Invest in Yourself: Part 1 - Waking up Early, Using the Right Tools, and Scheduling Quiet Time

I’ve been thinking about this a lot and how to be proactive about what I can achieve in a single day. It comes down to one simple thought: Invest in yourself.

Even with a schedule that can’t be moved around, there’s hours before and after that are ours for the taking. We can control the chaos.

It’s about being intentional with what fits into our day and around those hard appointments. Work schedule, appointments, commitments, and so much more. These blocks of hours are nonnegotiable — but it’s the hours around it that I’ll be focused on. Those are the hours where the biggest impact can be made.

Waking up Early

This doesn’t happen on it’s own, and it takes some adjusting, but it’s the best thing you can do to give yourself extra hours in your day. Without an alarm clock, my body automatically tries to wake up at 5 am. That’s because of routine. Thanks to waking up early, a lot of everything else i’ll be mentioning is possible. This is the start of getting yourself extra time.

Using the Right Tools

Get a calendar. A digital one. On your phone, iPad, or computer. Whatever you’re in front of during the day.

I love Fantastical. I use it daily. If there’s something coming up, whether it’s a work shift, a family event, a movie’s release date, whatever — schedule that into your calendar. Get it off your mind.

Get a task manager. Something where you can put reminders inside of it. Something that isn’t just a list of reminders, but also has some kind of structure.

I love Things. I use it daily. Anything that you want to get done soon, put it in the task manager. Things (and many other apps) allow you to make little buckets for different types of tasks.

With Things, I brain dump all the tasks I’ll have to do soon, then I quickly drag them into what type of job it’ll be: an errand, something at home, etc. Then I drag them to what day this week I’ll be doing them. It’s ok if you don’t get to that day you assigned them. I often open up Things and move the dates around during a day, when I realize it’s not as much of a priority as I thought. The main focus is being aware of what’s on the horizon.

Schedule Quiet Time

Schedule time to be silent. To read. To pray. Go for walks. To journal. Make a fresh cup of coffee. Try not to just make a quick keurig cup either. Try the longer process so it’s more tactical and tedious (and taste better). Something that will take a little bit longer. To get your mind off of what you will be doing after.

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