The Surprising Freedom that Productivity Brings
We all strive for more meaning in our lives, right? Being more productive may be the key to having more precious moments every day.
We want to do the best and be the best we can be, not only for ourselves but for our spouses, our children, and all the people in our lives. Being the best version of ourselves creates opportunities that change our lives for the better. Being productive doesn’t mean you are doing more or doing it faster, it means you are living intentionally, creating time for the things that bring you the most joy and satisfaction in your life.
When we solely focus on the urgent things in life, we miss out on the beautiful moments that we live for: the deep connections with friends, morning yoga, meditation and reflection, playing with our children and making real time with family. Experiencing these moments means we have to move beyond simply existing, to actually living. It means we must stop mindlessly chauffeuring our children around and managing the family to do list, to inhaling and exhaling the beauty that each day brings. We become more present when we put ourselves first, mind, body and spirit. No more promising yourself you will meditate when you have time for it and don’t feel rushed. Oh, the irony!
It is time for a change. If we want different results, we must be willing to do things differently.
Imagine feeling fully present in every moment. You’ve completed your to do list, you have a good handle of what is coming up in the next few days and your feel rejuvenated from your morning walk or work out. You are feeling good about life and about yourself and you are able to fully invest and be fully present in all areas of your life….it’s tough to even imagine that feeling isn’t it? The fact it, that sense of freedom is at the tip of our fingers, we just have to be willing to put in the work to get there. The longer we procrastinate and let things slip, the further behind we feel and the heavier the weight of each day feels. How we are supposed to be present in each day if we can barely get through breakfast without panicking about all the things we didn’t get done the day before and all the things we aren’t prepared for today?
Based on my experience coaching thousands of women around the world towards achieving their greatest potential, I find this one exercise to be one of the most effective tools out there to help you become more productive and ultimately more present in your daily life: The 30/30 Rule.
The 30/30 Rule is more than a rule or a task, but a way a life. The idea is to spend 30 undistracted, uninterrupted, completely intentional minutes every day on something that is 30 or more days away. By checking into your schedule 30 days out, you are not only seeing what is coming up but gathering perspective on your life by acknowledging what you have already said yes to. If it’s on your calendar, you’ve already said yes, meaning you care about it and have made it a priority. Definitely don’t let those things slip through the cracks by not being prepared for them.
By implementing these 30 minutes into your day, yes you will be losing 30 minutes but you will be gaining so much more. Not only will you feel more confident about your schedule, but you will be practicing accountability and becoming impeccable with your word each and every day. If you see your child has a party at school coming up and you have signed up to make the cakepops, use those 30 minutes to put a reminder in your phone to pick up the ingredients in a few days so you are prepared to make them when the time comes. Being prepared is everything and it sure beats running to the store 10 minutes before they close the night before!
Life is full of enough surprises! Don’t let things on your calendar surprise you. By staying on top of the things you have committed to, you are freeing yourself up to those beautiful moments that make life so enjoyable.
I encourage you to find a friend that will hold you accountable as you make the shift to implementing these 30 minutes into your day. Their encouragement and support will take you further than you think. We are so much better together than we are alone! Or maybe the 30 minutes a day seems doable, but you still don’t know how you can find time for your morning yoga. Ask a friend to be your accountability partner in this endeavor. Sharing your dreams and desires with others is a healthy habit to develop. By doing this, you are building your team. A team of people who love you, support you and will cheer for you, even on the rainy days.
Use those 30 minutes to create the life you dream about. Chase it and embrace it! Drop the excuses, stay ahead of your schedule, and live freely – breathing in every moment, enjoying every laugh and being fully present.
JODI WOMACK is the CEO of the Get Momentum Leadership Academy, the online coaching program with a personal touch and co-author of Get Momentum: How to Start When You’re Stuck. (Wiley, 2016)
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