7 Ways to Make the Most of Your Days

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.)

Cyn is Rick's wife, Katie's Mom, and Esther & Oliver's Mémé. She's also a professional geek, avid reader, fledgling coder, enthusiastic gamer (TTRPGs), occasional singer, and devoted stitcher.
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