Needless to say, this is a big topic. That said, here are a few key things you can do that will go a long way towards ensuring your head hits the pillow each night with a greater sense of accomplishment.
1. Be intentional. Most people move through their daily lives without much more than a thought as to what they will do, much less what they hope to accomplish for the day. As a result, they hit their target (or lack thereof) with amazing accuracy. Being intentional goes beyond knowing what you want to accomplish, and writing down steps that will get you there. Keeping a daily list of the most important tasks you want to accomplish, and being intentional about working on them is the first step towards feeling a greater sense of fulfillment at the end of your day.
2. Start your day on your own terms. Rather than bobbing and weaving through your day, trying to deal with whatever comes your way, instead take the time to do a little planning the day before. In other words, don’t leave things to chance. Put a plan together that will ensure you accomplish more of what needs getting done. It really is that simple. Decide what it is you want to accomplish, write it down, then first thing in the morning that’s one less thing you’ll have to do. You can simply jump right into the plan you’ve written out for yourself. The beauty of this approach is simple, and powerful, because you can cut down quite a bit on the normal time it takes to get you into action on whatever you believe is worthwhile.
3. Start your day in gratitude. Before you ever get out of bed take a moment to just run through your mind the things that you’re grateful for. Even if you find yourself in a season of life where you may not think there’s a lot to be thankful for, think back to a time where you do. It is easy to get caught up in the broken idea that nothing is going right. Taking a little time to write down and acknowledge the things that are, even if they aren’t quite as obvious at the moment, can have quite a positive impact. It’s a great way to give balance to our busy, sometimes stressful, challenging lives.
4. Take a walk or get a bit of exercise. Just as starting in gratitude helps to get you focused on the good things in your life, getting some fresh air, and getting your endorphins kicking a bit at the start of your day can help you to clear your mind a bit. Doing so is a real help in getting you prepared to take on the day ahead. Make sure you don’t overdo it here, and check with your doctor if need be.
5. Schedule some personal development time. We live in an age where it has never been easier to choose a skill set, work at it, and develop mastery. What is required is our commitment to spend time doing so. That’s right, you have to put in the time, but if you will it can pay great dividends. Decide what you want to learn and schedule time each day to spend time in its study.
Bonus action step:
Review your list at the end of everyday. Just sit with it for a moment — taking the time to fully appreciate the fact that you were able to accomplish some, or all of the things on your list. Whatever’s leftover that you deem still needs to be done simply write that down for tomorrow’s list. Take several deep breaths and just let it sink in that you were in fact productive today. Friend, give yourself your due credit for a job well done.
What are some important steps you would add to the ones above?
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