DISCOVER YOUR ZEN
Time Management – Day 3
1. Manage your external time wasters. Thinking and planning ahead can eliminate most of them.
When you’re constantly being interrupted by people, phone calls, emails and other external time wasters, it’s time to think about decreasing their impact – or entirely eliminating them.
It won’t be easy – especially if you’re used to taking every call, chatting with every person who stops by your office and answering every email as you receive them.
Some things you may want to try to help you manage these external wasters of time are:
• Say “No!” Politely, but firmly, tell a person who interrupts you that you can’t speak to him now, but suggest a time when you can.
• Avoid unfocused chatting. Try to stay on the subject matter that is the purpose of the call.
• Let calls go to voice mail and set aside a time to answer them later.
• Have a specific agenda when scheduling a meeting and stick to it.
• Let others know you’re not available at certain times of a day.
2. Stay fit and healthy. Down time for illnesses and fatigue can wreak havoc on your productive time.
Exercise and taking care of yourself should be part of your time management skills. If you don’t take care of yourself and become ill or fatigued, you’ll miss even more time that you could be working on a project or enjoying life with family and friends. Illnesses make you become behind on your work and take longer to reach important goals you’ve set for yourself. Besides the down time it takes to get over an illness, you’ll need to take some time to get your mindset back on track.
The care you give yourself by scheduling time to relax, get enough sleep, exercise and meditate – can give you back a healthy body that feels up to the tasks and projects you’ve set for yourself. Caring for yourself is an investment of time that’s important to both your mental and physical well-being. Balance it properly and you’ll have time for everything else.
3. Avoid stress. Proper time management skills can help you avoid stress that can lead to melt downs and illnesses.
Stress happens when we’ve said “Yes” to too much work, social activities or when we’re not managing our time properly. Your tired body may affect your productivity and the integrity of your project. When you feel stress coming on from too much work, try to delegate tasks to others so you can take some time for yourself to relax. Remember that relaxing isn’t a time waster if it helps to buoy you up so you can perform better. Too much stress can also lead to increased cortisol that can greatly affect your productivity and cut short your desire and need to reach goals you’ve set for yourself.
Exercising, meditating, aromatherapy and many other methods can help reduce stress in your life and help you become even more productive. Choose what works for you and devote some time to stress-busters which can help you manage your time more effectively.
4. Think of time as money in your pocket.
Thinking of time as you would money creates a way of thinking which can help you better understand the concept of spending time wisely to become successful – just as you would spend money correctly and wisely to become rich. Most people have a budget for the money they bring in. Some money goes out and some comes in and you may have some left over. You likely created the money budget that works for you.
Now, consider making a “time budget.” Your carefully created time budget should be thought out with the goal in mind to be able to meet all of your commitments and still have some set aside to help your body and mind. Everyone receives just so much time and everyone spends it differently. Vow to spend your time on things that help you move forward and succeed in life rather than the time wasters that get you nowhere.
5. Have a clear vision of what you want to accomplish each day.
Focusing on what you want to accomplish on a day to day basis means that you’ll never forget what your goals are or why those goals are important to you. When you begin the day without setting targets or having a clear vision of your goals, you’re inviting chaos into your life.
Chaos is a time waster, which will leave you in a wake of clutter and confusion. Successful people always have a notion of what they want the day to look like and therefore, they’re always moving forward. Mishaps don’t dissuade them because they’re focused on the main outcome – reaching the goal which will help them succeed.
If you’re not sure about what you want to accomplish each day, try the trick of planning the night before for the day ahead. Go to bed thinking about it and when you awaken, that vision will carry you through the day.
6. Carry a schedule with you at all times to record your thoughts, actions, and conversations.
The schedule could be in any form that’s easy for you – a device such as phone or computer, notebook, pencil and paper or whatever you choose. At the end of the week, you can look back and see clearly what the time-wasters were and can plan to avoid them the next week.
You’ll also be able to see how much time you’re spending on the three types of time – conversations, thoughts and activities. Which are making you the most productive?
You’ll be better able to choose which is costing time and which are investments that can lead you to success. You may also be more able to plan for times of the day when you’re most productive to accomplish the most difficult or time-consuming tasks. We’re all often pulled in various directions and some days may be worse for interruptions than others. But, if you can see by the schedule that most of your time during the week was spent in productive ways, you can feel good about your time management skills.
7. Plan for interruptions.
Planning for those inevitable interruptions can keep the stress of “wasting time” from becoming overwhelming and making you frustrated and anxious. “Planned interruptions” is a technique than many successful people use to plan their days. Simply put – you schedule time for things like phone calls or office drop-ins.
Interruptions can also be productive if you’re interrupted by a co-worker or phone call that could give you valuable information. Even if the interruption is a friend in need or a family member who wants to chat, you’ll feel better about yourself for having taken the time to help someone. Planned interruptions keep you from feeling guilty about leaving your work in mind and/or body and focusing on something else for a while.
These minute buckets of time can also be advantageous to your determination to complete a project when you are able to devote your full concentration to it.
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) Pick a day or two this week, and jot down the time you spend in thoughts, activities, and conversations. Determine which are your “time wasters” so you can try to avoid them next week.
6) If you have any questions about anything…let me know in the Facebook group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/TeamDrVenus/
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.
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.
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.