10 easy ways to get the most out of your day

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  • 7/27/2019 10 Easy Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Day

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    10 Easy Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Day

    By Leo Babauta

    Ever have a day go by, or week go by, and wonder what you got done? And how the day went by so quickly without anyreal achievements?

    We all have days like that, of course, but not every day has to be that way. Learn to make your days great, and get themost out of them, by applying a few simple tips.

    Should you follow them all as if they were a step-by-step guide? Not at all. Take the tips that will apply to you, and givethem a shot.

    1. Purpose your day. This is my most important rule. I start out each day by listing the three things I most want toaccomplish today my Most Important Tasks (MITs). And I do my darndest to accomplish them. This post was one of the things I wanted to get done today. Almost there!

    2. Start off great. Create a morning routine that will allow you to greet the day and get off to a great start. Your morningroutine will vary from mine, but the important thing is to think about how you can create the best start to your day. Designyour morning. And then try to make it a routine. Some ideas could be exercise, eating a healthy breakfast, enjoying thesunrise, doing meditation or prayer, doing some writing, or getting an important task done.

    3. Focus on a goal. Another important thing to do in the morning is to focus on your current main goal. I dont mean yourgoal for today, but your goal for this year (or some other longer-term period). The mistake a lot of people make is havingtoo many goals, which spreads their focus and effectiveness. Ive found that having just one goal at a time makes youmuch more effective and much more likely to accomplish it. The other mistake people make is not focusing on that goal(or goals) each day. Make it a part of your morning routine to decide what youre going to do today to further your OneGoal, and if possible, do it first thing. Then youve guaranteed yourself a great day.

    4. Make an appointment with yourself. When we schedule a meeting with someone else, most of us block that time off

    so that no other tasks can interrupt it. Thats a sacred block of time that cannot be violated by a bunch of other things.Well, do the same thing for yourself. Schedule a block of time (preferrably in the morning, before things get crazy) whenyoure going to do one of your Most Important Tasks, or a task to further your One Goal. Then dont allow thatappointment to be violated by anything else.

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    5. Avoid interruptions. When you need to get something done, shut off email, dont take phone calls, and dont allowothers to drop in on you for impromptu meetings. This applies to when you make an appointment with yourself (see theabove tip), but also at other times of the day when youre trying to get work done.

    6. Find your prime time. My prime time is in the morning, as I am tired by the time afternoon rolls around and cantseem to concentrate well. So I use my prime time for my most important tasks, and dont allow myself to use it forunimportant tasks, like answering emails or holding boring meetings. Find your prime time, and make the most of it.

    7. Have a time for calls and meetings. Calls are interruptions, and so are impromptu meetings. Schedule a time (notduring your prime time) when you make or accept phone calls (I think 30 minutes is sufficient, but your needs maydiffer), and schedule another time when you have meetings with co-workers or clients. Having a set schedule will allowyou to get more done, and allow others to understand when you can be interrupted.

    8. Focus on the important. We have a tendency to try to tackle all the tasks that come our way, or all the tasks on ourto-do lists, or all the requests that come in via email. Its not possible, first of all, to get everything done that comes ourway, and second, thats probably not how we want to spend our day. Its crucial that you identify the most important tasksand projects, the ones that will give you the most long-term benefit, and focus on those. Setting three MITs for today (seeTip 1) is one way to do that, of course, but this tip is really a change in mindset: identify the most important things, andforget about the unimportant. Sure, you wont get everything done, but you will get the important stuff done, and that is ahuge difference.

    9. Finish strong. Right before youre about to close up shop for the day, complete a simple routine: clear off your desk,process your inbox to empty (you dont have to do all the tasks in your inbox, but just write them on your to-do list andget the papers out of the inbox), and plan what you want to do the next day. This is a great finish to your work day, andlets you get off to a great, clean start tomorrow.

    10. Review your day. At the end of every day, spend a few minutes looking back on what you did, what went wrong,what you can improve on, and what you will do differently. Review your One Goal, and the progress (or lack thereof)youve made on it. No day is perfect, but you should learn from mistakes and celebrate successes. A journal would be agreat way to capitalize best on this daily review.

    Dennis TangAugust 10th

    Brilliant post! Ill be sure to try these tips out .

    Reply

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    optimointiaAugust 10th

    Great post, thanks! Before I used to start the day with emails, checking news and blogs. After that it was really hardto start working, I just kept saying myself just one more blog

    Now I always start with the most important things on my todo list and only after those are done I allow myself tolook at the news and blogs.

    Reply

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    Inayaili de LeonAugust 10th

    I really like your website, and its part of my daily reads, but sometimes I feel like Im reading the same things allover again, and really just skip the posts. I actually read some fo the contributors personal blogs, and the same

    3.

    Like 357 people like this. Be the first of your friends.

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    happens, the content is the same as here. Even though, congratulations!

    Reply

    Danny FooAugust 10th

    Actually, one thing I learned in freelance or running a company solo is you need to allocate days for meetings.

    Or youll end up without a social life from light till dark.

    Reply

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    Dustin Brewer August 10th

    I think eating healthy should be a major part of getting the most out of your day. Without getting the propernutrients your body needs it can be a struggle to do all of these other things.

    Also, caffeine lots and lots of caffeine

    Reply

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    Kevin M. ScarbroughAugust 10th

    Ive found being honest with myself is another necessity to make the most out of the day. If Im drop dead tired, orhungry, or just need a breather and I press on anyway, the energy goes wasted because nothing of value is produced.

    It can be very nerve wracking to hit a wall with a deadline looming and have to take a minute for a bite to eat, but if you dont, you wont meet your target.

    Reply

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    Chris WilsonAugust 10th

    NICE post! Especially digging the idea to schedule a meeting with yourself. Just a great idea.

    I wonder if that would fly at work?

    Reply

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    chris.pund August 10th

    Nicely written article. Great tips for reaching your daily goals, not just with your business but in general.

    Reply

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    James SohAugust 10th

    I love point 6 and if you get your prime time right, you could be doing 80% of your daily task within that shortperiod of time

    And I use brainwave entrainment musics to keep myself focus and thats one secret of my productivity

    CheersJames

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    Reply

    RobAugust 10th

    Fantastic post and great tips. Simple to understand tips are not often acted out. Ive printed the articke (sorry) andpasted to the company notice board. If only I could take the credit for them

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    George MandisAugust 10th

    I second Dustin and Kevins comments on eating right. Having good, healthy food around is what keeps me going,literally and figuratively.

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    Poor Yorick August 10th

    Good tips. I have a section of my To Do list called Puny Tasks. These are low priority tasks that take less than 15minutes to complete. I like to start the day completing one of them, thereby getting to my first done early andcreating momentum. Also, this helps to get the low priority stuff done.

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    May Hoover August 10th

    These tips are a good reminder as Chris mentioned, not only for our businesses for for our daily life Thanks!

    Need to get more organized, even to sleep welltoo much caffeine will make me end up like zombie and go onauto mode so will make better/good use of time

    Reply

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    KierenAugust 10th

    11. Stop visiting FS in my prime time to find out what to do next.

    Great post!

    Reply

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    Dityo NurastoAugust 11th

    I like the point of prime time tips. I limit my work hours to 8 hours a day and cope it with 15 to 30 minutes restsince I have trouble to arrange