“Chance favors the prepared mind.” — Louis Pasteur
Here are 10 effective ways to make the most of what you’ve got as you hack your way through the daily jungle of life:
1. Bootstrap Your Day with a Startup Routine.
Avoid distractions by design. Get the edge by starting off with a routine that springboards your success. For me, I start my day by throwing on my sneakers for a 30 minute run, then hit the shower, then eat breakfast slowly, then take the back way to work, while I listen to my favorite songs and map out my day.
2. Use The Rule of 3.
You can use The Rule of 3 to chop your day down to size. Use three stories to drive your day. Simply ask yourself, “What are three results I want for today?” If you’re having a great day, maybe this translates to … “win a raving fan,” “complete a chapter of your next book,” and “dance with the stars.” Simply design a compelling day before you start. Use those three outcomes to guide, prioritize, and focus all your tasks in a meaningful way. If you’re having a bad day, maybe your three outcomes are simply have a great breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
3. Do Worst Things First.
Rather than let something loom over your head all day, get it out of the way so the rest of your day is a glide path. The exception here is if you have a monstrosity that will chew up a few hours. If that’s the case, start with it, but timebox it. If you can’t finish it off in an hour, then take a break, refresh and renew, then come back and finish things off.
4. Lead with Your “Why.”
When you can’t find your motivation, what that means is you don’t have a compelling “why.” When your MoJo’s not working and you can’t get it in gear, the best thing you can do is find your “why” and get your game on. Inspire yourself from the inside out by connecting to your values. If you enjoy adventure, then turn your tasks into an amazing journey. If you enjoy learning, than make it a learning experience. If you like mastery, then turn your task before you into a challenge and a chance to master your craft.
5. Ask Yourself, What’s Right with this Scenario?
Direct your life by pointing your metaphorical camera to the positive side of things and set the stage for the scenes you want to see. If you always step into a scenario and ask yourself, “What’s wrong with this picture?”, try asking yourself, “What’s right?…”.
6. Follow the Passion.
If you want to get more done in less time, then use your best energy to make things happen. Your best energy comes from following your passion. You can either chase the things you enjoy, or you can find a way to enjoy the things you do. To put this another way … find the job you love, or love the job you’re with.
7. Ask Better Questions.
Changing your questions, changes your focus. You can guide your day simply by asking better question. For example, “What do you want today be about?” … “Who do you want to be and what experiences do you want to create?” … “What’s your next best thing to do?” … “What do you want to accomplish?”
8. Link it to Good Feelings.
If you want to rock your day, then link things you do to good feelings. Sometimes this is as simple as playing your favorite song. Other times, this might mean using a better metaphor. For example, are you chipping away at the grindstone, or are you taking the bull by the horns. The right metaphor is like Popeye with spinach.
9. Savor the Moments.
Little things can mean a lot, and not everything is a Hallmark moment, but savor the moments that matter, and catch yourself in those magical moments. Bloggers and photographers seem to have a way of capturing moments that are just all too easy to slip by. Know when to put the brakes on and smell those flowers.
10. Cap Your Day with Four Questions.
I’m not sure why this works so well … it might be because it re-enforces an attitude of gratitude and it points your camera to the highlights of your day. Here are four questions I use to cap my day:
- What did I learn?
- What did I improve?
- What did I enjoy?
- What kind act did I do?
You don’t have to adopt these all at once to get the impact.
Simply start with the ideas that tickle your fancy the most. You’ll quickly find that the more you drive your day, the better you’ll feel. Your success will spread to other areas of your life and as you adopt more of the hacks, you’ll be able to deal with any curve balls life happens to throw your way.
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