Getting more done each day is a common theme in my life. I’m competitive. I want to find ways to get better at whatever I do and that also means I frequently am looking at how I ‘do my days.’ Since we only have so much time and so many goals, I figure we should be able to make the most of the limited hours we have.
In my painting company, I was obsessed with finding ways to be more efficient. I would create spreadsheets and checklists. My partner & I would talk at length about our systems until we felt we had a great plan and then we’d go for it.
Below, I have answered the question, How Do I Get More Done Each Day? I have answered the question for me…meaning, the things that help me to get more done. I have not arrived. I still get distracted and blown off course more than I’d like to admit. But, when I do what’s listed below I always have mega-productive days that make me feel like I’m making great progress. I hope some of this will be helpful to you!
- Workout & drink a lot of water. Without a doubt, when I swing my kettlebell and drink about a gallon of water per day I have greater focus, energy and creativity. I eat less on those days, which makes me feel light and nimble instead of heavy and bloated. I feel strong physically, emotionally and spiritually.
- Use the Reminders feature on my MAC. I plug my most important ‘to do’s’ in to the magic reminder machine and I get alerts throughout the day, reminding (yep, that’s the point) me of what I chose to make important for the day or week. I’ve not been a huge list guy in the past, but it’s quickly becoming more and more helpful to me.
- >Sharing my calendar with my wife. We just started doing this a month or so ago. We both use MAC products and have about six different calendars that are shared between us. We have Tom’s Work, Tom’s Home, Chris’ Work, Chris’ Home, Tom’s Networking and Tom’s MOTOR U. This solves a few problems for us. A couple being, we are in the loop regarding our availability for things, where the kids need to go, etc.. The one thing I didn’t see coming was how it has helped me to be more accountable for my time. Having Chris in on the daily grind helps me stay accountable to the plan (See #4). It also has helped me to think more strategically since Chris is a planning super star. She will make suggestions on occasion that will help me be more efficient with my time.
- Make a plan. Duh! When I know my plan the day before I always get more done. I’m able to hit the ground running instead of wandering around the house in my skivvies for half the day! I’ve also found that the plan doesn’t need to be perfect. As long as I’m taking action it will create momentum. which in turn produces good stuff. A final note on making a plan: Allow time for adjustments. Give some breathing room between appointments so that you’re not feeling rushed and up against the clock all day.
- Get some help. In the past, I would try to muscle through the stuff I needed to do on my journey toward my goals. That’s the MOTORmindset, right? Just put forth UNCOMMON effort and work your tail off and you’ll succeed… Certainly, that’s a huge part of my message at MOTOR…work in UNCOMMON ways. But, honestly, sometimes I was just being stupid. I believe it was John Wayne who said, “Life is hard. But, it’s a lot harder when you’re stupid.” I got a consultant to help me be less ‘stupid.’ She has helped me remember my ‘why,’ my bigger vision and my ‘what.’ When I start to drift off of the high impact activities I planned on implementing, she helps straighten out my thinking and stay on target. I also happened to be married to her (Curly Girl Solutions). If you’re not so lucky to be married to a consultant who specializes in helping people straighten out their heads and their businesses, I highly suggest you find someone to work with. When I am focused I am unstoppable.
- Set hours to work. I’m not totally here yet on this one. When I decide to turn off work at a certain time each day I get more done. They say “The time for a task expands to the time made available.” In short, that means if you’re always ‘on’ then you’ll never get done. When I feel the pressure to get something done today I usually get it done today. On the days that I don’t put an end to my work day I find myself mentally wandering and losing focus.
- Start my day with my personal mission statement. I have one and when I read it to myself out loud, twice each day like the book Think & Grow Rich tells us to, I am more focused, more efficient and I get more of the important stuff done.
I know there are more things people do in order to get more done, but these are what I am finding are working for me. That’s the point, isn’t it? Find what works for you. If you need to start your day doing Yoga, eating a certain type of Yogurt or bear crawling to the coffee shop then it’s ok as long as it helps you get more done!