DISCOVER YOUR ZEN
Time Management – Day 5
1. Disconnect when you need to.
Don’t be afraid to stop answering the phone (let it go to voicemail and address it later), ignore instant messaging, put out a “do not disturb” sign, or stop getting “alert” messages online — consider it; even if it’s just a few minutes. Schedule a time later in the day to return phone calls, emails, and respond to FaceBook comments (remember the “planned interruptions” concept). When you choose to block distractions by disconnecting, you’ll be giving yourself the precious permission to work without interruptions and distractions.
This particular tip will likely provide you with over 50 percent of productive time that you devote entirely to producing results for your career or personal life. Sometimes, you must disconnect from your work. When you become overwhelmed at the amount of work or procrastinating, it may be time to take some time for yourself.
It may be as simple as taking a walk, engaging in some cardio exercise, or going to lunch with a friend – or you may need a week-long vacation. Whatever it takes for you to disconnect, do it for yourself and your future productivity.
2. Create a separate work space if you work from home.
Make sure your home life is entirely separate from your work life if at all possible. If you work from home it’s even more important that you separate your work area from your living space. “Go” to your work space, just as you would an office outside the home and treat that space as your office. Make your work space comfortable and inviting so you don’t want to escape as soon as you arrive.
Whether it’s the corner of a room, a refurbished bedroom made into an office, or a “casita”-style structure that only takes a few steps to get to, it should be made distinctly yours.
Shutting yourself out from the rest of the household is a priority if you can swing it. If not, invest in a fold out screen or some other way to set yourself apart from the noise and goings-on from the rest of the house. Use earplugs if you need to.
3. Use tools to help you become more productive.
Productivity tools can become your best friends. They might be in the form of software which is designed to track tasks and goals or anything that gives you shortcuts to pare time for a task.
If you’re not in to software, use whatever is familiar and easy-to-use to you. Some people use old-fashioned corkboards, calendars, or white boards to plan their time and be sure they’re on track. Clocks or cell phones can be useful tools to provide alerts or alarms when you need to switch times to something else. It’s easy to become distracted or so involved in your work that you forget about time.
Effective tools may also be in the form of earphones to drown out noises and other distractions. When you’re wearing a headset, people are more apt to leave you alone, thinking correctly that you’re involved in something else which you need to focus on.
4. Break the bad habits that hold you back from success.
Managing your time effectively so that you have more chance of success may mean you need to break some bad habits holding you back. For example, taking smoking breaks can be both a very bad habit for your health and a time-waster to boot. Breaking bad habits won’t happen overnight, but you can work toward eliminating bad habits from your life little by little.
Whatever the habit you want to break, research about how you can break it effectively. For example, if you need to stop procrastinating, there are several guides and books written by successful people who also had to break that habit and you can learn from the best.
Get rid of bad habits and save time — plus, you’ll improve your performance and productivity. Bad habits can stand in your way of success and meeting the goals you set for yourself. Get rid of them one by one.
5. Reward yourself for time well spent.
Taking time out to enjoy a reward well-earned isn’t a waste of time, but an incentive that will help you work harder and succeed faster in meeting your goals. Treating yourself to something like a massage, a nice dinner out (one with healthy choices), or a vacation helps to deter burnout which may occur if you’re working too hard or for long hours at a time. Rewards are why you’re working hard, making plans, and managing your time. Without rewards, you’ll end up with senseless motions that produce nothing at all for you.
When you go above and beyond what you were supposed to accomplish, give yourself a reward that matches that effort. If you have employees or team members, don’t forget to have a reward system in place for their efforts.
Time well spent always deserves a reward. It doesn’t have to be huge, but it should make you realize that you’re special and you’ve done the work to get a job done – on time.
6. Dress like you work in an office if you work from home.
This step may not seem to fit into the time-management category – but it does. Studies about people who work from home or even in a very casual office setting perform much better when they’re appropriately dressed for an office.
When you get up in the morning and work all day in your pajamas, without even brushing your teeth, you may actually form a subconscious opinion about yourself that you’re a slob. Slobs don’t usually become successful and your confidence and self-esteem may plummet as you look at yourself in the mirror every day and perhaps not like what you see.
You don’t need to dress in a suit or tie or dress and heels to work at home or in a casual office; but shower, fix your hair, and maybe shave or put on makeup. Choose casual and clean clothing to wear at home. You’ll be surprised at how much more you get done – simply because you think of yourself as more professional.
7. Use the Zen approach to work.
“We work to become, not to acquire,” said Elbert Hubbard, an American artist, writer, philosopher, and publisher. Although many of us look at the material things as signs of true success – those things are acquired because of the successful person you’ve become.
Zen practice has many benefits, including increased satisfaction with the work you’re doing. It can also improve your motivation and help develop problem-solving skills that will save you time! Time is a means to become successful and the Zen approach is to use it wisely.
Zen comes from the Japanese and Mahayana Buddhism, teachings which stress the value of meditation and using your own intuition to solve problems. It incorporates gentle methods of thinking about things and can greatly help to lessen tension and anxiety in your life. We spent a lot of time in Week 5 and Week 6 reviewing concepts of Zen and know how to practice it in your own life, especially in terms of stress management. It’s a good way to get to know yourself better and what drives you to accomplishments.
TODAY’S ACTION STEPS:
1) If you already completed the Week 3 Workout Plan, then you are doing the Week 4 plan this week. Log in to the Fitness App on your COMPUTER – https://doctorvenus.com/app-login/ – to access the Week 4 Workout Plan. Note that this week, the recommended number of cardio workout days increases to 4 days. In the Fitness App, if you click on the “notes” icon next to each “Day #” heading, you’ll see a detailed description of this:
“Warm-up prior to every workout. See Sample Warm-Up attachment. Do Weight training 4 days this week. Do Cardio training 4 days this week. Cardio should consist of 20 minutes (moderate intensity exercise such as recumbent bicycle, elliptical machine, walking at about 4 miles per hour, etc). If you choose to do Cardio training on the same day as Weight training, then do Cardio after Weight training. Recommend no more than 2 Weight training workout days in a row (i.e. take a day of rest after 2 straight days of Weight training).”
2) You should be exercising according to your planned routine. (You can use the workout plan I provided, if it works for you.) If you’re not ready to go FULL OUT with the workout plan yet…that’s OK. If you’ve been trying out my suggestion of creating a habit, then you may want to add on another step if you haven’t done so yet. Read through the Week 4 – Day 2 module if you’re not sure how to create this “habit chain.”
So…every time you wake up, or finish washing your dishes after dinner, or whatever that regular activity is that you choose as the one to trigger your workouts…put on your workout shoes. (That’s the first link in the chain.)
Then do the next step you’ve been practicing. If your chosen workout is taking a walk after dinner each night, maybe you are heading to the front door and grabbing a jacket. If you want to do a home workout from the exercise plan I’m giving you, then maybe you’re putting on some workout clothes – a top and a bottom. (That’s the second link in the chain.)
NOW, do the next step. (That’s the third link in the chain.) If you plan to go for a walk, just step outside your front door and stand on your porch…and celebrate! If you’ll be doing a home workout, then grab your mobile phone (to access the Fitness App) and stand in your home exercise area…then celebrate! Whatever that next step is just do that. Every day. Every time you put on your workout shoes…AFTER every time you do that trigger activity (washing dishes, waking up in the morning, etc). Remember to celebrate every time you get to the end of this “habit chain.”
If you need a little more time to reinforce those first 2 links in the “habit chain” (e.g. putting on your workout shoes, then putting on some workout clothes), that’s fine. Just keep doing that and don’t worry about adding on right now.
3) If you’ve been receiving the meal plans, the Week 5 (and 6) Meal Plan has been uploaded to your Fitness App. You should be going through the Week 5 Meal Plan right now. (The Week 6 Meal Plan is the same as Week 5; so if you haven’t done so yet, you can begin planning, shopping, and preparing for Week 6 because it will start next Monday.)
4) Continue to meditate for at least 5 minutes each day. As I suggested in Module 6, you can now have a goal for your meditation; for example, you can aim to make this goal a better awareness of yourself (by using mindfulness) or you can aim to quiet your mind and learn to block out stressful thoughts (by using transcendental meditation).
5) If you didn’t get a chance to participate in the Group Coaching Call yesterday, check it out in the Week 7-Day 4 Module.
6) Pick out a block of time in the next day or two when you’re going to NOT answer your phone, emails, or instant messages. Make it an amount of time that feels like a stretch for you. Then do it. Notice how much you’re able to get done WITHOUT these distractions. See if you can repeat this “no interruption” time the next day…and the next. If possible, stretch out the amount of time to be a bit longer in duration.
7) If you have any questions about anything…let me know in the Facebook group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/discoveryourzen/
Previous ACTION STEPS:
(Not a complete list, but some important highlights.)
1) Log in to the Fitness App on your COMPUTER – https://doctorvenus.com/app-login/ – and go to the FORMS tab. If you haven’t completed the Client Agreement form and the PAR-Q form from Day 1’s ACTION STEPS, do that today and sign them. Be sure to click SAVE when you’re done. (You can not receive the meal plan and workout plan when they are released until we have those completed forms on file.)
2) If you haven’t done so yet, send an email to team@DoctorVenus.com and state whether you want a vegetarian or non-vegetarian meal plan. It will be sent to your Fitness App by the next day.
3) If you haven’t done so yet, send an email to team@DoctorVenus.com and let me know whether you want an exercise plan for weight loss (focused on burning calories) or for building/maintaining your mass. So you just need to indicate whether you want a BURN or BUILD program. It will be sent to your Fitness App by the next day.
4) Download the Set Your Goals Checklist and complete it. CLICK HERE to download.
5) Download the Program Planner that you can start using, if you wish. CLICK HERE to download.
6) Download the Kitchen Clean Out handout and use it to guide the clean out of your kitchen BEFORE you start your meal plan. CLICK HERE to download.