sleep (some a little bit more), to feel refreshed and ready to go each day. Determine how many hours of sleep you need, and get that needed sleep each night. If possible, try to go to bed at the same time each night, and wake up at the same time each day. This will help your body get into a routine. Use an alarm clock to wake up. Don’t sleep more that your needed time, or less than your needed time–either of which can make you feel groggy and cranky.
5. Take short energy breaks.
In order to get the most out of your day, it’s important to feel energetic. If you’re hungry, or you’re feeling light-headed, take a short break and have a snack–something nutritious. Feeling a little bit stressed? Take a 10 minute nap, or an invigorating 10-minute walk.
6. Eliminate interruptions.
It’s difficult to get things done when you’re being interrupted. Are co-workers constantly stopping by your office to chat? Do your kids interrupt you every time you start writing that letter you’ve been meaning to get to? Is your phone always ringing off the hook, and interrupting the projects you’re working on? If you really need to get something done, it’s important to focus. And the only way to focus is to eliminate interruptions. Close your office door. Give your kids a project to work on, while you write your letter. Have your voicemail, answering machine, or assistant take your calls for you.
7. Define your hours.
If you need to work on something important every day, define the hours you plan to work on that project and block those hours of time out on your calendar. For instance, if you’re in business, you might consider Monday 9 a‑10 a your ‘Marketing Hour,’ 10 a‑11 a your ‘Phone Hour,’ and 11 a‑12 n your ‘E‑mail Hour.’ If you’re home, perhaps 8 a‑9 a could be your ‘Quiet Hour,’ 10 a‑11 a may be your ‘Errand Hour’ and 5 p‑6 p might be your ‘Dinner Preparation’ Hour.
(From today’s Get Organized newsletter by Maria Gracia.)