Have you ever had one of those days that started with a great vision, purpose and a crazy long to-do list and at the end of the day, your to-do list was even longer and you were left wondering what the heck happened? Yeah, I’ve been there, too. And it makes you feel defeated. Once I became an entrepreneur, it got even worse. One of the things I’ve learned during the course of my career is that intention can be your best friend and a long to-do list your worst enemy. Here are a five tips to help you organize, prioritize and rock everyday with extreme confidence.
Have a Miracle Morning
If you haven’t read Hal Elrod’s “Miracle Morning,” don’t worry. I’m not giving you one more thing to do. Hal recommends an amazing routine called the Miracle Morning that we should use to start our days. He calls them SAVERS… and they have literally saved my mornings and my productivity. SAVERS is an acronym for:
- Silence (Meditation or prayer)
- Affirmations (Positive self talk about you)
- Visioning (Think about your big picture)
- Exercise (Self explanatory)
- Reading (Read 10 pages a day – you’ll be amazed at how many books you can finish)
- Scribing (Journal or work on that book you’ve been procrastinating on)
These six habits done regularly, set the stage for positive and productive days. If you’re in a rush, try spending just a minute on each activity and watch the results.
Think of intention as the rudder steering the ship of your life. You can use intention to direct something as grand as your big vision or something as small as how you’ll behave in an upcoming meeting. It’s a powerful practice that allows you to make it clear to yourself and to others what you plan to do. Take a moment at the beginning of each day to set clear intentions. What will you get done? How will you approach the day?
Long to-do lists can be intimidating, frustrating and overwhelming. It’s easy to get caught up doing tiny tasks and find yourself with just as many important things on your list at the end of the day that were there when you started in the morning. A great tip is to pick three things (I know, I know) but choose three important tasks to complete each day. The rest of your time can be spent doing the less important but time draining tasks. You’ll be amazed at how much more productive you’ll be with this hack and how much more often you’ll be checking items off of that list.
Use timers to keep yourself on track. I like to work in chunks with 60 minutes dedicated to a single task followed by a 20 minute break. The trick is to truly dedicate that 60 minutes to the task. That means no checking email, no side conversations, no drop-ins, no distractions. You’ll be surprised how much you can accomplish in 60 minutes of uninterrupted time.
At Lioness, we’re big on acknowledging accomplishments big and small. The impact it has on morale and esteem is huge. As entrepreneurs it can be easy to focus on what’s not done, what you didn’t do. The result of that ill placed focus is more pressure, more stress and less confidence. Take a moment to focus on what’s good. Be sure to celebrate each and every accomplishment even if the celebration is just a proud smile. This small confidence booster goes a long way.
It can be so frustrating to feel like you’re chasing your to-do list. It can start to feel like you’ll never catch up. When you apply all five of these tips, you’ll be ready to face each day with confidence and more importantly, you’ll be proud of what you’ve been able to accomplish each evening.
Dawn Leaks is CEO of Lioness and has been empowering women and entrepreneurs for as long as she can remember. A certified life coach, speaker and trainer, Dawn is passionate about helping women reach their God-given potential and live with passion, purpose and confidence. In the past Dawn has served as director of communications for a major nonprofit organization and as an adjunct professor at Bay Path university. She’s a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.