Every day we get up — a good thing btw — and our day begins.
Most of us have a plan for the day. It might be a formal schedule of events and appointments with a timetable or it may simply be a vague idea of what we might do depending on circumstances and how we feel as the day progresses.Regardless of the precision and granularity of our daily outlook, there are ways to make it more gratifying and rewarding so that we can look back over what we’ve done and say “WOW! what a great day! I can’t believe what I got done.”Here are some ideas to harvest everything possible from your vertical 12 hours or so.
Focus. Focus. Focus.
Focus on every task; pretend that every single thing you do is the ONLY thing you will do. Laser like attention with no distractions will enable you to achieve the maximum amount possible with the best results.Beware of multitasking; it’s a great way to avoid getting anything done. Flitting from one task to another may make you feel like you are making progress, but when you look back on your day you’ll find that YES you were busy, but NO you weren’t productive.
Squeeze every last morsel
Squeeze every bit of value from each task you perform during the day. This is an issue of superficiality versus thoroughness; shallow versus deep.The best days ever are when you mine as much benefit from each task as you can. Rather than cut lunch prematurely short with a friend or associate, for example, take that extra 15 minutes to finish your conversation and enjoy the relationship. And instead of rushing through a project to deliver the minimum expected, take extra time to create something different
which might surprise the intended recipient.
Break away from your routine
Look for an opportunity to break away from how you normally do things and entertain yourself with an unplanned surprise.We are all creatures of habit and tend to repeat past behaviour particularly when it has yielded good results. The problem is, you can get bored with yourself when you conform to past thinking and practices — mix it up and get more out of a moment. It will really boost your energy level and make you happier.I did this constantly in the many presentations I gave on my BE DiFFERENT or be dead work. I would always change something, like the stories I would use to make a point or the language I would use to describe one of my concepts. I did it for myself so I would enjoy what I was doing. And staying fresh myself was an almost certain guarantee that my audience would be entertained.
Don’t take on too much. A daily plan with 10 things to do will likely fail. I’m a fan of selecting not more than three tasks to take on; having too many balls in the air can be deadly with little being accomplished on any particular task.When your funnel for the day is too full
, you may sweat a lot but your achievement level is low.And under no circumstance brainstorm on anything, as the result will be an agenda chockablock full that tends to be frustrating with the consequence that your day underwhelms rather than excites you.
Have a beer
Your beer could actually be a beer if you have the luxury of having few obligations or it could be a “beer-like” relaxation moment — you should plan them onto your day — where you step back and take a deep breath before moving on.Charging through your day without having a “beer moment” will not only leave you exhausted and unfulfilled today, it will also leave you completely unprepared emotionally and physically for your next day.
Plan for the unexpected
Target to finish an hour early; if you’re an hour late you’ll be right on time. Remember that each day will have it’s fair share of unexpected events; unpredictable things
that will require you to deviate from your plan.To accommodate this daily dynamic you need to build capacity into your day so that you can respond and maintain your momentum.What you don’t need is to be up against the clock. This stress will be THE deterrent to achieving joy from your day.My approach is to be done by mid-afternoon. If I am, GREAT! I earned some beer moments; if not, I still have time to finish what I started.
Don’t clutter your evenings
Don’t fill your evenings with much; it puts too much stress on your day. It’s noon and you’ve hit a roadblock that will take more time than you’ve expected so panic — and unhappiness — kicks in.You will NEVER successfully complete the task if you’re stressing about the dinner engagement you have arranged with a client, for example. As a matter of fact you will probably screw that appointment as well.So balance your day with your evening if you want to get the most out of both.
Do something outrageous during your day. Off the wall! This achieves two things: one, it is an amazing source of energy, and two, it surprises people around you and gives them a (hopefully positive) different perspective of who you are.Doing what is not a “normal” dimension of your persona is a renaissance for your day; it’s an injection of adrenaline that feeds your creative juices and has an amazing impact on the balance of your day.Again, this is all about intervening on yourself; finding a way to break the normal trend you assume to surprise yourself. Breaking your norms
will definitely enhance how you feel about your day.Having a good day doesn’t have to be a formidable task. If you try a few of these ways to brighten one of your days, I guarantee you will be able to put together a run of them in no time at all.Related: Why You Will Win by Being Broken Not Beautiful