Recently, I began to be more deliberate with my daily routine. I decided to draw a line between the things I want to do in life and meeting the expectations of others. This is to enable me to close the gap between what I want to do and what I am doing. I have given careful thought on how to balance the world’s demands and my ambitions. These lead me to develop some clues that have served me very well, and I have decided to share them with you. Hopefully, these clues help you to be productive as you continue on your path to personal development.
Plan your day the night before.
I worry less about tomorrow. Hence, I never planned for its tasks in advance per say. I did this in the mornings. Of course, nothing is wrong with this approach, but it made kick starting my day a lot slower because the time I spent planning in the morning could have been used to swing into action straight up. This technique helps to prepare my mind for the tasks, ahead of time, so I go to bed happy for the day’s accomplishments, and in excitement for the things God will enable me to accomplish the next day. This has helped me to be more organized, and to anticipate any challenges I might have in the course of my routine, and prepare solutions well in advance.
Creative Work First, Reactionary Work Last.
I got this tip from a book am currently reading. Instead of waking up to your phone checking the number of comments and likes on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, blog post, emails and every other reactionary activity, you reserve these for later, and instead focus on starting your day with prayer/reading your Bible, Meditation, workout, breakfast, work, write/study, and do some projects that interests you. This clue depends on the individual, I am a morning person, so I like to do all my creative work in the morning. You should find the best time for yourself and build your routine around it.
Switch Off Your Phone During Creative Work.
Alright, this is a difficult one. In an era where everything revolves around our cell phones and electronic gadgets, it is difficult to have these switched off for hours. You need to ask yourself what is at stake here because if you know WHY YOU ARE DOING SOMETHING, it will be easier to pay the price now and forego the immediate gratification because then you know that the outcome outweighs the momentary pain or self-denial. You might argue that you can still concentrate with your phone on while working, but trust me, I have been there before, the temptation to just check that one beep or vibration distracts you more than you realize.
This is a technique I learned from Agile training. Assign time to your daily tasks. Each task ends once its time is up regardless of whether you finish it or not. Realistically, you must consider every little detail when choosing the time required for each task, and then do everything within your power to achieve the set goal. So try timeboxing your writing, music making, social media, emails, movies, visiting friends, studying and every other thing and watch your productivity skyrocket.
Train Yourself To Get Things Done.
You know that feeling of not wanting to get something done even though you know that it is important. As highlighted in clue number 3 above, you must convince yourself WHY you must do what must be done to achieve your desired results. This will in turn train your brain and mind to get things done regardless of how you feel. Productive and successful people train themselves not to give into moods but teach their minds to know it has to get down to work.
It is often said that the best things of life are the simplest things. We humans like to complicate things so that the simplest things are made complex and the ones that cannot be made so are taken for granted. Over the years I have come to realize that indeed the most important things are not expensive, in fact, money cannot buy them, for instance, money can buy lust, attraction and power but it cannot buy true love, it maybe able to buy influence but not the truth, definitely not true friendship, peace of mind, time and the list continues, not because money is not important but because these things cannot be bought. Check the links at the end of this article for more things money cannot buy.
As you go through this list, make a note of all the things you have being taking for granted and decide to make a 360 degree turn today. Appreciate these things and watch your life change from ingratitude to gratitude, sadness to happiness, complaint to contentment, comparison to appreciation.
God’s Mercy: no one can claim that they are alive today because of their righteousness, we fall short every day and it is only by God’s mercy that we are still breathing.Romans 6:1-2tells us not to take this mercy for granted and we shouldn’t.
A Mother’s love: after God’s mercy, this should be the top priority. No sane person should ever take his/her mother for granted. Imagine the pains she had to go through to birth you and the sleepless nights, how she made sure you had enough to eat even when it meant for her to starve or work two jobs. Please don’t ever take your parents for granted, pick up the phone right now and call them, tell them how grateful you are and make things right with them. I wish I could call my mom right now to thank her for carrying me for 9 months and going through the pains of child-birth but I can’t because she is in heaven.
Genuine Love: as highlighted earlier we can’t buy true love. There are so many people who have gone to the grave beyond without knowing how it feels like to be loved unconditionally, they neither gave nor received it. Maybe they gave but never received it or they received it but never gave it. So if you find that someone who loves you or vice versa, don’t hold back and don’t take it for granted.
A True Friend: true friends are nearly non-existent because almost everyone is about “what’s in it for me”. Is so hard to find that person who would stand by you, offer that support and encouragement when you need them most and carry you if need be. Whenever I think of a true friend I remember Samwise “Sam” Gamgee and Frodo Baggins in the Fellowship of the Ring movie. The role Sam (Frodo’s best friend) played to ensure that his best friend succeeds in his mission to cast the ring into the lake of fire reflects true friendship.“In poverty and other misfortunes of life, true friends are a sure refuge. The young they keep out of mischief; to the old they are a comfort and aid in their weakness, and those in the prime of life they incite to noble deeds.” Aristotle. “My dad said to me growing up: When all is said and done, if you can count all your true friends on one hand, you’re a lucky man.” Josh Charles
Time: time is probably everything and it is so sad to see people take this valuable commodity for granted. God gives us 24 hours every day, some people use it wisely while others not so wisely. They give it away so cheaply as if it can be recovered, you cannot achieve anything tangible if you don’t know how to manage your time, honestly speaking, you should be stingy with it. Remember time is money! Agreed that money is not everything but the lack of it makes life miserable.
Don’t take Yourself for granted: You are here for a reason and this world would have been incomplete without you. Think about this, there is no one else with your finger prints; you are unique and don’t take this for granted.
Don’t take anyone for granted: everyone is unique and equal before God. Even if you are highly placed in the society, well-educated, have a good job, have a good family etc just know that our differences are the things that make us unique. Imagine if everyone was like you; oh my gosh life will lack the varieties that spice things up.
Family: when everyone else fails you, your family will be right there to take you in. Value and cherish your family, they are your roots without them there is no you.
Don’t despise humble beginnings: the journey of a thousand miles begins with a step, Rome was not built in a day, and nothing worthwhile was ever built with the speed of light, my point is, good things take time so value and celebrate the baby steps.
Experiences: everything happens for a reason, in my opinion, there are no coincidences. So when things happen focus on the lessons and the takeaways, enjoy and savor those good moments, as for the bad ones, look for the silver lining (nothing is 100% bad or good) because nothing lasts forever.
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