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Stop Reading This (and Start Doing More)

Stop Reading This (and Start Doing More)

    Nike’s slogan, Just Do It, goes far beyond the athletic field. It really can serve as a mantra for a successful life.

    But in order to turn “Just do it” into a mission statement for living wisely, it’s important to get off the couch, take a hard look at your life and fix what’s broken – without beating yourself up about what might have been.

    So wrap up your reading, grab a piece of paper to take down some notes and get ready to make some changes. It’s time for your new life, and that time starts NOW.

    Forget regrets

    Don’t let past mistakes rob you of your future. It’s easy to look back and see how our mistakes have creates bumps in our road of life, but that doesn’t mean they have to become a compete roadblock that robs us of our future. Regret provides an opportunity for growth. Stop shoulding all over your self. I should have done this. I should have done that. There’s plenty more to get done. Get started today!

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    Take a cue from their actions, and forget the regret, opening the doors to a different, brighter future.

    Assess your needs

    Take time to think hard about what  it really is you want to accomplish in your life, and look at what you’re doing that will make that possible. Also think about the things you may be doing right now that are holding you back.

    Erase the things that prevent your dreams from seeing fruition, like the after-work drink that turns into ten and prevents you from being on top of your game the next day, and focus on what works.

    Ask yourself this question every day. What is one thing I can do right now that will guarantee I have a great day? What is one thing I can stop doing right now that almost certainly guarantees a bad one.

    Surround yourself with greatness

    Make sure that the people you are hanging out with are people you admire, people who are living a life that you want for yourself. The close proximity to success is a great way to make it part of your own world. They say you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.

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    The time is now

    There’s never the perfect time for taking action. If you wait around for perfect conditions – when I lose weight I’ll do it, when the economy looks better I’ll try to branch out – that day will likely never come.

    Try to look at today’s conditions as right, no matter what they are, and work with what you’ve been given. You always have the greatest resource available to you. That resource being choice. You choose to take action or not.

    Break it down

    If a task seems completely unmanageable, break it down into smaller parts.

    If you want to write a book, but the idea of it is so overwhelming you can’t seem to get started, it pays to start small. Write a page a day, and within a year, you will have written 365 pages, bringing you that much closer to your goal.

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    No place for procrastination

    Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today. Taking charge now will not only leave tomorrow free for tackling some other project, but will also erase the guilt you feel when you do procrastinate.

    Just take a deep breath, grab the paperwork, and do it. Write the first page, sign up for the gym membership or send out a resume to the firm where you’ve always wanted to work. You can’t get the job if they don’t know who you are.

    Focus on the essentials, and let the other things wait

    Sure, you’d like to volunteer, plant a garden, get a degree, and take a vacation.  Eventually, you will do all those things. But in the hectic, stress-filled now, choose the most important and most pressing of your goals, and weed out those things that can wait.

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    Don’t be afraid to say no to the one-acre garden plot and plant a container garden or a few pots of herbs instead. Take a single class as you aim for a degree and plan a weekend away to Vegas with your partner or some friends, making it a temporary stand-in for that backpacking trip across Europe.

    What are some goals you want to accomplish? What’s on your bucket list? What is holding you back? Share them in the comments below.

    (Photo credit: Stop Reading via Shutterstock)

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    Justin Miller

    Healthy Lifestyle Architect, a Fitness and Nutrition Coach

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    Last Updated on March 23, 2021

    Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

    Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

    One of the greatest ironies of this age is that while various gadgets like smartphones and netbooks allow you to multitask, it seems that you never manage to get things done. You are caught in the busyness trap. There’s just too much work to do in one day that sometimes you end up exhausted with half-finished tasks.

    The problem lies in how to keep our energy level high to ensure that you finish at least one of your most important tasks for the day. There’s just not enough hours in a day and it’s not possible to be productive the whole time.

    You need more than time management. You need energy management

    1. Dispel the idea that you need to be a “morning person” to be productive

    How many times have you heard (or read) this advice – wake up early so that you can do all the tasks at hand. There’s nothing wrong with that advice. It’s actually reeks of good common sense – start early, finish early. The thing is that technique alone won’t work with everyone. Especially not with people who are not morning larks.

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    I should know because I was once deluded with the idea that I will be more productive if I get out of bed by 6 a.m. Like most of you Lifehackers, I’m always on the lookout for productivity hacks because I have a lot of things in my plate. I’m working full time as an editor for a news agency, while at the same time tending to my side business as a content marketing strategist. I’m also a travel blogger and oh yeah, I forgot, I also have a life.

    I read a lot of productivity books and blogs looking for ways to make the most of my 24 hours. Most stories on productivity stress waking up early. So I did – and I was a major failure in that department – both in waking up early and finishing early.

    2. Determine your “peak hours”

    Energy management begins with looking for your most productive hours in a day. Getting attuned to your body clock won’t happen instantly but there’s a way around it.

    Monitor your working habits for one week and list down the time when you managed to do the most work. Take note also of what you feel during those hours – do you feel energized or lethargic? Monitor this and you will find a pattern later on.

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    My experiment with being a morning lark proved that ignoring my body clock and just doing it by disciplining myself to wake up before 8 a.m. will push me to be more productive. I thought that by writing blog posts and other reports in the morning that I would be finished by noon and use my lunch break for a quick gym session. That never happened. I was sleepy, distracted and couldn’t write jack before 10 a.m.

    In fact that was one experiment that I shouldn’t have tried because I should know better. After all, I’ve been writing for a living for the last 15 years, and I have observed time and again that I write more –and better – in the afternoon and in evenings after supper. I’m a night owl. I might as well, accept it and work around it.

    Just recently, I was so fired up by a certain idea that – even if I’m back home tired from work – I took out my netbook, wrote and published a 600-word blog post by 11 p.m. This is a bit extreme and one of my rare outbursts of energy, but it works for me.

    3. Block those high-energy hours

    Once you have a sense of that high-energy time, you can then mold your schedule so that your other less important tasks will be scheduled either before or after this designated productive time.

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    Block them out in your calendar and use the high-energy hours for your high priority tasks – especially those that require more of your mental energy and focus. You also need to use these hours to any task that will bring you closer to you life’s goal.

    If you are a morning person, you might want to schedule most business meetings before lunch time as it’s important to keep your mind sharp and focused. But nothing is set in stone. Sometimes you have to sacrifice those productive hours to attend to other personal stuff – like if you or your family members are sick or if you have to attend your son’s graduation.

    That said, just remember to keep those productive times on your calendar. You may allow for some exemptions but stick to that schedule as much as possible.

    There’s no right or wrong way of using this energy management technique because everything depends on your own personal circumstances. What you need to remember is that you have to accept what works for you – and not what other productivity gurus say you should do.

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    Understanding your own body clock is the key to time management. Without it, you end up exhausted chasing a never-ending cycle of tasks and frustrations.

    Featured photo credit: Collin Hardy via unsplash.com

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