Lately I feel I have been living on the road. My daughter is a competitive cheerleader and all her competitions are out of town or out of state. Same with my son’s baseball. When you have kids, you somehow magically transform into a limo service. (I like to say limo instead of taxi, it makes me feel better about driving 4 hours a day)! But I truly love it and wouldn’t change it for the world.
One great thing about my travels is that I have been meeting people in airports, games and competitions. They all have different stories and lives. I met a guy who is a high level executive with Fortune 500 company. I asked him, “What is your daily routine?”
He said that he starts his day at 6am with an intention. Then he sits down with his morning coffee and plans his day, keeping this intention in mind. Now, this makes perfect sense to all of us. In fact, you are probably thinking, “I need to do that!”. But we don’t. You may have a plan, but do you have a daily intention?
Having a plan is great. But that plan is useless without breaking it down into daily actions and being intentional about those actions. I mean, mapping out your day, prioritizing, and then refusing to allow anything to derail you from that #1 thing you need to get accomplished that day. Sounds easier than it is, I know.
When you live your life intentionally, you actually wake up every day and choose how your day is going to go. I’m not talking about the circumstances. We can’t control these. I’m talking about your behavior, your mood, how you feel. See, you cannot control what happens, but you can control how you react to what happens.
You can choose to be calm in the face of stress. You can choose to be nice to people all day. You can choose to feel good, no matter what comes your way. It is easier to be productive and efficient when you feel good vs trying to perform when you are agitated and stressed out. You can control your stress levels and your reactions. Take a break, breathe, stretch, go workout or have tea instead of 5 cups of coffee. You are in control of your behavior and your actions.
Being intentional is doing things on purpose. Do you manage your day or does your day manage you? Do you get to the end of the day thinking, ” I got nothing done but I was crazy busy”. That means that you did not manage your priorities. Steven Covey said, “Put first things first”. Many of us run our lives by what comes up, not what is important.
Start simple. Make a plan for your day and have a goal to get your #1 priority complete. Then after a few weeks, make it 2, then 3.
Productivity is a place where we all need a little help. It takes being intentional every morning and taking control. Goals are reached one day at a time and one choice at a time. When you are busy doing things, ask yourself, “Is what I’m doing right now in line with my intention?”
Stop being busy and start getting more done, more of the right things. You will feel accomplished and have a nice sense of peace at the end of the day.