In his article 7 Ways to Maximize Downtime featured in Entrepreneur, Performance Consultant, Speaker & Award-Winning Author John Brubaker shares his thoughts on how to redeem your time. What I discovered is that by incorporating just one micro-change in your daily routine, you significantly change the outcome of your week for the better! The key is not to try to do it all at one time; and the secret is that these simple techniques will work for virtually anything you want to change.
1. Fitness: Want to firm up your core? Try adding three Burpees to your routine.Ready to take it up a notch? At step four add a second pushup.
In less time than you think, you will see a dramatic change in your core. Use some common sense here though. You can’t go out eating a buffet every day and expect that 3 Burpees will burn that off. Instead consider adding it before or after your routine. Do you want to get better results, increase the number of repetitions; it is just that easy.
2. Productive Daily Plan: If you’re like most of us, you tend to drag yourself from bed, into the shower, dress and get into the day without a lot of forethought and effort. There is an adage that “the things that get attention, are the things that get done.” If you invest just 8-10 minutes jotting down what you a) Need to get done, b) Want to get done, c) Like to do, you can very quickly organize your day and create a productive daily plan. Discipline yourself to frontload the Need to at the top of your daily list. Allow yourself no slack until you get one or more Need to’s completed. That may mean, don’t walk into the workplace and start checking emails, returning phone calls, etc., unless they’re part of the Need to.
You can stack up the Want to, during the times when you can’t make any additional progress on the Need to item. As a reward, add in a Like to, just to keep the fun in the day. So what’s the key, the secret sauce, the hidden jewel to this process?
Starting off the day well. Brubaker suggests you integrate this “micro-change” by adopting a Rise and G.R.I.N.D. (Get Ready It’s a New Day) mental mindset.
Wake up an hour earlier than everyone else in your house. Discipline yourself not to hit the snooze. This capsule of time provides you with a quiet, distraction-free environment to enhance your focus. Grab your coffee and instead of checking your email or watching the news, invest that time creating your Want to, Need to, Like to list and plan for the day. Everything you do should move you toward completing your list – anything that doesn’t is a time thief and needs to be avoided.
3. Mindless Ride to Mindful Commute: Much has been said or suggested about learning on thetraffic. Redeem your commute time by adding a little knowledge to your skills. By attending Windshield University, I’ve read (listened to) dozens of books on everything from leadership and management, to current events, all for free!
The average daily commute time in the U.S. is about 50 minutes round trip. Consider the typical college course is about 50 minutes long. A micro-shift in your mindset could propel you from a mindless ride, to a mindful commute! Would you like to learn another language? Would you like to finally read the Bible through? If you’re riding and not driving, would you like to see how others have successfully built, repaired, or refurbished something with common tools?
Check into your Windshield University by checking out podcasts, CD Audiobooks, MP3 downloads and more! Think about it; if you reframed your 50-minute daily ride into a mindful commute, you could add over four hours a week (more than the average college course) or about 216 hours to your professional development annually. For free! That’s the equivalent of an MBA’s worth of professional development.
4. Power Lunch: Stop eating at your desk! Schedule business-lunch meetings (at least once a week) that can help you: achieve one of your goals, make a sale or advance your career. we spend 31 hours a month or more in unproductive meetings, and much of that is due to no clear call to action; the purpose for the meeting. Your power lunch will shake up that trend for you personally and professionally! You’re making an opportunity to feed your body and your career!
So where do you start? Start right now by committing to improving yourself! Aren’t you worth it? Next write down a goal that you would like to achieve over the next 30 days…starting today! Not tomorrow or the first of the month, but right now where you’re sitting or standing. Once you write it down, a goal becomes a plan! Now share your goal in the comment section below and watch your plan take shape!
Dr. Eugene Matthews