How to Manage Your Time and Focus on What Really Matters
Feeling a little sluggish and unprepared for...life? Read here for some quick tips on how to regain your focus and hit the ground running.
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I often found myself wondering what goals I had managed to accomplish at the end of a hectic day. I would sometimes look back at my daily routine to understand what I had focused on and how it was helping me to achieve my long-term goals. Every day, I asked myself if I had moved another step closer to my life goals. I also asked myself if I would be starting from the same place the next day. To manage my time better, I identified the problems that were preventing me from achieving success.
The first thing I realised was that one of my biggest problems was my avoidance of tasks that needed immediate attention. When I did this, there were serious consequences because of the backlog of tasks. This stressed me out and sucked all the energy and willpower out of me, leaving me unable to complete the tasks. So it became a vicious cycle. I am very ambitious so my failure to manage my time wasn't because I was lazy or unfocused. It was my lack of discipline that resulted in a lot of issues. It was my inability to focus on what really mattered and what needed immediate attention that resulted in the missed deadlines and important events.
Once I identified the root of the issue, I decided to become more self-disciplined. This helped me become more focused and driven, as well as more ambitious to accomplish the goals I set for myself. While there's no ultimate formula for success, I have come to realise that rewiring my brain to be more focused has helped me achieve more and prioritise completing crucial tasks.
Here are some of the steps I took to manage my time and set my priorities for a prosperous tomorrow.
Plan at Night
I have been able to track my daily progress better when I plan the night before and note down everything that needs to be done — either in a journal or a digital log. I also mentally prepare myself for the next day by thinking positive thoughts the night before. While I prepare for bed, I imagine the next day to be the perfect opportunity to do more and achieve success. "Just remember to focus on what you should instead of wasting your energy on trivial and useless tasks," says Elton from CSB-Group.
For a long time, I struggled to get up in the morning and would often hit the snooze button to sleep just a bit longer. But once I decided to become more focused, I forced myself to avoid hitting the snooze button. Now, I get moving as soon as I wake up and even engage in some physical activity such as moderate exercises. By releasing feel-good hormones into my body, these exercises have given me more energy to focus on my tasks for the day.
If I don't know what I'm working for, all my efforts are in vain. So, I try to take some time to reflect on what's truly important for me. When I have a clear idea of what I want in life, it becomes easier to set goals. It also gives me a better understanding of what I need to do to work towards my goals. I visualize each day the night before and I picture myself doing a little bit each day to achieve my long-term goals. Setting goals inspires confidence and definitely helps to increase productivity.
I've also benefited from reflecting on the day before and how it went. This helps me identify what factors resulted in a waste of time and how I can fix them. I would ask myself questions such as "Why did I waste my time playing video games?", for example. I also ask myself questions like "Do I know what I am working for?" or, "What is my goal for the next five to ten years?"
Every day, there are multiple opportunities for me to change the way I think and act. The past is gone and the future is unknown. So, I value the present day and make the most of it to customize my life and achieve more. Knowing what I want out of life and how I need to get there has helped me work towards achieving my goals and focussing on what matters the most.
Published at DZone with permission of Elena Tahora. See the original article here.
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