Do You Manage Your Day for Success?

I’m making progress on my dream to become an accomplished equestrian.

Yea!!

I’ve only had two lessons with Heather of Phoenix Farm (www.phoenixsporthorses.com) but I’m feeling really good about them.   The lessons are hard, requiring absolute focus and thought for an hour.  And, I found out last week, that my lesson does not stop simply because rain starts to pour down.

But, I was watching a figure skating competition on TV the other day (love figure skating).

I began to wonder, am I really doing all I can to accomplish my dream?

Am I managing each day for success?

My answer to myself was a resounding “NO!”

Distracted by Farmville on facebook

As I watched those lovely, accomplished, girls spinning and jumping around the ice, it occurred to me that they probably do not:

  1. Get sucked into Farmville on Facebook.
  2. Sit on the couch each night eating ice cream straight from the container.
  3. Find excuses to skip exercising “just that day” (and the previous day, and the day before that,  the day before that, and most of last week).
  4. Spend inordinate amounts of time thinking, considering, whining, worrying . . .  all of which takes away from actual getting-it-done time.
  5. Ignore the alarm clock and get up late every single morning.

If I could start by changing  just the above 5 things, I’d be way ahead of where I am now.

Most of them are easy.  #4 may be challenging.  But, my birthday is coming up so its time to reflect, reassess and let go of a few “issues” (easier said than done – and that sounds like a whole other post).

How do you manage your day for success?  I think I’ve asked this before and some of you have talked about starting each day with meditation or stating your intentions for the day.

What else?

I find that I tend to slog through the first part of my day and then, around 4:00, look around the house, panic at all that is not done, and then run around like a crazy person, which leaves me stressed and exhausted.

Well, at least I know what’s wrong!  Now, time to set about fixing it so I can have some unstressed time to work on letting go of a few things before my birthday!

Luc Reid over at The Will Power Engine Blog in his post, Dealing With Distractions You Can’t Prevent advises:

“In responding to distractions, especially when frustration builds, it helps to have a planned response you can fall back on . . . If you experience a lot of distractions or have the sense that some could be avoided with better organization, trying jotting down a list of distractions as they occur (after all, you’re already distracted) and then reviewing it in the near future to come up with ideas for heading those distractions off. . .”

Sound good?

‘Til next week.

Danelle

(Danelle left 8 Women Dream in March of 2010 and is still working  on her dream is to become an accomplished equestrian)

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  • Hey Danelle proud of you for identifying what gets in the way of living all your dreams (and most productive life…). I have many of the same challenges – i.e. getting sucked into Facebook or email. hitting the snooze button on the alarm, not doing the most important tasks right away (so they end up extending into the evening some days…). You are reinspiring me to recommit to my vows to work on the important things (book, blog, work projects!) BEFORE checking email/Facebook and to make my mornings feel really wonderful productive… So I CAN relax and play more at night.

    Also sooo happy to hear from Rachel that meditation IS making a difference for you! That is awesome! It has completely changed my life and I’m always so happy when it resonates for someone else and creates positive change… And I’m proud of you for doing it!

  • Rachel

    And I know you specifically asked for things other than meditation, but I’m going to tell my meditation story anyway. Meditation is something I resisted for a long time. I sincerely tried it when I was young, and decided my ADD brain just wasn’t capable of it.

    In an apparently unrelated story, I now work a job where a high percentage of the work is difficult. Since I have talent as a programmer, I am used to doing work that comes easy to me. Most of my jobs have been mostly easy work, with a few hard things thrown in if I was lucky. I could stall & take my time & wait for inspiration to strike on the hard things, since I was so productive on everything else. Or fill in all those times I was “stuck” on hard things by working easy tasks.

    This job, I spend the majority of my time on hard things. There isn’t a lot of easy stuff to fill in the time while I wait for inspiration, so I’ve spent a lot of time following up on all kinds of distractions (talking to myself, “this is too hard; I don’t know how to do it; I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to figure it out”, followed by commenting on blogs, worrying about my friends and family, etc…) I’ve never felt very good about my productivity here, and my boss has commented that it could be better as well.

    So I hear Lisa talking up meditation, and I’m reading a book about managing chronic pain that talks about meditation, and I’m reading about how to help myself get off anti-depressents, and what comes up but meditation? How can I not try it? So I seek out advice from all my internet buddies, and get some materials that really help me be okay with trying it, and not feeling like it has to be perfect! I realize that everyone’s mind is busy, and it’s hard to drop the distractions, and I’m probably about as good at it anyone (on a good day.)

    I can’t find an ideal time, place, and environment, so I end up practicing on the train every morning on my way to work. And it turns out, after less than a month of doing this, I’ve made tremendous progress on willfully dropping distractions and unproductive reactions. My productivity at work has already improved.

    When I’m done with my session on the train, I spend most of the rest of trip shifting my focus to the work I have that day (while I’m still in the mood to do so in a relaxed way, where I don’t overreact to obstacles), so I can come in mentally prepared. I still take breaks (like right now), but I feel much more in control of when I take the breaks, and how much work I get done during the day. I’ve also started to find it easier to shift gears when I need to (and control how I manage that) which is becoming a bigger issue as I’m mentoring more people at work now.

    I just had my annual review, and talked about this with my manager. He was interested, and the review went very well.

  • Rachel

    Danelle, great to hear you’ve found some easy things you can change (I have to say I haven’t found making those same changes in my life easy.) One thing I have found, is that starting with the easy things is a great way to break the negative spiral, and start a new cycle where things get better and better. So I say, do the easy things, start that new cycle, and let the momentum carry you into finding solutions for the harder things.

    I have also found that looking at the beginning of the day as a time to get things done is very freeing. It doesn’t have to mean losing your play time — it just means moving it. Get productive stuff done first, so you can be free to enjoy your play time with a sense of accomplishment, rather than spoiled by the worry or guilt about the things that aren’t done yet.

  • Remy, the photographer

    Ah, the “bright shiny objects” distraction technique. I know it well. Thinking and wondering are a part of the process, tho, so give yourself a little space to do that….the “doing” list will always be there. Geez does that ever go away? :) Its encouraging you are taking the next steps with riding. That should add to the exercise goals…and if you can find a way to eat ice cream and play farmville WHILE riding – then NO GUILT, right? hang in there. Rem

  • Catherine, Site Admin

    Sometimes I think distractions are a type of meditation, a period where we escape to another place mentally, be it through ice cream, an old movie or thoughts about things we have no ability to change.

    Congratulations on your training progress. I hope Nikki is doing OK.