Stephen Covey, Brian Tracy, Daniel Pink – these are all names we know, and for many of us, who we aspire to be more like when it comes to productivity… but how do you get there when organization and time management don’t come naturally to you?
Short answer – find a tool to help you simplify the process and work it into your daily routine. My tool of choice – a simple Daily To Do List.
What I do naturally (thanks to a 98% ranking for time management and productivity) is combine the strategies of these three experts into my personal to do list to maximize my workday. And now you can too. 😎
Here’s a quick overview of how the Rule Your Day method works:
If you’re familiar with Brian Tracy and “Eat the Frog” you know that starting with your biggest and most important to do (or sometimes the most dreaded) is the best way to ensure you have a productive day.
#1 – It gets your highest priority item checked off of your to do list early (and before you get hit with endless interruptions and distractions).
#2 – It makes the rest of the items on your to do list feel that much easier to complete now that the weight of the BIG TO DO is done.
BUT…. how do you avoid going down the rabbit hole of putting out fires and slapping on band aids once your big ticket item is taken care of?
That’s where Stephen Covey comes into the picture. Most of us are aware of the “4 Quadrants.” Unfortunately, business owners wearing multiple hats tend to spend the bulk of the day in quadrants 3 and 4. By focusing on Quadrants 1 and 3 (in that order) AFTER “Eating the Frog”, you can increase your overall productivity for the entire day before you take a break for lunch.
“Lunch break? What’s that?” 😂 If this is you (and it was me for YEARS), and you haven’t already read about or listened to Daniel Pink’s theory on “Timing”, taking a break is a critical factor in accomplishing your daily goals. Essentially, we are all subject to the “3 Stages of Timing” and it affects our overall daily productivity.
If you’re a morning person, your “peak” comes early and you most likely do your best work at the start of the day. If you’re a night owl, mornings can be tough – you most likely get off to a slow start and “peak” a few hours into your day. And at some point, everyone “hits the wall.” – Pink calls this the “trough” – and this is the perfect time to stop for lunch and reset. We all enter a “recovery” period as well, but our productivity will not hit a “peak” again for the duration of the workday.
Knowing this cycle allows us to map out our to do lists and get to the end of each day without feeling completely burned out. And taking a break to eat lunch (and take a walk) gives our brains a chance to regroup and reset for the second half of the workday.
So, if you’re ready to start working “Smarter, not Harder”, you can grab my free basic to do list here and start mapping out your day using my method, OR you can purchase a Rule Your Day Notepad, (including detailed instructions) to make it that much easier to re-train your brain for maximum productivity. Either way, here’s to finding the best way to Rule Your Day. 🙌🏼🙌🏾