A couple of years ago, I took up a personal wellness challenge to counter the negative impact of the pandemic. The pandemic had thrown me into a spiral of emotions, and I was gasping for air. I had gone from starting a new business to being stuck at home, from five days at the gym to no access to the gym. Like everyone else, the pandemic was highly disruptive, which threw me into a state of confusion.
As the months went by, I became less and less productive and spent many days watching CNN. I had convinced myself it was a good idea to keep in touch with the news. Unknown to me, the constant communication of unimaginable deaths and profound loss plagued me and stole time away from me.
One day, I had to accept the hard truth that time was moving regardless of how I felt. While I mourned with fellow humans from all over the world, it dawned on me that I had to take some control of the things I could.
The first thing I did was create a schedule. “Early to bed, early to rise- makes a man healthy, wealthy & wise.” I once heard a coach say our day starts from the night before. I agree, so quality sleep (usually long and uninterrupted) became a goal. 9 pm became my new bedtime, and 5 am became my wake-up time. I gave the first hour I got up to meditation and mental calibration. The next thing I did was one of my favourite things on earth- Exercise. Due to gym closure and a state-wide restricted movement sanction, I exercised at home.
My schedule also allotted some hours for an online course, a nap, and other activities I had prioritized. With this system in place, I could bypass the temptations of bringing on CNN or any other negative news that could steal time away from me.
I believe a deep satisfaction emanates from the completion of essential tasks. For me, productivity isn’t necessarily doing many things; it’s doing the things that truly matter. With a scheduling system, you can prioritize your activities according to their importance.
Every day we are bombarded with “important” things; however, not all are as important as they may appear. With a schedule, you will successfully sort the wheat from the chaff and allocate time to essential things.
For instance, let’s take an entrepreneur who sets up a business for profit. There are vital activities they must perform to generate profit.
Here, an entrepreneur must identify income-producing activities that will sustain the business and lead to profits. Doing this will create more and more opportunities for that entrepreneur and protect the company’s well-being. Like an entrepreneur, you also must identify the essentials of each day to preserve your well-being while being highly productive.
* Optimize Your Time: Doing what needs to be done in the order it needs to will increase productivity. Beyond performing the activity, productivity here also refers to getting value from your time by making every minute count.
*Limit Your Distractions: With a list of priorities in hand, you will 10X your focus, and without even trying, you will starve your distractions. We get easily distracted when we are unintentional and idle, and creating a schedule takes care of those two.
*Preserve your energy and mental well-being: Energy is a currency. Just like you spend money on things and expect value in return, you need to expend your energy on something that will do the same. By channeling your energy into essential things, you recharge your energy reserves, and this can lead to feelings of satisfaction.
* Promote personal growth & development: Every act of discipline is advantageous, and every opportunity to push your growth boundaries must be welcome. A person who can intentionally apportion time and get the most out of their 24 hours is one to applaud.
*Become more discipline: “The way you do one thing is the way you do everything”. After my time scheduling system worked in 2020, I felt more confident to take on other aspects of my life I wanted to improve. My diet and exercise benefited greatly from my “new me”. So, I guess I will have to agree with the quote.
Planning is a big deal; using a schedule can make a massive difference to your productivity. You can write down a to-do list or make a mental note of all the essential things to be done daily. The idea is to tackle them before moving on to other less important things.
I hope you found this article useful.
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