It’s all about priorities! Stay with me as I cover each part of your
“building” or day in some detail.
The Cornerstone is all about taking care of YOU. This is where I have been falling short lately. It’s so tempting to just jump into work and get lost down that rabbit hole. Before I realize, it’s 5:00 PM and I haven’t exercised, or showered, or eaten properly. The Cornerstone consists of taking care of yourself spiritually, physically and emotionally. This is the part of the day where you schedule things like exercise, prayer, meditation and spiritual study. This is when you fill YOUR bucket so that you have something to give to OTHERS the rest of the day.
There is no perfect time of the day for all of these Cornerstone activities and you may need to break them up throughout the day. However… the best time to accomplish these priorities for most of us is probably early in the morning. Early morning can be a magic time with no distractions. Try getting up an hour earlier to test this… you might be surprised. The bottom line is that you must SCHEDULE time to build your cornerstone every day. On last thought about the Cornerstone… you will discover that the activities, tasks and goals that belong here are usually IMPORTANT but not URGENT. This is why it’s so easy to delay, avoid and forget all about them. Your Cornerstone activities are a vital ingredient in a productive day.
The next building block in a productive day is the Foundation. The tasks here are routine, daily maintenance activities like putting the house or your office in order. The foundation is all about doing today’s work today. Household activities would include things like laundry, basic cleaning duties, meals, spot cleaning public areas of the house. Basically keeping things picked up, wiped off, put away etc. Your foundation might also include checking email, paying bills, important phone calls.
It probably should NOT include surfing the web, Pinterest and catching up on Facebook or Instagram. At work your Foundation tasks might be things like planning the day and week, routine and time sensitive emails, phone calls, meetings, tackling a difficult task, maintenance filing, billings and yes, even social media updates. Projects that require large chunks of time are generally not part of your foundation. Maintaining a firm Foundation will allow you to build the structure you are striving for.
Now that you’ve taken care of YOU and have laid a solid Foundation for your day, you can move on to the Structure of your day. The kinds of tasks and activities that belong here are things like: deep/seasonal cleaning, home improvement projects, hobbies, church responsibilities, community volunteering, politics, family activities, Pinterest, genealogy, leisure activities… and the list goes on and on. Applying this principle to your work day, on-the-job activities might include: large projects, business development, networking, non-urgent emails and voice-mails, create new systems etc.
Got Clutter? Think how productive you will be with your clutter under control!
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For my 10 Favorite Clutter Busting Tips
The concepts that I’ve just laid out has served me well for many years even though I have been far from perfect in sticking to it. Life isn’t always smooth. Life just happens sometimes…illness, emergencies, interruptions, car trouble, traffic jams, weather delays, major projects etc. The value in structuring your day on the model that I’ve just laid out is that you can survive in minimum maintenance mode for a long time when life happens. If you have a stable underlying structure, it’s relatively easy to get back to your fully productive self when life has settled down once again. If you follow this plan you will find that you can be more flexible and calm when situations arise because at least you have the basics taken care of.
You can always pay someone else to do some of your Foundation tasks at home or at work. This will allow you more time for Structure activities.
So what do pickles have to do with building a productive day?
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