To start, revisit your 7 values and the goals you set on Day 3. How much time are you spending in these priority zones? For many of us, there will be an imbalance. Let’s set it right and create more time out of “thin air.”
- Wake up earlier. If you feel rushed day in, day out, take a look at when your day starts and when it ends. Could you rise 30 minutes earlier to sit quietly and enjoy a cup of coffee? Could you push yourself to get out for a morning walk before the mad rush of the day sets in? Guaranteed you’ll feel more grounded and ready to greet the world.
- Take a long, hard look at your calendar. What can you lose? What are you doing that’s zapping your energy or isn’t offering you the return you need? It’s time to drop it. (More on the power of saying “no” on Day 6.)
- Schedule time for nothing. Seriously. Grab your calendar and schedule downtime, family time, reading time, you time… you get our drift. If you have young kids, you know how quickly weekends fill up with birthday parties and events you feel obligated to attend. Block out at least one weekend a month and schedule “open” days throughout the month.
- Prioritize your tasks. We spend so much time doing non-urgent/unimportant tasks (busywork, Facebook, idle conversations) and urgent/unimportant tasks (phone calls, texts, requests from others) that we push off the more fulfilling, rewarding priority items. This leaves us feeling overwhelmed and, well, out of time. What energy-draining things can you quit doing? Delegate? Get yourself in the priority zone. (Read 7 Habits of Highly Effective People for more on this.)
- Unplug to plug in. Buzz. Bing. Swoosh. Pretty hard to concentrate on whatever you’re doing when something else is poking you for attention. Designate times you’ll put away your phone, shut down your email, turn off the noise—so you can tune into what it is you’re trying to get done.