I wrote this article on a Monday morning. Yesterday being Sunday, at about 7pm in the evening, I entered my office to think about a few things and then pen down about five things I would do today.
Immediately, after writing on my phone the things I wished to accomplish today, I felt an unusual excitement, so much that I actually started working, even though working wasn’t the reason why I came to my office.
Because of the excitement I had, I was able to forgo many interesting YouTube videos or even late-night talks with other people. I just wanted to see the next day with great energy.
This morning I woke up before 5 am and after my Morning Prayer and meditation, I resumed to my office with a natural, yet, unusual determination to destroy the day.
I repeat the above rituals at 4-6 times every week, and that’s why I achieve in weeks what most people can’t achieve in a year.
Here is the thing; every successful person finishes their days before they start it while everyone else thinks the day will be fine anyway.
Your life is a target
Look around you, starting from social media. Look at billion advertisements flying around. Look at your friends, your family, the interesting TV shows, YouTube videos and even your boss at work.
Everyone wants your time for their own good. You’re a target, and you can easily become a victim to everyone else. The only way to escape being prey is to finish your day before you start it.
Yes, we all need to work some jobs, but we also need some time for ourselves and our personal progress and development. The problem about starting your day like everyone else is that, you tend to be so vulnerable to other people’s attempt at stealing your time.
If your day is not finished on paper, social media will steal more hours from you than it should. If your day is not completed on paper, you’ll have plenty of time to give the advertisers whose primary aim is your attention. If you don’t finish your day before you start it, you might end up having no single hours of your own.
Take, for instance, most people simply wake up, rush to work, come back at night, watch TV and sleep. These people think they are busy and have no time for personal development or even meaningful relationships. Still, if these people would schedule 30 minutes in the day to read, they will find out that they can actually find that 30 minutes. If they would schedule 30 minutes to be with whoever matters to their lives, they will find out that they can actually log out of social media to do that. If they would schedule 30 minutes to learn a new skill that will make them more valuable in the future, they can actually turn off the TV or avoid office gossips to do that.
If you finish your day on paper before you start it, you can achieve in a few months, what most people can’t in years.
Your brain loves specifics
I’m not a psychologist nor a neurosurgeon, but I know that our brains love specifics. What most people do is to just jump to their day and hope to achieve something significant in the day. This way, you’ll end up doing whatever seems urgent, and other people will have a good number of your hours for their own good.
Instead, condition your brain to have three specific things you want to accomplish in the day. By knowing the specific things you want it to accomplish, your brain focuses on those, and it won’t have to feel bad at the end of the day.
Forget Yearly Goals or New Year Resolution
Most people make goals every year, and almost everyone has some kinds of New Year resolution. Well, it’s a waste of time to concentrate on a 12-month calendar year. One year isn’t real. It’s your daily productivity that counts.
If you like to set a billion goals on January 1st, if you don’t know how to win one day at a time, you’ll not achieve anything.
If you focus on getting the best out of today, and every day, you’ll end up getting the best out of the year. Today, each day is what matters to your success in life, so concentrate on each day, and you’ll win.
Put guilt on yourself
One reason why most people avoid setting a schedule for the day is that not accomplishing what they aim to accomplish at the end of the day make them feel guilty, but that precisely is what you need. You really need to feel guilty for wasting time because life is short. You only have a few years to live, and the only way to accomplish something significant is to win your day-to-day battles against distractions.
The good thing about feeling guilty for not accomplishing your day’s goal is that you don’t want to feel the same way tomorrow, so you really need to destroy tomorrow and if you make it your habit to finish your day on paper every day, even though you won’t ever be 100% perfect, your 70% perfection makes you the top 10% in the world.
Three is a good number
You really can’t and shouldn’t attempt to do too many things in a day. You only need to focus on things that really matter to your big progress in life, and since those are usually very tedious, you might do well to solely focus on 2-3 things every day. I rarely schedule more than 3 things for my day. I need to do a few things very well each day instead of doing 10 things halfheartedly.
So, just a few minutes before you go to bed today, pull out your phone’s note and type in three things you want to accomplish tomorrow. I prefer to do this at night, but you might prefer to do it first thing in the morning. In any way you like to do it, always make sure you finish your day on paper before you start it.
This helps you accomplish your goals faster than most people because your brain has specifics goals to accomplish each day and it doesn’t want to feel guilty at the end of the day for not achieving what you set out to accomplish.