All our waking hours are a one-time deal. Think about this fact for 30 seconds using some sort of timer –your watch or a clock or an egg timer – and for those 30 seconds, think of nothing else but this fact. That done now realize that those 30 seconds are gone forever. We do not get them back. Ever. Sobering thought isn’t it? With that in mind, think of the intrinsic value of each day that is given to us. It is any wonder that it is called the Present? Now think of the value of a simple 4-step plan that empowers us to make the most of every Present. What are the benefits of a simple process for you to maximize the Present?
- Plan ahead – Make a list of everything you wish to accomplish when you get your next ‘Present’. Choose a time the night before, the morning of, or each week. Do it before stepping out to use (up) your present so you are accurately calculating its value and maximizing its benefit.
- Prioritize – Now that you have your list of things to accomplish, assign them a level of priority. For example, use the A = High, B = Medium, C = Low method or use Stephen Covey’s 2×2 management matrix. Alternatively, use numbers or colors – whatever works for you best. Remember, prioritizing is powerful.
- Pare it down – Start trimming your list down by following the hi-priority/low pleasure method. Specifically, tackle the hi-priority tasks first. Of the remaining tasks, first do the ones that are the least enjoyable thus leaving the best for last. Think of those as your ‘task-dessert’.
- Praise yourself – End your day on a high note by validating yourself for what you accomplished during the day. If you were unable to complete all the tasks on your list, praise yourself for the ones you did get done (making a list of your achievements is often helpful).
Review your process and insights and then continue. The Present is yours. Make it count.