Spring has arrived. Trees bud, flowers bloom, and pollen builds up on everything. I think the late Robin Williams summed it up best: “Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!'”
Our schedules are blooming, too. Work continues, expectations of our time from family and friends increases, and spring projects are calling. How will we get it all done?
As you celebrate the beauty of spring and reflect on what you want to grow this season, think about planting these four seeds in your daily schedule:
Protect Your Prime Time
It’s easy to allow interruptions, meetings, and distractions to steal those moments when you could be most productive.
To stay in the productivity zone, consider the following when you’re tempted to let something (or someone) steal your minutes:
- Saying yes to this interruption means I will be saying no to _______________.
- Do I need to attend this meeting, or is it time for a conversation about how my time could be better spent or how we could improve the effectiveness of such meetings?
- What action should I take now that I will be thankful for later?
Automate, Automate, Automate
One line in a recent Seth Godin blog perfectly captured the need to develop more consistent habits and routines. Godin wrote, “…because without habits, every decision requires attention. And attention is exhausting.”
From your morning routine to how you manage your email and unexpected interruptions, coming up with routines frees up energy you can use to be more creative, focused, and present in every moment in your day.
Get Serious About Professional or Personal Improvement
When I shop for plants in a garden center in the spring, I often hear someone say, “I’ve always wanted to grow ____________ but have never tried it.” Reflect on some ways you’ve wanted to grow over the past year but haven’t. Ask yourself:
- What skill should I develop to help me be more successful in my career?
- What steps could I take to improve as a spouse, parent, or friend?
- What have I wanted to try but still haven’t tackled?
Create Consistent Space to Think Forward
It’s a funny thing about seeds. You can’t just put them in the ground and come back later expecting to find the perfect plant. You have to monitor their growth, provide resources, and weed. To make sure the three seeds mentioned earlier can thrive, set aside time to check your growth, both to celebrate your small successes and take corrective action.
Some ways you can more automatically make this time of reflection happen:
- Set an alarm on your smartphone or wearable tech as a quick reminder to assess your day and how you might make better choices tomorrow.
- Review and plan on a first or last day of the week, month, or year.
- Schedule the time in your calendar as a visual reminder to keep you thinking about where you want to go.
- Create a question a day to answer to help you look at the bigger picture. An internet search of “Powerful coaching questions” provides some questions that will force you to look at more than the specific items on today’s task list.
For a powerful visual, buy a pack of seeds of your favorite vegetable. Pour them into a clear jar or cup and place them in your work area. When you notice that you’re not using your time well, remove a seed and throw it into the trash. As you do, think of the potential harvest that is now lost.
You might see the “seed” of each moment a little differently.
About the Speaker: Jones Loflin is a global keynote speaker on innovative yet practical solutions to help with the struggle of too much to do. He is the author of several books, including Always Growing and the award-winning, Juggling Elephants. Jones is a leader in solutions for individuals, groups, and businesses dealing with lack of engagement, satisfaction and retention and all the tools to support balanced, productive lives. For additional information on Jones Loflin, click here.
To book one of Jones Loflin’s keynotes on productivity, life/balance and stress, contact Midwest Speakers Bureau at 515-974-8305 or firstname.lastname@example.org