Article Title: How to Turn Two Questions into a
Life Changing Experience
Author Name: Doug C. Grant
Contact Email Address: doug @dougcgrant.com
Word Count: 631
Copyright Date: 2002
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WHAT WILL YOU DO WITH THE REST OF TODAY?
By Doug C. Grant
Your answer to the above question could determine how long you will live.
Strong words? Maybe. But research says otherwise.
HERE IS WHAT RESEARCH TELLS US.
When we organize our day, we control our day. When we control our day, we control our circumstances. When we control our circumstances, we control our future. When we control our future we control our lifestyle. When we control our lifestyle, we become more positive. And when we walk positive we can expect to enjoy a longer, happier life. Whew! Took awhile to get there but well worth the trip.
DON'T LET THE WORD ‛ORGANIZE' FRIGHTEN YOU
I'm not suggesting a minute by minute or even hour by hour regimentation. That's tedium.
What I call ‛The Empowered Organization Plan' is easy, flexible but effective. . It's also a little unusual so listen carefully.
HOW THE PLAN WORKS.
You begin with a weekly calendar. I have an inexpensive calendar program that prints out my weeks on an 8 Ĺ x 11 page. That gives me plenty of writing room. But don't get hung up on format. If nothing else, a sheet of paper separated into seven days with a ruler and pencil will work. Whatever you use...begin!
I generally lay out my week starting on Sunday evening. It only takes about five or ten minutes.
There are eight basic activities I generally incorporate into a week. These include: work, play, exercise, rest, learn, social, spiritual and service. You can edit this list to fit your own lifestyle.
‛Work' and ‛play' need no explanation, (I hope). ‛Exercise' might be a power walk, formal workout or any activity that pumps the blood. ‛Rest' is not sleep. It's spending time just letting go. This might include reading a novel, watching TV, listening to music or studying the cracks in a wall.
‛Learning' could be job related, hobby related or any subject that interests you. ‛Social' includes time with your family, friends or cultivating new friends. ‛Spiritual' is any form of worship, meditation, or study...formal or otherwise. ‛Service' is doing something for an individual or a group for which you do not expect repayment.
I recommend your week include some of each.
NOW...LET'S START ORGANIZING.
I begin by selecting a focus for every day of the week. For example, five days might be ‛work' focused. Sunday is ‛worship' centered. Saturday is often ‛play' or ‛service' oriented.
This doesn't mean you spend the entire day doing just the one activity. However, it is the primary focus of that day. And that focus helps control your time.
WORK OTHER ACTIVITIES AROUND YOUR FOCUS.
For example, on a work focused day you might include a half hour of devotions or meditation, ‛spiritual', going out to eat with your spouse, ‛social' and reading a chapter or two of a book on visiting England, ‛learning'.
You might also breakdown your focus activity, such as ‛work', into major projects. For example, on a ‛work' day I might include time for writing, web site update and article distribution activities.
Routine activities such as answering e-mail, making phone calls and list maintenance are automatic and not scheduled. If I need a reminder to do them, I use a ‛To Do' list.
HERE'S WHY THIS FORM OF ORGANIZATION IS SO VALUABLE.
We've all had the experience of starting a day with the intention of working on a major project. Then the little chores creep in. A phone call here. an e-mail there, a few letters to read, a fax to send and suddenly the day is almost over. You have piddled away all your good intentions.
By focusing your day, you tend to psychologically piddle-proof yourself. Sure, you'll probably get side-tracked. But always in the back of your mind will be that nagging nanny urging you to re-focus. This often means the difference between a productive day or wasted hours.
Treat your focus calendar as a guide not a dictator. If an unexpected and welcome activity knocks on your door, invite it in. If that means switching or eliminating a planned activity on your weekly calendar, go for it. Life is too short to live in an organizational straight-jacket.
However, don't allow side-tracks to become a habit. You'll know when an unscheduled activity is an honest diversion or an escape excuse. All that's required is a little self-discipline and internal honesty.
END OF THE WEEK WRAP-UP.
Before starting next week's calendar, I like to review the previous week. How much did I accomplish? What ‛special' activities do I want to continue in the coming week? Did I tend to lose my focus on some days. If so, was the slippage warranted or was I playing hooky from my plans.
This quick review should be an encouragement. If you've been at all persistent in sticking with your planned activities, you'll be pleased at how much you've accomplished. If you're not, try to find out why you tended to stray and what you can do about it in the coming week.
Once you make the Empowered Maturity Plan a regular habit, you'll discover your accomplishment curve going way up. Not only will you be doing more but you'll feel better about yourself and where you are going. And that, my friend, produces a longer life with healthier, happier and more productive days.
Get more facts, techniques and information about living healthier, happier and being more productive. Subscribe Free to Doug C. Grant's bi-monthly e-zine, THE EMPOWERED MATURITY PAGE. It's directed toward the over 50 Crowd but good reading for anyone wanting to boost their life up a notch or two. Subscribe at: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Doug C. Grant retired from a successful career as a
nationally recognized business writer & marketing
consultant. He now helps members of the 'Over-50',
crowd (or any age) live healthier, happier and more
productive lives throughhis Empowered Maturity Web Site
(http://www.dougcgrant.com) and an on-line