You rush from one meeting to the next, respond to all the texts and emails, work to meet deadline after deadline, and before you know it, days have turned into weeks and weeks into months. You constantly wonder where all the time has gone. Sound familiar?
If this is typical of your life, you may be looking for ways to feel more in control of your day and time. This is why we decided to read "Design Your Day" by Claire Diaz- Ortiz for the November Mavenly + Co. Book Club discussion. "Design Your Day" is filled with actionable advice on how to set better goals, be more productive, and live life on purpose. Using a simple acronym as a guide, Diaz-Ortiz explains that it is possible to be intentional about how we spend our days, no matter what the structure of our day actually looks like.
Having a better sense of what we are doing with our time and reevaluating and adjusting our commitments based on our goals is essential when working towards living a life with purpose and intention. To hone in on this, Diaz-Ortiz breaks down her method on how to design your day into the acronym: DO LESS. It's a method focused on streamlining work and editing down the time we actually spend working so our most important tasks are prioritized and receive most of our energy.
Step 1: Decide
The first step in learning how to design your day is to decide what goals you want to set and what you want to prioritize or improve in your life. It may help to ask yourself a few questions like: What do I value the most? Where do I see myself in five years?
Once you answer those types questions, you can begin to set some purposeful goals that feel authentic and aligned with where you want to be in the future. Diaz-Ortiz even suggests picking a theme that describes your larger goals--this can be a word of the year or phrase that will serve as reminder of where you ultimately see yourself. Keep in mind that the best kinds of goals we can set are SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant, Timely).
Step 2: Organize: (LESS is More: Limit, Edit, Streamline, Stop)
In order to work smarter, it can be helpful to find out when you work best, and do everything you can to complete the most relevant tasks that will help you meet your goals during that time frame. It’s also important to honestly evaluate where you are spending your time and make sure that it’s aligning with your goals. Through this process, we can learn how to set boundaries and say no. Diaz-Ortiz suggests regularly taking things off of your plate that no longer line up with your goals. (Need more info on how to decide what to give up? Check out this article: How to Audit Your Life: 3 Steps to Review and Redesign Your Life.)
Another important lesson in productivity is learning when to stop and take a break. This can be many things, depending on your needs, ranging from taking a quick walk outside to unwind, watching a quick and funny YouTube video, booking a self-care day to get a massage, or even going on a vacation. We often forget that in order to get where want to go, we have to take the time to recharge and rest.
Finally, remember why you started down this path. Keep reminding yourself of your goals. All of this great advice on goal-setting and productivity will only take us so far if we aren't working towards a larger goal or purpose that aligns with our values.
We hope you will join us next month as we discuss "How to Be Here" by Rob Bell, a wonderful book that provides insight on how to find purpose and meaning in our lives. Join us for a Facebook Live discussion on December 7th at 8 p.m. EST, and share your thoughts as you read the book with the hashtags #MavenlyBookClub #HowtoBeHere