By: Jennifer Willey, Wet Cement
Do you ever start your week on a mission — fueled by a clear vision — but run out of steam after being overwhelmed with the day-to-day minutiae (like clearing out all those e-mails!)?
If you start strong but quickly end up distracted from your purpose, you are not alone. Most of us start fresh with the best of intentions to “make your mark,” but get stuck in the muck instead. Once inspiration strikes — like it does for me when reading Simon Sinek, Brené Brown or Hira Ali — you don’t want to slow down. That’s why you might want to try this simple method to assign a daily focus to build structure into your week. It will help you speed up on your path to productivity:
Start your week by carving out time to identify one mission. Yes, that’s right — I said ONE —not a list of five, ten or twenty things. We know you are a superwoman, but to effect real change you need to slow down.
Here’s how to do it: When you wake up on Monday morning, stay in bed for just a few minutes with your eyes closed. Think about the most important things you’d like to accomplish for the week. Once you have a few in mind, write them down — it can be in a beautiful journal, a notepad or in your phone. Take a hard look at the list and choose the one thing that is most critical to help you achieve your professional dreams. Add your mission to your calendar as a recurring appointment for each day of the week so you stay focused on it.
Now that you know what to focus on all week, use the next morning to visualize the most important tasks you need to accomplish to turn your mission into a reality. Again, don’t overwhelm yourself with a list of 15 things — cut off the list at a max. of five tasks.
It’s called hump day for a reason. Boy, it can be tough to stay motivated as you hit the middle of the week and try to make it to the other side with zest and energy. So set your alarm for five minutes earlier than normal, and before you allow your feet to hit the floor, think about what motivates and inspires you. Think big — why do you even get up in the morning? Tap into your passions and purpose and you’ll have some extra pep in your step all day long.
Pick one thing you can try today that will test you — whether it’s something new or a different way to approach a problem or challenge that you’ve handled before. If you walk to work on the south side of the street, try the north side. If you put your right shoe on first, today start with the left. This rewiring will help your brain fire in new ways.
Find one way today to get your heart racing a little faster and your adrenaline coursing through your veins. What scares you? Whatever it is, give it a shot!
Sit on Saturdays:
Find some quiet time to relax, unwind and recharge. We know you are likely the kind of woman who is running at a million miles a minute all week. Remember, even the Energizer Bunny needs a windup every now and then. It doesn’t matter if it’s all day or even 15 minutes. Your body will thank you for fitting in time for restorative therapy. And guess what? You deserve it!
Set aside time to do just one thing today that brings you joy. If you find time for fun every week, you will have a sense of calm throughout the other six days. What makes you laugh out loud? Whatever it is, pencil it in. Better yet, find ways to smile every day!
Is there a plan you use to stay motivated on your path to achieving your potential? If so, please share in the comments.
About Jennifer Willey
Jennifer is the founder and CEO of Wet Cement. Her company helps organizations and individuals ‘make their mark,’ by accelerating professional and personal growth through leadership development, gender equality program design and deployment, and public speaking/presentation training and coaching. Founder and CEO Jennifer Willey combines her 20+ years of corporate experience, on-air experience as a TV news anchor and reporter, and lessons learned as a global keynote speaker and brand for companies such as PWC, Verizon Media/ AOL, WebMD and Yahoo! to help others achieve their potential.