1. Begin your day with a goal in mind. Take time to think about your passion and purpose. Write down your goal for the day. On the line below it, think about your major definite purpose. What would you like to accomplish in life if you could do anything? Write that down. These goals may change day to day.
The reasoning behind this practice is that it aligns your subconscious with a pre-set vision. It also helps to organize your actions to align with your purpose and goal.
2. Create a list divided into three sections. The first section represents the “big picture,” or long term goals. Write down steps you need to take to achieve long term goals (a few months to one year). The second section represents daily tasks. These items are (obviously) day-to-day tasks that need to be accomplished. The last column is reserved for anything that doesn’t fit into these two columns. Highlight or star 2-3 items in the first and second column on which you need to focus today.
3. As you go through your day, structure it so that you strategically intersperse “release” time between your “work times.” For instance, squeeze a 30 minute brisk outdoor walk during your lunch break. This will get the blood flowing and set you up with a positive attitude for the remainder of the day.
4. Do the hard things first, or when you are most energized. For instance, I know that I am a morning person; so I schedule my most difficult tasks (the ones that I really don’t want to do, and will not get done if I put them off until the end of the day) in the morning.
5. When you are working, keep your list (step 2) and goals (step 1) close by so you can refer to them as needed. When you are working, work seriously. No distractions. No social media sites open. No emails open. This is because you need to finish your tasks as efficiently as possible. This will free up your time to indulge in short breaks, or “release” times (step 3).
6. ***Make time to connect with people, specifically people who are important to you. Do not get so absorbed in work/productivity/scheduling breaks that you lose contact with the people who matter most. This is the most important step because human connection is essential for fulfillment. Send a thoughtful text; write a thank you letter by hand; have a real conversation with your spouse. Daily bits of extra effort are the glue that holds solid relationships together.
7. At the end of the day, do a quick assessment of what worked and what didn’t work. Do not try to squeeze in a last bit of work right before bed. This will exhaust you and prime your mind to think about work while sleeping (not fun). Review your goals again and practice a relaxation technique (try meditating or deep breathing).