I was watching the movie Hitch recently and loved the part where Alex Hitchens says that he advises his clients to begin each day as if it were on purpose. It really got me thinking.
As many of you will know from a previous blog, I try to spend ten minutes of reflection at the start and end of each day, deciding on the kind of person I want to be that day and what I want to achieve. Before I started mindfully doing this, I kind of woke up and fell into the day. You know how it goes: dealing with stuff as it comes up in your normal routine, and reaching the end of the day thankful that it is over, but wondering where it all went to and what you actually achieved.
This is even easier to do when you have children: to become reactive to them and their needs and spend the whole day firefighting, or running from home to nursery to work and back again, that you reach the end of the day wondering where on earth the time went. The problem is that when we do get a 30 minute window of peace, we’re usually so relieved to have a bit of head space that the thought of using is purposefully just feels like work. So much nicer to watch an episode of Oprah, chat on the phone, or something else that requires little or no effort.
So how do you overcome this unproductive cycle and actually start achieving more of what we want?
The key is in the planning. Remember all the times you didn’t feel like going to the gym, but once you were there you got into the groove and were so thankful that you went? Apply the same technique to other areas of your life, and see incredible results.
When you feel like you’re on top of things, and you make plans to stay that way, you will usually stay on top and achieve more of the relaxation time we all crave, knowing exactly how you made it happen, and how much you deserve it.
Try these five tips to start your day, as if on purpose:
1. Plan your day the night before, in writing. Prioritise your tasks by importance, putting the least favourite on top. Do these things first, before anything else. Then you won’t spend the day playing catch up.
2. Lay out everything you will need out, the night before. Pack gym bags, swimming gear or lunches. Have clothes and shoes ready to be put on. Put your purse, laptop, notes in your bag. Make your morning stress free. Unpack your dishwasher and tidy the kitchen, before you go to bed. All of this takes me no longer than 20 minutes max, but means that I start my day on top.
3. Hang up laundry before you go to bed. Listen to an audiobook, relaxation music or self help book while you do it. Learn while you are doing something mundane.
4. In the morning, get out of bed and into the shower immediately, before you do anything else. Make getting yourself ready your number one priority. Once you are in control of yourself, you can start to manage everything else.
5. Spend ten minutes each morning visualising your day. Review your diary and what you want to achieve. Most importantly, have fun!
Question: What are your top tips for Time Management?