How to Be The Most Successful Version of Yourself
With so many distractions everywhere, it can feel like it’s difficult to finish anything before something else is demanding your attention.
Emails pinging on cell phones, client calls that could have been resolved much faster through an email, and not knowing what to work on next are all some of the things that can keep people from getting any real work done.
However, with a few simple strategies and shifts in perception, the cycle can turn from chaos into productivity.
Find Your Best Time to Shine
Everyone has a different internal clock. For some people, they are at their most productive in the early morning hours while everyone else is still sleeping. For others, they may find they get the most done after lunch or before bed.
To figure out when that time is, try journaling. For one week, write down everything and how long it takes. Even if thirty minutes was spent on the internet looking at cat memes, write it down.
At the end of the week, look back through the journal and find those hours that were the most energetic and productive. These are the hours to work on the most important projects at hand.
Continue journaling during work and at home to find ways to streamline processes and get the most from the valuable hours with work and family.
Set the most productive hours aside for specific projects and make sure everyone knows that there will be no phone calls or emails (unless they are vital to what is being worked on) during those hours. Alternately, set a schedule of the hours that have been dedicated to making and returning calls and attending meetings then make sure clients and coworkers are aware of them. Finally, make sure to do only those tasks during those hours.
By setting a specific schedule, the most important tasks will be completed at the most productive hours. People may balk at first but will get used to the idea, and the reward will be greater productivity.
Looking at a leaning pile in the to-do box can be daunting every morning. Instead of wading through tasks and getting bogged down with busy work, plan ahead so that every morning there is no question of which project or job should be completed first.
Leave twenty to thirty minutes at the end of every day (or in the morning for those early risers) to sit down and take inventory of what work needs to be completed. Make a list of everything that needs to be done and the deadline for its completion. Then decide on the most important projects to finish the next day.
Pull out whatever files, paperwork, etc. is necessary to complete those projects and leave them, organized, for the next morning. Everything else should be out of sight yet organized and easily accessible if an emergency arises. If something does happen to interrupt the plan for the day, don’t let it ruin the focus and rhythm. Things may come up occasionally that throw off the schedule. Stay flexible but guard those productive hours fiercely.
People have a tendency to get down on themselves and others when things don’t go as planned. Acknowledge that sometimes in spite of best efforts, things go wrong. Don’t focus on those times. Instead, find all the good things that went right and make a note of those in the journal.
Even when faced with a challenge, there are positives to take away from it. Maybe a lesson was learned that will make things better next time, a new connection was made that had or will have a positive impact, or perhaps after a couple of days, it turns out it wasn’t as bad as it initially seemed. Whatever it is, try to find the positive and remember that everyone struggles sometimes.
Don’t do it alone. Get a favorite coworker or best friend to join in by keeping their own gratitude journal. Discuss the ups and downs and keep each other motivated. When people exercise together, there is an accountability that keeps them going to the gym regularly. The same is true for practicing gratitude and sticking to schedules. Keep each other motivated and on track.
No matter what schedule works best or how exciting it is to begin gratitude journaling, remember to keep it real. Stay optimistic but be realistic about the challenges that may come up. Plan ahead and don’t let them ruin the momentum. With a little planning and plenty of dedication, success is only a habit away.