Take Control of Your Day

by Frank

SunriseI wake up every morning with a million things on my mind. Is the kid dressed and ready for school? Did I pray? What shirt should I wear with this tie? Did I put the boy’s lunch in his book bag? Who is attending our team meeting this week? Did I put gas in my wife’s car? When is Halo 4 coming out?

The good news is, I have learned to not waste my time on things that don’t matter before I focus on things that do. I am not going to give my time and energy on something that is not related to my purpose. If you haven’t already read Don’t Waste Your Time, I highly suggest that you do. I’ll wait here until you finish.

Time Out of Control

The struggle is that even now with this new focus on time, I still seem to have more things to do than I have time to do them. My family is a priority but spending more time with them means I spend less time doing things that allows me to provide for them. My health is important but going to the gym will cost me an hour that I can use to improve the relationship with my wife. I need to volunteer at a local community center to minister to the youth but my car needed an oil change 4 weeks ago.

Every one of these events is important. Each item is going to benefit me and allow me to fulfill my God given purpose. The sad reality is there is only 24 hours in a day and 8 of those I will be sleeping. (maybe 10)

How Can I Control My Day To Get More Done?

There are several techniques I have tried. Today I’ll share my favorite one.

I’m learning to take control of my day by increasing my productivity during my optimal times of output. Let me explain this in more detail. We all learn differently. Some learn visually while others may learn by sound or memorization. This same premise applies when it comes to our efficiency and production. We all operate under our own set of rules.

Optimal Time of Output

At my job, I work on the email team. It is not uncommon for me to send almost 100 outbound emails per day. These emails may be as simple as, “I completed the request you provided below.” or as complex as a 7 paragraph explanation about the importance of diversification in a long term growth portfolio. Although I work a 10 hour day, most of my emails are sent near the beginning and middle of my shift. Why?

This is my optimal time of output. During the morning I am fresh, focused and motivated. I am tuned in. I’m in the zone. However, I am also very grouchy. (Please try not to talk to me before 10 a.m.) I can complete half of a day of work within the first 3 hours of my shift. Especially, if I am not interrupted.

One of my peers operates differently than I do. He does the bulk of his work in the middle of his shift. He can’t focus right at the beginning of the day. With this knowledge, he consistently performs above the average of many of his peers.

So, what does this have to do with taking control of your day?

If you schedule the most important matters of your day at the time when you are at your best, you will ALWAYS get more done. Once I had this revelation about myself, I applied it to every aspect of my life. On my days off instead of lying in the bed hitting the snooze button 4 times…I hit it 7 times. I really like my sleep. But, when I do arise I get a lot more done when I start processing my to do list during my optimal time of output.

Recognizing Your Optimal Time of Output

What time of day are you at your best?
When do you have the most energy?
When can you get the most done?

I discovered my optimal time of output through my activities at work. Your optimal time of output may vary. I recommend taking some time to figure out when you are most productive. This will assist you in making the right decision about how you will spend your time.

Make today outstanding by finally getting some work done! 🙂