Brought To You By Emily Parks
Productivity Consultant at Organize For Success, LLC...
Helping You Make Every Minute Matter!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Schedule What Needs to Move from "To-Do" to "Done"

Assign Deadlines to Fuel Success
I have yet to find a calendar that includes "someday". I've seen Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, etc, but Someday keeps escaping me... Wouldn't it be great if "I'll get to that someday" could remotely mean that we'd get it accomplished?!?

Instead, when a spare moment arises, we're rarely motivated to put that towards those unscheduled or procrastinated tasks; we must schedule what we want done. Every "what" assigned a specific "when" is more likely to get completed. It is in pairing a task with a realistic deadline and scheduling its completion during an actual date and time that we convert dreams to goals.

As we come to the conclusion of third quarter, I have a challenge for you... Which dreams can you convert to goals, assigning a specific "when" to each "what" that must be completed?

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Utilize Daily Rituals to Fuel Your Success

Making the most of each day's limited time relies heavily on having the right rituals built into each day. Beginning with a morning jump-start and ending with evening preparations for the next day can really fuel your success.

When the goal is getting out the door, it is important to stay focused, but it's easy to get distracted. First, eliminate any unnecessary actions from your mornings. Can you declutter the night before so there are fewer distractions? Can unloading the dishwasher wait until after work? Can you absorb the morning's news on your commute to the office instead of on TV? For some, these actions are necessary to properly start the day and can put those individuals in the right mindset; however, for most others, they are simply distractions that lead to tardiness in getting out the door. Determine in which of those groups you fall and respond appropriately.

Second, streamline your processes for getting ready each day. Choose a hairstyle that is easy to maintain. Choose a breakfast that is easy to prepare and can be replicated each morning. Choose wrinkle-free clothing. Look at each element of your morning routine, and determine what can be simplified. Doing more without thinking makes the whole process better. Doing more without thinking makes the whole process better. Proceed through a routine each morning so you take out the thinking, go into autopilot and ensure what's important gets completed each day. Plus, if you live with others, knowing beforehand who gets in the shower first can be hugely helpful. While streamlining, break each element of your morning routine into a “zone” so supplies for each action are grouped together and located in the area where they will be needed, like tools for getting dressed, tools for shaving or applying make-up, tools for preparing coffee or tools for making breakfast. 

Third, use hacks to boost your energy at the beginning of each day. Get up and moving soon after you awake to open your lungs for more oxygen, which helps our brains and bodies function properly; I use the 7 Minute Workout app, but use what works for you. Start your day by drinking a tall glass of water with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, which boosts energy, promotes good digestion, encourages immune system functioning, detoxifies the liver and kicks off each day hydrated. Then, use music to motivate your desired behaviors.

To get a solid jump-start, enter each day with only 3-5 “must do” items for that day. Then, use your personality style to get all of them accomplished. If you are a morning person and at your peak energy first-thing, follow the philosophy of “swallow the frog” and do the most difficult and vital task first. Still, if you build momentum as the day rolls along, kickstart your productivity with a simple task first, following the philosophy that “activity breeds activity”.

Finally, end each day with the next in mind. Check the next day’s schedule to plan what you’ll need for all activities. Verify the weather forecast and lay out your clothes as well as any accessories you’ll be wearing. Think through what you will do for breakfast so you aren’t scrambling for something to eat. Go ahead and prepare the next day’s lunch; likewise, if you often forget to grab your pre-made lunch from the fridge, leave yourself a “remember lunch” note on the door or by your keys. Have a set place near that for any items you’ll need to grab as you’re headed out the door, like your keys, work files and purse / wallet / backpack. Make sure you have gas in your vehicle. Finally, finish your evening with a tablespoon of unsweetened almond butter, which will ensure you don’t awake groggy from low blood sugar.

Do you have habits that keep you organized for success? How do you create a morning foundation on which your daily results can be built? What works best for your specific needs?