Every now and again I take a look through Amazon to see what new interiors books I might be interested in. While I was going through my new wish list, a recommendation came up called “Manage You Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind (The 99U Book Series)” by Jocelyn K. Glei.
This immediately jumped out at me. I have been struggling to get the time to finish off my projects for the next module and as I was stuck at home with a toddler plagued with chicken pox, it seemed that the book was destined to be downloaded into my kindle. Do you ever get those moments where you’re sure that life is giving you a little nudge in the right direction? This is how I felt about this book.
From page 1 I was hooked and although the tips are mostly common sense, I soon realised that it wasn’t time that was my problem, but that I didn’t have a proper structure and framework in place that enabled me to achieve what I needed. So I thought I’d share the notes that I took from the book…
- Monitor your energy levels throughout the day and do the most creative work during your peak energy periods. Leave the admin and tasks that require less focus for low energy periods. eg, I work best in the morning, so the most creative work should be planned around then.
- Start your day by doing the most important task first – it can be too easy to start with the easiest task like checking mail or social media but it will distract you from the important work you need to do.
- Put things you really want to do into your calendar that way you have time blocked off in your schedule to focus on what you want.
- Set a start and finish time for work – if you know you only have a limited time to do something you will be more efficient at it.
- Tell yourself that you will only do the task for 10 minutes – once you start the task you will find you will go longer, but if you don’t want to continue, that’s ok.
- Fit regular breaks into your work schedule.
- Do a little bit everyday.
- Repetition is key – doing the same thing everyday will train your mind to focus when it should.
- Track your progress by highlighting milestones and checking off tasks.
- Positive distraction – give yourself a reward or incentive each time you accomplish a milestone or task.
- Creativity can be created through simple acts of nothing eg. going for a walk at the same time everyday along the same route allows your mind to wander thus sparking creativity.
- Breakthroughs – thinking about a problem from a different point of view can help if you have a creative block.
- Sleep is important. You need to be able to think clearly to create.
- It is just as important to make sure you have off-line time to allow your body and mind to recover.
- It is important not to let other personal projects build up. Create a list of projects you want to do in your spare time and allocate a defined time each week for them. It can be too easy to prioritise work or study.
Obviously, these tips can be adapted to all sorts of situations in everyday life. It has certainly helped me and I hope it can help you too. Is there anything that you do that helps you manage things on a day to day basis? I’d love to know.
Image Source: Photography by Julie Dewaroquier