Monday, January 14, 2008

The Success Principles ~ Principle 40

Jack Canfield's 40th principle is redefine time. This is actually a very specific guideline on dividing your time into three kinds of days: Best Results Days, Preparation Days & Rest and Relaxation days.

On Best Results Day, you spend 80% of your time doing your work, what he calls your core genius. This the work that is based on your natural talents and passions.

A Preparation Day is just what it sounds like, a day spent preparing for your Best Results Day. If you are working at what I call a "day job" while developing your core genius work, I would consider that a Prep Day. It's work that's designed to finance your step into your real work.

Rest and Relaxation Days involve no work whatsoever and go from midnight to midnight. I admit it. My reaction was - whaaat?? No work whatsoever?? This is why on our honeymoon Justin said it was the first time he'd ever seen me relaxed (we'd been together 5 years). Away from home you can't just pop in and send one more email or return that phone call. It's luxurious.

I've been thinking about something recently that I realize is related to this principle - the clear division of time. Whether it's dividing time into 3 distinct kind of days or dividing a day into distinct areas of activity, I find that this clarity definitely eases the stress in my life. So, for example, if I am designing a workshop and then remember, oh, I have to send that email and then think, yeah, the meat's got to come out of the freezer and then toss the laundry in and then just check that detail online and... you get the picture, then I am frazzled. But if I have workshop time, home time, research time, I feel so much more at ease.

Now, for me, this can still mean short sections. I may actually need a break from designing a workshop and so go do the dishes. The key seems to be creating a sense of closure with each piece, truly putting it down so that my brain isn't juggling all the pieces while I'm working with each one. To accomplish this I consciously make note of something being finished. I'll take a moment to look at the clean counter and the dishes in the rack and think, "the dishes are done." And then go on to the next task.

Without this sense of closure it's like my energy is divided because there are tens of things I am currently doing. With this closure, I am truly only doing one thing at a time.

What helps you stay focused not frazzled?


Shannon said...

One thing that keeps me frazzled not focused is being (dreaded word inc) realistic with my time. I can't do a 3 hour task in 1 hour. But, I can do a 1 hour task in 1 hour!

I don't always 'remember' this one and give myself too much to do, but it's a great check in for when you have a list of the day/morning to jot down beside each task the time it takes, then add it up. Do you have that much time? Might need to reassess if you don't. Or, add if you have more than enough, hehe.

Jenn said...

I love this concept. Recently I created a calendar where I blocked off time that I'll do coaching, business development, exercise, etc. Friday is blocked off as a whole self-care day whether that be dr. appt, haircut, massage, just reading or even doing stuff just for me like goals, art, etc. I also love big chunks of time to really dive into something so I love that Mondays I usually have time for that. Anyway, it's helped me tremendously in not feeling as frazzled and getting more focused.

Jana B said...

That is a good idea... I am always frazzled, and always trying to multi-task... maybe I SHOULD try to segment my time a little. *pondering this*

Jessie said...

I was thinking about this very same thing today...about how I need to create something of a schedule for myself. But not just any kind of schedule and certainly not the kind I'm used to creating (the kind that are impossible to accomplish and totally unrealistic). Yes, like you, I need to leave room for breaks and for doing dishes and for all of the things that bring a sense of balance, even in unexpected ways.

Melba said...

Sometimes I use a timer for things. I really can get lost in blog reading so I put on a timer and say I will read for x amount of time and then do Y. I do get interrupted because of the kids, but still it helps. I also make a weekly list that I look at daily that help me re-focus.