Are you finding it hard to stick to those improvements and goals you have committed to work on?
In a previous newsletter, I outlined a process to define the priorities you plan to cover during the following week and how to pick the top two to three activities you will perform on a particular day. In this newsletter, I will provide three tips on how to take baby steps to maximize the odds of executing the priorities and activities you have defined as important for you.
Tip #1: Allocate the first 15 minutes of the day to an activity that is relevant to you.
If you committed to exercise every day, do it in these first 15 minutes. If you want to eat a healthier diet, jump-start it in those first 15 minutes. If you want to meditate or feed your soul, do it as soon as you wake up. In other words, take care of what’s important to you, literally, first thing in the morning. Otherwise, you run the risk of getting distracted by household chores, email, the newspaper, or other external stimuli.
Tip #2: Allocate the first hour of your workday to the most important (not urgent) business priority.
Those of you in the business world are familiar with facing urgent emails, meetings, or requests the minute you start your workday. Usually, these urgent demands last the entire workday, and sometimes they even follow you afterward via text messages, phone calls, emails, etc. It has been my experience that blocking the first workday hour for an important priority increases the odds of executing that activity, like a deep analysis of your business, coaching an employee, developing a relationship plan for a set of customers, etc. The rest of the workday can then be “syphoned” into putting out fires, but at least one hour will have been allocated to predefined (and usually longer-lasting) important work priorities.
Tip #3: Allocate the first hour of the weekend to an activity that is relevant to you.
The weekend gives us the possibility to allocate time to personal activities. However, it is easy to fall into a routine of social or entertaining activities that may or may not contribute toward achieving your personal goals. My suggestion is to at least pay attention to that first hour of the weekend, and make sure it is allocated to an activity consistent with your mission statement, to what you had chosen as a priority in your life. Some examples of what to do in that first hour are exercising, reading, building (or fixing) relationships, etc.
In summary, my advice is to consciously allocate the first time period in the day, workday, or weekend to activities consistent with your personal mission statement. It’s a good place to start toward living your life more consistently with what you have defined as important to you.
I want to close this newsletter with the Chinese proverb, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” As you embark on this journey, count on me to help you succeed.
In the next newsletter, I will share some insights on how to assess your 2013 life performance and prepare for a much better 2014. Stay tuned!
Percy M. Cannon
Author, Business Consultant and Professional Coach
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