One of my mentors, Tim Ferriss, placed this incredibly powerful thought into my brain a few years back:
The Lack of Time, is actually the Lack of Priorities.
There was a period of my life when I constantly felt like there were not enough hours in the day. It could have been the 3 children under 5 years old and the fact that I was writing my first public charter school petition all while balancing the many board meetings, political interviews and social media blitzing on top of doing laundry, making dinner and entertaining children (not to mention my husband). I think most people would have looked at me then and thought “man, she is so busy. How does she ever have time to get anything DONE.”
But the fact is, I WAS getting stuff done. A LOT of stuff. But it wasn’t always the right stuff. I never sat down and wrote out my priorities for each day. I felt like I was lagging behind with not enough time every.single.day.
It wasn’t until the wise Mr. Ferriss said this that it dawned on me, I need to prioritize! So I did. And now I’m going to tell you how I do it and how it has 10x my daily performance in every area of my life.
- Each Sunday I write out my schedule for the week. This includes meetings, medical appointments, kid basketball practices, date night AND time to write and research (as I work on my book).
- Each evening, I write out my top priorities for the NEXT day. I only allow myself to write the top 5 MOST IMPORTANT things that need to be accomplished that day. (Sometimes it’s less than 5 things, which is AWESOME)
- Each morning, I DO NOT check my email until 8am. Why? Because if there is something urgent going on, I CAN’T DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT until the business world wakes up anyway! So, why stress myself out about that.
- Each afternoon, I STOP CHECKING MY WORK EMAILS at 3pm. Early? Yes. But it has boosted my effectiveness and lessened my stress level so much.
- Each morning I spend at least 30 minutes doing something that “fills me up.” This could be reading from spiritual books, reading an article in a magazine, reading a leadership book, meditating, going on a walk, listening to a podcast (love podcasts). I am WAY more effective in my day if I’ve given myself this time.
- I take time off for lunch, every day.
- I take a rest, every day (GASP!)
Now my challenge to you: prioritize your day. And do it the night before. Every night. I promise, promise, promise, you will see a difference in your day. And you will realize, you have all the time you need for the things that are most important to you.