Wednesday, April 13, 2011

"You're A Machine!"

"You're a machine" was an email I received from a colleague yesterday.

And no, it wasn't from a fellow Beachbody Coach.

It was a compliment.

She knows me.

Those who know me personally, and have a true window into my life, are aware that I don't race through the day at a frenetic pace as I once did.

Where once there was no overall purpose or intention fueling my professional desires, or even my personal "goals", I have since done a major redesign in how I enter and execute the day God has given me.

And now, my day, which to others may seem crazy, frenetic, and chaotic, because of what I'm actually able to accomplish on a daily basis, is actually just the opposite.

Starting with my first action of the day, creating a daily to-do list, my day involves a meticulously thought out plan as to what I must attend to daily, when I will do so, and what tools I will use to be successful in that process.

I thought it might be interesting for you to be a fly on the wall of my morning - where it all begins.

1. Wake. I'm still struggling with waking early. Coffee.
2. Get kids off to school. Once they depart, the fun begins.
3. Craft my daily to-do list. Identify the "frog" - the item I LEAST desire to complete. Today, that is filling out a form to pay my local taxes - which I only recently learned I had to do. The actual federal and state taxes were done weeks ago.
4. Daily Devotions. Currently, I am reading "100 Days of Blessing" by Nancy Campbell and am both encouraged and deeply challenged by her daily readings.
5. Prayer.
6. Answer correspondance. email, FB messages, check in at the "office" (Beachbody)
7. Social Media Updates. Update Fit With Jo on FB, post video if feeling led, do a little social medial training - this is ALL related to business.
8. Workout. By now, you know I'm sold on THESE products. Beachbody all the way, baby!

That's my morning from 6:45 to about 9:30. Now, I realize many of you are all, "Well, I have a job, I can't do that!" Of course you can't. This is MY schedule.

I would challenge you on a few of the items, however. Waking? Check. Have kids? Get them off to school. To-Do list? Do it the night before. Daily Devotions/Prayer? Read before the kids get up. Correspondence and Social Media jazz - well that's my "office", so just as you are at work say at 8:30 or 9, so am I.

My day continues with phone appointments, contacting customers, blogging, housework, writing new pieces to clinch that next writing gig, prepping dinner, yada, yada, yada.

My day continues with actions and activities that directly reflect my personal priorities of FAITH, FAMILY, and MOTIVATING/ENCOURAGING MYSELF AND OTHERS TO EMBRACE A HEALTHIER LIFESTYLE (body, mind, and soul).

My point being?

I don't float through the day. My steps are very calculated to directly feed my priorities. Therefore, these "first fruits" that I conquer every morning are NON-NEGOTIABLE. These 8 must happen first. If they don't, they get bumped later and later into the day. Which is a shame, for they are my FUEL. When I miss one of these "stops" in the morning, my day is rocky and much more difficult to navigate.

It's really a matter of crafting a schedule built on YOUR priorities and to cease making excuses because your day is too full of "this" or "that". I choose to start with the 8 steps listed above.

Things will shift in a few weeks . . . and I'll need to adapt.
  • I start rehearsal for a Lost in Yonkers.
  • Myself and five friends from around the country will be launching a new online venture - a dream I've had for over a year - hush, can't say anything more just yet.
  • I am praying to be chosen for a new, paid, writing gig with a site I've written for in the past (will you pray with me on this?)
Do I feel scattered? No. Overwhelmed? Sure, sometimes. But when I am, I return to my priority list and see if my actions actually line up with them. If not? Major purge. Time to say "no".

Within those priorities are housed my goals for the year - which I won't share with you here, for many of us fall into the trap of "goal-envy". You need to discover your own. Out of those goals I have a two PUSH Goals - which, going full-circle, directly feed my priorities.

So, am I a machine? Maybe! But my machine is crankin' out what is needs in order to focus on my priorities in life.

Do your daily tasks actually feed your personal priorities? Start with identifying PRIORITIES, then setting GOALS (do they match the priorities), and only then, choose 1 or 2 overall GOALS on which to attack that will help you reach all your smaller goals (again, they need to align with your priorities).

Thanks to Chalene Johnson for mentoring me on how to start my day!

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