Blogger: Mary Keeley
This week I’ve been trying to follow the health advice Janet blogged about on Monday. It went pretty well for two days, exercising in the morning and getting up from my desk every half hour or so to get the blood flowing. I used my short breaks to get the evening’s dinner going, which was a bonus. I rejoiced in my efficiency. But adding something to an already full schedule calls for increased self-discipline to continue covering the daily bases.
Old habits are hard to break, but adopting these simple, practical routines is a good place to start.
Keep a small spiral notepad handy while you work. Jot down to-dos as they arise during the day. Electronic devices have revolutionized data storage, research, and communication, but the old-fashioned pen and paper are still most efficient for some purposes. In the time it takes to pick up your device and select your notes app, you could already be finished handwriting a quick reminder, and it remains in your line of vision. When you resort to the app on your phone or your electronic calendar, the temptation to check social media, email, or news updates will lead you off-course. The efficiency of the notepad is its minimal distraction from your main task at hand.
Put things away. When something leaves your hands, take an extra minute or two to put it where it ultimately belongs. If you don’t have a designated place for your keys, pick a spot now. If you are one of those who hangs your coat on the chair or sets things down on the nearest horizontal plane to put away later, this tip could save you countless time and frustration.
Mental attitude. A thankful heart breeds joy. Thank God throughout the day for the things that are going well today, for the many blessings he has entrusted to you, and especially for the challenges he allows you to face, because he is growing you.
Create a schedule for yourself and stick to it. Some creative types recoil at the thought of being restricted by a schedule. This might sound harsh, but get over it. Keeping to a schedule is the shortest distance between your to-dos and getting them done. There will be two parts to blend in an efficient schedule: those things you do every day—checking email, connecting on social media, blog posts, and writing—and those spontaneous tasks and appointments as they arise. Assign each daily activity a certain amount of time and practice disciplining yourself to stick to the time limits. Don’t get discouraged by early failures. Stick with it until you experience the benefits of a daily schedule and you’ll embrace the habit. When you are contracted and your manuscript is turned in, your allotted writing time will be used for marketing and promoting your book. Discover the pleasant victory of successful self-discipline. Note that I’m motivating myself as I write this. It’s a challenge for all of us.
Get enough sleep. Some people need more sleep than others. But regardless, before you turn the lights out, treat yourself each day to half an hour of quiet decompression time, completely disconnected from communication devices. Close your eyes and listen to soothing music. Read a book you enjoy—not on a tablet that is hard on your eyes—just for the pleasure of it. Pray. Whatever contributes to your health and enhances your quality of sleep. Don’t eat for two hours before you go to bed.
What about you? What practical efficiencies have you developed that help you in covering all the daily bases? In what areas do you struggle to stay disciplined?
Are you getting it all done? These practical tips will help in covering the daily bases. Click to Tweet.
Want to be more efficient in your daily work? Here are five helpful tips. Click to Tweet.