In his article 7 Ways to Maximize Downtime featured in Entrepreneur, Performance Consultant, Speaker & Award-Winning Author John Brubaker shared his thoughts on how to redeem your time. What I discovered was that a small change in my daily routine had a noticeable impact on my overall week! The key was not to try to do it all at one time! It only required micro-initiatives to have a macro impact! Here are some examples - you can probably think of others:
1.Enhance Your Physical Fitness: Cardio does more than warm your body, it also warms your mind. However, if you want a firmer core try adding three Burpees to your fitness routine.
Want to take it up a notch? At step (4) add a second push up. In less time than you think, you'll see a dramatic change in your core. Common sense has to be applied though; you can’t expect that adding 3 Burpees will off-set eating out at the local buffet every night. Don't have an exercise routine, see your primary care provider (physician) and get one set up and tailored for you to reach your fitness goals, safely.
2.Productive Daily Plan: If you’re like most of us, you tend to drag yourself from bed, into the shower, dress and get into the day without a lot of forethought and effort. There is an aphorism that says, “the things that get attention, are the things that get done.” If you invest just 4-7 minutes jotting down what you a) Need to get done, b) Want to get done, and c) Like to do, you have quickly and effectively created a Productive Daily Plan. Discipline yourself and frontload your Need to's at the top of your day. Work them until they are done...or you are. To reduce the likelihood of burnout, for every 2 Need to’s you complete, work on a Want to, or a Like to. That may mean only water and no coffee until after your exercise routine; it might mean no social media updates until after you complete that letter of recommendation, course update, graded assessments or assignments, etc. That's called disciplined behavior!
Your remaining Want to's and Like to's should be worked on when you can’t make any additional progress on your list of Need to's. Perhaps you're waiting on an update on something you submitted, or a return call to a voice message you left, or the approval/authorization to access supplemental material. Whatever the case, if it's beyond your control, then shift to your Want to/Like to lists and you will continue to be productive. Brubaker believes that starting off your day on purpose with purpose by adopting a Rise and G.R.I.N.D. (Get Ready It’s a New Day) mindset,. When you do, everything you check off any of your lists will move your productively forward! Recognize that anything that doesn’t move you forward is a time thief that must be avoided.
3.Enhance Your Mental Fitness:The late Zig Ziglar was a avid supporter of the Windshield University. A lot has been written and explored with regard to learning on the go, and still this golden opportunity for increased knowledge is still woefully under-used. It’s suggested that Americans spend the equivalent of a work week sitting intraffic. Redeem your commute time by adding a little knowledge to your skills (micro-initiatives). Through my attendance in the Windshield University, I’ve read (listened to) dozens of books on everything from leadership and management, to current events, all for free!
Consider, if the average work commute is only 50 minutes round trip, and the typical college classes is about 50 minutes, how many college classes could you complete in a week? Learn another language, read the Bible through, gain exposure to effective strategies for engaging students online, read through your entire textbook before the semester or term starts! Check into your Windshield University by checking out your institution or public library's podcasts, CD Audio books, MP3 downloads and more! If you could reframed your 50-minute daily ride into a mindful commute, you could gain over four hours of knowledge and professional instruction. That's considerably more than the average college course, for free! Annually, that's the equivalent of an MBA’s worth of professional development!
You can start right now with a commitment to self improvement. The investment you make will require a disciplined approach to following your micro-initiatives, and it may be challenging at first, but aren't you worth investing in you? Write out a goal you'd like to achieve over the next 30 days…starting today - not tomorrow, next week or the first of the month, but right now where you’re sitting or standing! A goal is only a dream until you write it down...then it becomes a plan!