Nothing good ever happens if you don’t time your tasks and goals to Life. As we all know, timing is everything. To accomplish your tasks, you have to make sure the time is right in your day to make that happen. Let’s face it, 11 p.m. for most people is not a great time to dig into a new or important project. To get the kind of stuff done that you want to achieve, it takes a little coordinating of your schedule and an awareness of how your body ticks.
Getting stuff done, and on time, is pretty important. The topic is so important; corporations seek out people who can help others do exactly that. They’re called project managers. I looked them up, and it’s crazy but true: the project management industry is slated to grow by 6.61 TRILLION dollars! That’s $6,610,000,000,000 (someone check my math).
Before we get too far off topic, I just wanted to prove the point that if corporations see the value in getting stuff done, we should pay attention and learn a few things
There are numerous productivity tools and apps, which we’ll discuss in the weeks to come. But, as it relates to hitting your goals and making things happen, I’m coming at this from a different perspective, the small win approach you might say. It comes down to the most important time of the day.
How To Time Your Tasks To the Day
Did you eat breakfast this morning like your mother always told you? It turns out the morning is pretty important for a variety of reasons. Not only is being a morning person more beneficial to your health, but it also allows you to get more done. Maybe that’s because morning people are 25% happier, more cheerful and alert, according to the University of Toronto?
Truth be told, your mind works in a cycle. If you tap into the rhythm of your body, you can time your task achievement for the best performance you’ll have most days. Yep, morning time.
Heard of these guys – Stephen King, Brian Tracy or Ernest Hemingway? They are just a few, among the many, who advocate doing your most important tasks, and to-do’s as early in the day as you can. Say it with me – morning time.
Stephen King’s excellent book, On Writing, provides a sneak peek at his workday. If you haven’t guessed it already, King and Hemingway write early and before anything else. That’s when the brain is more active and fresh with creativity, early in the day. Plus, it has yet to suffer from any decision fatigue. It’s a blank slate.
Author and speaker Brian Tracy wrote a great titled book, Eat That Frog, to push others toward getting big things done as early as possible. The Frog, in his book, is the hardest thing you have to get done. Tracy pushes us to grab that Frog and eat it as soon as you can. Then you have the rest of the day to get other stuff done which doesn’t require as much effort. If you save your big Frog til the end of the day, you’ll dread eating it and may even push it off til the next day. In other words, time your tasks to your workday.
Save the morning for your most important work, even if it’s not creative in nature. Bite the bullet, eat the frog, stack the wood, whatever you want to call it. Once that is done, you can settle in for the day. And most experts recommend that for the remainder of the workday, stick to administrative duties or things that don’t require as much decision making.
Pro Tip: The practice of putting yourself in a position where you put an egg timer to your tasks isn’t a bad notion either. If you’re familiar with a Pomodoro timer, for example, you work aggressively for 20-30 minutes at a time, take a quick mental break and repeat as necessary. This process is another great method to increase getting things done, in the morning or later in the day.
If You Don’t Time Your Tasks
Cue the diabolical organ music. (BOM-BOM-BOMMMMM)
If you don’t time your tasks out, bad things happen. Like another movie sequel starring a teddy bear who cusses worse than my Uncle Frank.
As we covered in an earlier article about willpower, academics have proven that as the day progresses, so do the multiple decisions and choices we make. With each decision comes more and more fatigue. Eventually, we push off making decisions because we’re either too tired or knowledgeable enough about ourselves that the decisions will be poor.
The mind and body are so powerful, but we all have our limits. Timing is everything and as they always say, better to work smarter than harder.
But, Wait, What About…?
There are obvious “What Ifs” that popped up in your head as you read this. Like, what if I have a night job or am not a morning person? Good question – for night owls, you’re obviously in a different rhythm for day walkers. In those cases, the principle still applies. Do your hardest tasks or those that require the most mind power as early into your shift as you can.
What if I don’t have control over my schedule or my job doesn’t always allow for the necessary stuff getting done early? Another good question – in that case, I’d suggest a few options. You could try to explain to your supervisor how you can improve your productivity by moving things around on your schedule. Let’s face it, the dreaded early morning meeting often gets in the way of really getting things done. That’s a whole other topic! Discuss options with your co-workers, trial and experiment the initiative and do your best. That’s all we can do, right?
Starting Over Challenge of the Day
OK, here’s the challenge: single out the most important goal or task you have for the next week. Move your calendar around, if possible, and go to work on that item first thing. Report back here and let me know how it goes. Tweak where needed and report back on what you did and the results.
Life is one big experiment. These articles are all about helping people live a better life and start over in a favorable manner. What works for some may not always work for others. The journey is in the discovery!
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