It’s Monday morning. Although the weekend went by unbelievably fast, you wake up excited, having vowed to make this week super productive. You know what you need to do to get it done, and it gives you a sense of hope that this time things will be different. Then suddenly it’s 5 o’clock on Friday and you realise you haven’t crossed off a lot of the things that you intended to. You decide to work into your weekend, but things get in the way and you’re unable to do it. Then suddenly it’s Monday and your cycle begins again. This is the reality for almost all of us. But it doesn’t have to be.
I used to think that I have so much to get done and not enough time to do it, but I realised that it’s my approach that was wrong. Someone I know used to say, what has to be done today must be done, today. No excuses. Because the more you pile up the things that you don’t want to do, the longer your list becomes. Then suddenly you have this long list of things you don’t want to do, with zero motivation to do any of it.
Here are five tips to help you stick to your schedule.
- Don’t snooze that alarm
I can’t stress the importance of this particular point. The way that you start your day sets the tone for the rest of the day. If you wake up as soon as your alarm goes off, trust me, you will feel some sort of achievement already. Even if things don’t turn out exactly as you had planned, this small achievement will be something to hold on to.
If you snooze your alarm and end up not having time for breakfast or a proper shower, the rest of the day will feel frantic and you will feel like you have lost control of the day before the day even starts. But if you start the day with time to take care of yourself and prepare adequately, trust me, you already have a head start, and you are more likely to face circumstances that come your way positively. 7 Reasons Why Oversleeping Is Bad For You
- Write down your goals
I have tried and confirmed this to be true. When you write down your goals, it gives you some sort of motivation to actually tick off the things on this list. It is said that you are 42% more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down. This is the importance of a To-do list because, at the end of the day when you look back and see that you accomplished the things that you set out to do, you feel good. If you didn’t accomplish them for one reason or another, then you will feel terrible and compelled to do better the following day. But if your plan for the day isn’t written down then how else will you hold yourself accountable? Tips On How To Make A Practical To-Do List
- Be realistic with your deadlines
There are days when you feel super productive and challenge yourself to do so much, such that at the end of the day even you are surprised. But not every day is this kind of day, and knowing that is important. You also have to understand yourself and what works for you. Between what times are you more productive and creative? When are you more focused? Create realistic schedules around this time, and set enough time to rest as well. 5 Time Management Hacks For Achieving Your Goals
- Be proactive, not reactive
I learnt this important technique from the book Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. A lot of us are guided by our emotions rather than our minds. Emotions can sometimes be blind to reason. That’s why you want to be proactive rather than reactive. If, for one reason or another, you are unable to tick something off your list, figure out how you can reschedule it elsewhere.
Don’t spend too much time focusing on how the traffic made you late to work, and now you have so much to do in just three hours for example, but rather, make up for this time with an extra hour at the office at the end of the day. Reactive people focus on what they can’t control, proactive people realise that complaining doesn’t help and so they focus on what they can actually control.
- Remember that you can always start again
One of my favourite quotes reads: The sun will rise and we will try again. It’s a reminder that no matter how bad things seem to be going, you can always start again. So don’t beat yourself up too much if you didn’t manage to do everything today.
Give yourself hope that tomorrow is a chance to be better and to do better. The problem with focusing so much on what we didn’t get done, is that it is super demotivating for the days or even weeks to come. You might end up forgetting all of your goals and dreams by virtue of it seems impossible. This is why when things don’t go as planned, you should just plan to do better tomorrow without focusing too much on what went wrong.
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