In life there are some constants; one being the amount of time in each day. That time is filled with work, family, errands and (hopefully) doing something just for yourself. Some days fly by while others drag on. The way you spend this time makes a difference in how your days go, and it's often a series of smaller actions that make a big difference. Here are three things you can do daily to maximize your time while spending it wisely.
1.) Stop Hitting the Snooze Button
When your alarm goes off in the morning, are you up and at it right away or do you hit the snooze button a few more times than you should? If you're a serial snoozer, time's up. Getting out of bed with the first alarm gives you an immediate advantage over the day. Use this time to take a relaxing shower, to actually enjoy a cup of coffee instead of absentmindedly sipping it during your commute, or to get a workout in before the day takes off. If you have kids, getting up before they do should be your priority because it will allow you to get a handle on things before you have to jump right in to taking care of everyone else. Adding incentives for getting up is a great way to motivate you to stick with it. Maybe it's picking up a fancy bath product or two to use in the shower. Maybe it's adding a new flavor of pre workout to your program to help you gain even more from your sweat session. Anything that helps to get you moving will be your day's best friend.
2.) Tackle Something Important to You
Who doesn't have at least one or two things on their to-do list that have been left untouched for way too long? Maybe they're overwhelming, out of your comfort zone or just not interesting to you. Take a good look at your list and if you don't have anything written down, make one. Choose one thing to complete and then get to work. Don't move down your list until you've finished the task at hand. You'll eventually pick up momentum and feel much more accomplished, in control and confident than before.
3.) Know When to Take a Break
While there are only so many hours in a day and while utilizing them wisely is important, that doesn't mean that every minute needs to be spent doing something. Cramming your day so full that there's no time to take a break is only setting yourself up for disaster later. Did you know that taking breaks is actually a really great way to be more productive? It's true. It's a way for your body and mind to recharge and regain focus, even for 15-minute blocks of time sprinkled throughout the day. It's a way to gain clearer perspective as well. For instance, maybe you're an editor and you've been staring at copy for so long that every word is starting to look the same. You could forge ahead just for the sake of finishing, or you could step away and return once you're not seeing double. Being able to recognize and respect your personal and professional limits is a huge part of how well your day goes and how productive you'll feel at its end.
It's important to remember that there will be good days and there will be not-so-good days. It's just how life is. What's also important to remember is that you have more control over how each day turns out than you probably realize. By paying closer attention to your current habits and exploring options for ways to improve on them, you should find your days improving greatly in general. You'll likely also find yourself feeling happier and more balanced thanks to the changes you've made.