How to be an accomplished person?
A few days ago, I have published a blog post about being (or actually not being) a superwoman. I mentioned there, one of the most important things to stay sane daily, is to have your priorities straight. I have three main priorities: feel accomplished at work, spend regular quality time with my family, stay active and fit.
Is it impossible to have everything? Absolutely not.
For 5 months now, I’ve been running my own marketing agency. Those months haven’t been easy at all, taking into consideration, for 2 months I had been still keeping my previous full-time job. I have to tell you, now, that I’m fully involved into my own start-up, having my priorities straight became especially important to me. Once you build something yours, you tend to lose the feel of time and work days and nights.
It doesn’t have to be this way though.
First of all, running your own business gives you freedom of planning your day. What I have learned during six years being employed by someone, is that hours you spend in the office don’t directly correspond with your productivity. An employee working 9-6 will not necessarily do more than the one working 9-4. Sadly, many employers still live in that bubble. So, how to organize your day to be one of those lucky ones who have time for everything and feel accomplished? Here’s a few tips I can give you from my experience:
1. Identify your most productive hours…
… and use them for work. Each of us has their own body rhythm, times when we’re the most productive, our brain is sharp and can focus best. For me it’s usually early hours, 8-11 am. Later my focus seems to shift away. I have realized, the earlier I start working, the more I’m able to do in a day and the earlier I leave office. But that’s not the case with everyone – some people are so called “owls” and prefer working evenings. I try to start work early and wrap it up by 5 PM.
2. Maximize your productivity
Do you know it has been proved scientifically working too much actually kills productivity? There’s a thing called ultradian rhythm, which plays a key role in your brain’s focus time. To keep it at its peak, it’s recommended to take an active break every 90-120 minutes. I use that time to take a stroll – grab a glass of water, move myself a bit. Fitbit has been of a great help here. I have set up my hourly steps goal to 250+ and it vibrates on my wrist every time I should go and move a bit.
3. Plan your day and minimize distractions
First thing I usually do after I arrive at work is to plan my day – I write them down to tick off. Ok, sorry, actually I make my coffee first 😀 Then I plan my day. As I mentioned above, I’m usually more productive in the morning and noon, so I usually try to schedule all meetings in the afternoon, to avoid distraction. Be realistic in a number of tasks you can complete during the day – overestimating will only frustrate you as you’ll realize you can finish everything on time. Let me share with you a plan from last Thursday:
- Write a blog post
- Marketing plan for a client 1
- Marketing plan for client 2
- Late lunch with a potential client (4pm)
- Gym (5:30pm)
- Play time with Chloe (7pm)
- Dinner with Abhi & friends (8/8:30pm)
We usually run all errands and shop big during the weekend, as both of us have pretty tight schedules during week days.
4. Incorporate some “me time” in your daily routine
Besides taking those 250+ steps every hour I mentioned in point 3. I’d really recommend to have time for yourself only. That can be anything – reading a book, working out, going for a walk in the park, meditation, having a passion… Our brains are overstimulated with sounds and images. Let’s give them some alone time. Believe me, this would be a mood-booster for you. High-intensity physical activities work on me this way. I have been struggling for a while to incorporate them in my routine. I have even tried bringing Chloe to the gym with me, but after all, I realized, it only stresses me out and keeps me alert all the time. It had nothing to do with “me” time. I have arranged for nanny to stay with her a bit longer, so I can complete my workout on the way back home form work. A power workout also gives me energy to start another day with a positive mind.
5. Have time for others
Once all above elements fall in place, there’s probably nothing more you’d want more than to cuddle with your beloved ones. Whoever that is – a partner, a kid, parents, a friend, a sibling… Spend some quality time with them. It doesn’t matter how upset or sad I am, Abhi always makes me feel better and brightens my day as soon as he comes back home from work. So do nurture relationships with your beloved ones.