The drudgery and routine of our daily lives presents the greatest danger to our dreams. Why? We run the risk of losing our focus and motivation to achieve what we want most. By re-energizing and renewing ourselves frequently, though, we can avoid burnout and become much more motivated and productive.
Balance and consistency are the keys.
Enjoy the process, not just the result. Don’t fight the passing of time. Don’t fear it, squander it, or try to hide from it under a superficial cosmetic veil of fads and indulgences. Life and time go together. Do enjoy each phase of life. Do make the most of each day and draw maximum joy from each moment.
Good time management means that you maximize the daily return on the energy and mental effort you expend. Here are eight ways to maximize your time productivity:
1. Write down in one place all your important goals and priorities. Write down every commitment you make at the time you make it.
2. Stop wasting the first hour of your workday. Having that first cup of coffee and socializing at the water cooler are two of the costliest opening exercises that lower your productivity.
3. Do one thing at a time—well. It takes time to start and stop work on each activity. Stay with a task until it is completed.
4. Don’t open unimportant mail. More than one-fourth of the mail you receive can be tossed or deleted before you even open or read it.
5. Handle each task only once and never more than twice. Don’t set aside anything without taking action. Carry work, reading material and your laptop with you everywhere you go—convert downtime into uplink time.
6. Spend time planning your to-do list—20 minutes at the beginning of each week and 10 minutes at the beginning of each day.
7. Set aside personal relaxation time during the day. Don’t work during lunch. It’s neither noble nor nutritional to skip important energy input and stress-relieving time. Throughout the day, ask yourself, What’s the best use of my time right now? As the day grows short, focus on projects you can least afford to leave undone.
8. Take vacations often, mini-vacations of two or three days, and leave your work at home. The harder you work, the more you need to balance your leisure time.