I am pretty nerdy. And proud of it.
Especially when it comes to finding new tools and practices that can help me function more efficiently. In fact, I have made it my life’s work to discover, master, and share these tools. As I get older, life seems to move with greater velocity and an unprecedented level of “busyness”.
Finding ways to live and work effectively is a not just a passion, it’s a necessity.
Now, more than ever, I believe it is important that we discover and implement strategies for owning our lives.
Don’t buy it? Ok. Take a moment to consider the number of messages, requests, images, and words coming at us, constantly vying for our attention all day every day. If that’s not enough, add in the number of choices we make each day, the countless number of options for each choice and the amount of information we consume to make just one simple decision.
Feeling overwhelmed? I am!
Let me suggest three quick and easy tools to help you own your day in our modern world.
Tool #1: Morning Meditation
Unless you’re living off the grid you’ve probably heard that meditation, (also frequently referred to in popular media as mindfulness), is demonstrating great benefits both physically and psychologically. The number of studies assessing meditation is growing exponentially.
When practiced daily as little as 10 minutes of sitting meditation in the morning helps our brain to settle, allowing us to become less reactive and more responsive over time to the massive amounts of stimuli coming at us each day. It’s not necessary to be spiritual to practice.
Oh, and if you’re thinking right now that you don’t have 10 minutes in your day to sit and meditate, you definitely need to be meditating. Period. End of story!
Tool #2: Creating an Intention and Outcome
Recently I was working with a client who was preparing to give a really important presentation to his organization. He was concerned about his performance and on one of our coaching calls, he ran through his presentation with me and asked for feedback. Instead of immediately critiquing his delivery, I asked him to answer two questions:
1. What was the intention of the presentation?
2. What was the outcome he was intending to create?
In taking 10 minutes to authentically answer these questions, my client transformed his presentation. Once he created the intention and outcome, he was quickly able to align his language and his delivery accordingly. He delivered a beautiful presentation that powerfully inspired his audience and, as a surprise bonus, garnered praise from his boss who happened to be in the room.
You can create intentions and outcomes anywhere, anytime. Before stepping into a conversation, writing an email, or sharing some information out into the world, take a moment to consider the intention of your actions and the outcome you want to create.
Try it and enjoy the results!
Tool #3: Complete Your Day
It’s time to bring in the last tool to provide closure and free up even more headspace before you retire for the evening.
Follow these steps:
Step 1: Review your calendar. Look at what was and was not accomplished without beating yourself up or making excuses. No need to explain, just get accustomed to assessing what happened in your day.
Step 2: Examine any tasks that didn’t get completed. Be honest with yourself about why things didn’t get completed. In doing this I’ve discovered I like to wishfully pack 100 things into my schedule and hope I can somehow get them all done. Not very realistic or workable. Over time, I’ve learned how to become more realistic in my scheduling and my life works so much better.
Step 3: Acknowledge the tasks you did complete. We rarely take time out to notice and acknowledge ourselves for our hard work. Don’t wait for someone else to do it for you – they probably won’t. Instead, do it for yourself!
Step 4: Move any incomplete items onto a different day and time to ensure they get addressed.
Ultimately, the hardest part of all of these practices is being willing to press pause on our busy lives for 10 minutes at a time. If you take it on wholeheartedly, I assert you will find yourself feeling less busy and more relaxed each day.
I wish you well on your journey to greater productivity and joy and I encourage you to reach out, comment on this post, ask questions, and share your experiences as you implement these tools into your life.
With profound gratitude,