1. De-clutter your schedule. Take a look at your current schedule and commitments. Try to come up with one that you could let go. People these days are typically over-scheduled and over-booked to the point that it is likely that nothing is being executed at a high level. Spending less time being pulled in multiple directions will allow for more energy to be placed in the most important areas of your life. Remember that saying "yes" to one commitment means that you are saying "no" to others. Make sure that your "yeses" are being directed in the right place.

2. Throw away your mile-long to-do lists. Successful people don't get everything done in a day, but they do get the most important things done in a day. An unrealistic to-do list usually just ensures that nothing important from it will get done. If something from the list does get done, it is likely that it is an easy and unimportant task. Instead, force yourself to identify the 3 Most Important tasks to get done that day, and commit to getting those 3 things done FIRST. Getting the most important tasks for the day completed early will give you a boost of momentum to carry you throughout the rest of the day.

3. Look for time wasters. With information and entertainment so readily available at our fingertips these days, everyone needs to periodically assess for potential time wasters. Are you spending too much time browsing the internet? Is your relaxation ritual of watching an episode or two of a new Netflix series turning into hours in front of a screen? If you recognize a problem, set a new rule for yourself. For examine, "Put my phone and computer away and out of sight after 6pm so I can focus my energy on my family;" or "No more than 1 hour of TV per night." Pick no more than one rule to start. Trying to do too much will likely result in no change.

4. Revisit your life vision. It is easy to get in the pattern of going through the motions of life, without stopping to assess whether you are heading in the right direction. What do you want your life to look like in five years? Are you doing the things now that will put you in the position to be where you want to be in the long term? If you want to be in a new level of leadership at work, are you doing things now to set you apart and demonstrate your worth? If you want to be healthy and energetic, are you behaving in ways that promote your vitality? If you decide that you are on track, great! If not, ask yourself, "What is one thing I need to be doing differently to put me in the position to reach my long-term goals?" Focus on modifying that one thing.

5. Be grateful. Take some time to recognize what is great and what you enjoy about your life. We so often forget to be mindful of the best aspects of life in our quest for improvement. What is it all for if we are not enjoying the journey? Write down on a note card three things in your life for which you are grateful, and place the card somewhere you will see often.

Published on: Apr 19, 2017