Photo by Joe Haupt
If you are a positive thinker, you probably go to bed thinking “there’s always tomorrow”, tomorrow will be better, and you are going to be productive and organized and efficient. But “tomorrow” is a tricky word that sometimes cannot be trusted:
“In the land of the lotus-eaters, time plays tricks on you. One day you’re dreaming, the next, your dream has become your reality (…) The clock is ticking, the gap is widening…”
And the Spanish word for “tomorrow” can be even trickier:
“Sure baby, mañana. It was always mañana. For the next few weeks that was all I heard –mañana, a lovely word and one that probably means heaven.”
–Dean Moriarty in “On The Road” by Jack Kerouac.
If you want to be productive, organized, and efficient, use these tips for a better tomorrow:
Wake Up Early
Early morning time is the most productive time of the day for a lot of people. Many feel they have more clarity and energy in the early morning. Honoré de Balzac, Ludwig Van Beethoven, Le Corbusier, Victor Hugo, Kurt Vonnegut and Maya Angelou believed so. And so did many successful workers in other fields. Some studies state that early risers are happier and healthier than night owls, and that morning people are more proactive than their night peers. Simply said: getting up early is one of the best strategies around to become a more productive person. Be careful you don’t forget to get enough sleep to recharge that energy –going to bed early is sometimes as important as waking up in the early hours.
Have a healthy breakfast sitting outside in the terrace enjoying the sun, or read a few pages or your favorite author to get your mind focused on the positive. Lose yourself a travel video that makes you feel peaceful, or watch the clip of your favorite basketball player to remember how hard you have to work to meet your goals. Stick an inspirational quote on the mirror to help your mind stay above the difficulties of your surroundings. Inspiration might seem less important than making your bus on time, but don’t get so wrapped up in the details of life that you forget to enjoy it!
Plan, Focus And Keep It Going
Some projects are overwhelming, but the trick is going step by step. Divide the task into small “must-do todays,” and keep your focus on the top priorities –do these first thing in the morning. Start small and gradually build upon a list, and see the everyday triumph.
“I keep to this routine every day without variation. The repetition itself becomes the important thing; it’s a form of mesmerism. I mesmerize myself to reach a deeper state of mind.”
–Fiction writer Haruki Murakami
Limit Technology Distractions
It’s important you understand there are always 1440 minutes in each day, so use them wisely. Above all, avoid interruptions when you need to get something done. Time will be wasted no matter what, but respect the time every task deserves. Don’t check your email account every ten minutes just for the sake of doing it. We know we live in a world constantly stimulated by electronic communication, but see beyond the horizon and limit yourself the time you spend on social media. Your productivity will increase, and your real life will experience a very welcome leap.
Refresh Your Mind
After some hours of good work, go for a walk with your dog, go swimming to the local pool, or enjoy a delicious cappuccino with friends. During those moments, forget everything related with the project you were so focused the whole morning. Just relax, breathe, and smile. Later, you will be amazed by how many fresh ideas you have after a healthy and productive break.
Fortify Your Mindset
Reflect on all mistakes you make and grow based on them – focus on improvement, instead of trying to solve everything. Be open-minded about perfection. There won’t ever be a perfect time to do a great thing, so just do it now. Don’t call it perfectionism when everyone knows it’s plain procrastination. Remember you won’t live forever. Time is a valuable thing and successful people understand it, so don’t let time pass you by. And put into action an “Outwork Everyone” philosophy instead of envying other people. Shifting your perspective can spark a sea change in the way you approach work and life.
You have done well, and the day is over. Review what you have accomplished, empty your email inbox, and empty your mind for a clean start tomorrow. Go to bed believing anything is possible tomorrow, and knowing that a lot of “grit & grind” will bring you closer to your goals. Be ready.