Our brains are Goal oriented, Success Seeking mechanisms. Although the statics vary in the degree of how much impact goals have on our success, it is proven that setting goals motivates us to accomplish more.
This year we have one full day MORE to accomplish something(s) of importance!
Since Leap Day falls on Monday, our schedules are most likely routine, requiring us to be at work or school 'as usual'. Let's start from this point forward. Ten months remain in 2016; providing you sleep 8 hours per night you have 16 bonus hours to increase your yearly output. What will you do with this precious gift of time?
Allocating these extra 16 hours out over the next ten months divides into about 22 minutes extra per week or 1.6 hours a month through December of 2016. Of course you might also just choose a "day" to call your bonus day, if you didn't already!
This simple strategy of allocating these 16 hours will boost your overall output in 2016.
I am going to set aside 22 minutes each week to faithfully plan my week ahead. Trained in, and a Trainer of, Stephen Covey's Four Quadrant Time Management, I was disciplined for many years in planning my week at the beginning, generally on Sundays. However, a plethora of life changes put things out of sorts for a season. The reason I share this reality is that I have experienced the significant efficiencies that faithful planning promotes.
I fully expect that spending my bonus 16 hours in planning time will actually cause my output in 2016 to increase. In fact, I wager that my output will be greater than the 16 hours I spend planning because I have already identified some time wasters and ways to fill those with productivity.
For example, I believe brain games are positively helpful to increase mental effectiveness. I participate in two interactive aps, however, the amount of time I spend daily has morphed. During my first 22 minute planning session today I decided I will limit my brain games to my morning jump-starter routine, rather than anytime the notification says it is my turn! In case you were wondering: my morning jump-starter routine includes activities that hit upon each of the 4 main life dimensions:
- Spiritual 2. Social-Emotional 3. Physical 4. Mental
There are endless ideas to inspire you to use your 16 hours well. Here are a few to get your creative juices flowing:
- devote 20 minutes a week to brighten someone's day (Meals-on-Wheels, write a note, make a phone call, support a charity)
- discover healthy cooking techniques/recipes
- do something fun with your kids - add a game night
- date your spouse - so something you love but haven't done in a long time. I think we will dance!
- read that book
- write that book (okay, 16 hours will just get you started, but at least you are started)
- finish a home project (fix the leak, paint the hall, clean the garage)
- work on forgiveness
- learn something new (Rubik's cube, juggling, piano, guitar, gardening, swimming)
- learn to rest
- learn to play
"Things that matter most, must never be at the mercy of things which matter least." Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
A few of my favorite resources to help you spend your time wisely:
Glynnis Whitwer's Taming the To Do List
Stephen R. Covey's First Things First