How to Start Your Day with Clarity and Peace of Mind
I was meeting with a client who thought her life was out of control. She was having a difficult time staying focused at work and spent a large portion of her day visiting coworkers, walking the halls, and on non work related tasks. As a result of this behavior, she spent many days working after hours and on weekends to catch up. Her personal life wasn’t much different.
When I had her do her first 20 minute meditation session in my office, she could not relax her mind. She commented that her thoughts were all over the place and that she was easily distracted. A disorganized life means only one thing- disorganized thoughts. A quick inventory of your home or business can tell where you fall on the organization scale. Until you get your thought life under control, your life will be out of control.
For the next week, I encouraged her to spend the first 45 minutes of her day doing the following steps. She could do them when she first woke up or when she arrived to work. These steps would keep her on track and focused. By sacrificing these 45 minutes initially, she would gain hours of productivity and reduced time wasted. After only one day of the 45 minute plan, she felt like a brand new person. She completed more work in one day than she had done in the past two weeks. She was so excited. Later she commented that she didn’t realize just how scatter brained she was. The next day at her job, she said that she noticed how easily distracted she was but that instead of giving into her normal impulses, she was able to stay on track.
I believe if you will incorporate the most important 45 minutes of your day to doing these three simple steps it will change your life as well.
Step one: Spend and the first 20 minutes of your day in meditation to bring stillness to your mind and create oneness with God. You can do the meditation from week one or purchase a guided CD that requires you to use spiritual anchor or mantra. These are centering meditations that help you gain authority over wandering thoughts.
- Quiet Times
- Mantra Meditation
- Quieting a Restless Mind
Make sure you do the meditation for the entire 20 minutes, even if your mind continues to wander, it’s still working. Eventually, you’ll be able to still your mind at will. It may take months but it’s worth it.
Step two: Spend and the next 5 minutes in prayer asking God to help you plan your day, order your steps, and guide your activities. You want to acknowledge God’s direction for your day and in everything you do.
Step three: Spend and the next 20 minutes planning out your day. There are several parts to this exercise. First, on one sheet of paper keep a running log of everything you need to do. Make two columns, one for personal tasks and one for career or business. As tasks and projects come to mind, add them to this list. Post or place in a binder.
On a separate piece of paper, add today’s date. Jot down the activities you would like to complete for this particular day. List as many as you like. Now go back over the list and prioritize each item by giving them an A, B, or C. Your A’s are must dos; B’s you would like to accomplish today; and C’s will do if time permits. Now go back over the list again, this time prioritizing the A’s, then B’s, then C’s. Therefore each item will have a corresponding letter and number depending on their level of importance for this day, i.e. A1- Answer Emails, A2- Write Smith Letter, A3- Get Auto Insurance. Next, turn the paper over and spend several minutes scheduling your time zones. For example, from 7-8 meditation/planning, 8-10 meetings, 10-12 projects, 12-1 lunch, 12-3 errands, 3-3:30 break, 3:30-5 emails, 5-7 exercise, etc. This is a very loose schedule and doesn’t have to be exact. It just gives you a target.
Now you are ready to begin. Start by doing each task in the prioritized order listed. Check or cross off completed tasks. Don’t diverge from the list. When you find yourself getting distracted or wanting to put something off for later, your motto is “just do it now.” Repeat it often. Work within the scheduled time frames, then find a comfortable place to stop. Maintaining balance is just as important as getting things done. If you don’t complete everything on your list, that’s okay, just add them to tomorrow’s list.
If you will commit the first 45 minutes of our day to following these simple steps, not only will you bring organization to your mind but also to your life. Everything around you will begin to fall into order and you will be amazed at home much you can accomplish.
Excerpt from Help Me God Change My Life, a 10-week Biblically-based program to transform your life in 7 core areas. Learn more.