- Controlling your mornings, conquering your afternoon chaos, and concentrating on what matters in the evening will make you more productive than you ever thought possible.
- Structure in the workplace is extremely important, because it allows us to get things done efficiently and minimize distractions.
- Try to rise and go to bed at the same time every day, limit email usage, give yourself 15 minutes extra in the morning and tackle your toughest tasks first thing.
Question: What do these three quotes below have in common?
- “My life didn’t please me, so I created my life.” (Coco Chanel)
- “Conquer today and repeat tomorrow.” (unknown)
- “The ability to concentrate and to use time well is everything.” (Lee Iacocca)
Answer: The ability to control, conquer and concentrate—three things I learned from Craig Ballantyne’s book The Perfect Day Formula: How to Own the Day and Control Your Life. In a nutshell, Ballantyne advocates for controlling your mornings, conquering the chaos of your afternoons and concentrating on what matters in the evening.
Let’s look at control
1. What time of day do you wake up? That is something you can control. Try to wake up and go to bed at the exact same time every day. Consider waking up 15 minutes earlier than you currently do. Why? Because there’s a magic time to begin the day, when no one else is around and you can spend quality time getting your most important tasks done first thing. That’s when you’ll be three times more productive than at any other time of the day.
2. Review your habits to start the day. As I mentioned earlier, try to get up at the same time every day, 15 minutes earlier than you used to. Don’t hit the snooze button again. Maybe exercise right away or at least have a healthy breakfast. These are things that you can control right when your day begins.
3. Look at the systems you have in place. Structure in the workplace is extremely important, because it allows us to get things done efficiently and minimize distractions like constant email. Email is driving people nuts. Consider as a policy having your team answer email only three times a day. Another structure you can put in place is scheduling just the three most important things you need to get done every day, and focusing on those. That’s very empowering. Ballantyne talks about concentrating on what matters in the evening, and that will keep you in a positive frame of mind.
If you like Ballantyne’s book, you can order a related kit that’s chock full of great tips for prioritizing, “journaling” and taking more control of your life, both at work and outside the office.
Until next time, enjoy. Gary