Ten Strategies for Making the Most of Every Day
We start each day with hope. At least I do and most positive people I know do the same. There is an occasional "dreaded" day, but it is the exception and is usually combated by positive self-talk and prayer. The rule is that we begin our mornings expecting to exploit our effectiveness and embrace our opportunities. Our "to-do" lists are full and our hearts are ready to meet our challenges until something happens. We don't finish our first task in the time we have allotted. We are now behind.
Then there is another glitch ... and another ...
And we begin to lose hope and heart.
How do we make the most of our days ...
Here are some suggestions. Since the sound of my thinking is sometimes "mmmmmmmm," I will use "m"s to gather my thoughts.
Marginalize - Build margins into your life and into your calendar. Don't overcrowd your day. We just don't allow enough space for the unexpected and serendipitous interruptions of "aha moments" into our time. Allow space in your planner and in your life to wander, wonder, and discover.
Maximize - Accomplish more than one task at a time. Consolidate trips. Listen to books in your car. Think efficiency in your planning. Take work to the coffee shop. Focus on the moment you are experiencing so that you accomplish more in less time. Prepare to use 5-15 minute slots effectively by having some basic tools ready to use and with you. Learn to use time wisely.
Minimize - Be ruthless in eliminating the time and task demands that will not advance your mission, purpose and goals. Set a specific amount of time for tiny and minimally consequential tasks each day. Do what must be done first first. Then, when the time is over, move on and take the list back up tomorrow.
Manage - Take charge of your own schedule. Politely excuse yourself from many good things that are not centered on where you are currently going in accordance with your mission. Give your time to people, but do so with wisdom and set appropriate boundaries. Invest your life where it will bear fruit. Your time is the only space in which you can live your life. Manage it.
Mature - You won't get this all at once. Grow a little in it every day. Keep a journal of what you are learning. Keep track of what is effective and ineffective and learn from yourself.
Minister - It is a word that means "serve." PLAN to serve people some every day. Build service into your schedule. Organize your time so that you have time to do things for others that will not benefit you in any predictable or tangible way.
Master - Master some skills that you will use frequently. Some things you do well take less time because you have eliminated your learning curve. Also, discover who or what masters you so that you will always have a compass to help you decide the direction you will take each day and all your days.
Move - Movement in life is essential. Apply grace as you proceed through the day and move things around in your schedule. Life takes unexpected turns. Have a planner with enough space to scratch through some things and insert new ideas and plans.
Muster - Gather other people to assist you in the days you cannot accomplish at all or accomplish alone. Delegate where that is in your power and enlist when your only power is influence. In order to do this, you'll need to cultivate good relationships daily. People are willing to help friends. So make friends.
Meet and Meditate - Start every day with a meeting. If you meet with God, which I recommend, prioritize that meeting. Prioritize it; don't categorize it or compartmentalize it. Let it envelope everything else in your life. If you are not there in your practice or belief, at least meet with yourself. Focus first on "being" issues, but bring your calendar to the meeting. Sometime, before it is done, go over it with God, your Higher Power, or yourself. Do it devotionally and openly and don't rush the time.
One could go on all day, but then one might start wasting time. What are your strategies?