The steps to ensure a productive day starts with prior and proper planning. There are many different rituals people do to prepare for the day ahead. Here is what I found works for me. Before I turn in for the night, I outline my task for the following day, then I prioritize that list. Prioritization of the list provides schedule emphasis and make sure the task that will yield the greatest rewards will get my immediate attention. I continuously reminded myself that it is not how many things I accomplish that makes my day productive, but the things that made a difference and added value to others.
So my list of events is made and I am ready for my slumber… Oh, I am … Not yet… I PRAY
Step One: It is morning and I am thankful so I PRAY. The Psalmist said in Ps. 5:3–"In the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee and will look up." I take the time to give thanks to GOD that he opened my eyes and gave me another day to make a difference in the lives of others. Now, we must keep in mind that although the opportunity to make a difference is present that does not mean there will not be obstacles. However, when you walk in faith, obstacles are removed as long as you remain accountable and in prayer.
Step Two: I VISUALIZE what a successful day will look like and map the steps to achieve my objectives. Visualization is my GPS. When I leave my home and get in my car I may not know all the streets and roads my journey will take but I visualize arriving at my destination while paying attention to sites along the journey. Through visualization, I gain the necessary confidence and assurance that the steps I mapped out will help me achieve my objective. In some instances preparation for obstacles is necessary; hence my next step.
Step Three: Legendary basketball coach Bobby Knight noted that “most people have the will to win, few have the will to prepare to win.” PREPARATION takes place long before issue or opportunity presents. As I map out the day, I also include contingency plans, remember the goal is to add value not provide excuses why something was not accomplished.
Step Four: My ability to add value is surely increased when I maintain an attitude to SERVE others. I find my day is most productive when I can be a benefit to others. MLK expressed “life’s most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others?” Part of visualization and preparation includes recognizing how I will maximize my effort(s) to serve others.
Step Five: For today, my work is done, I have given my most precious commodity, and I have served and satisfied another. Now, it is time for me to REWARD myself. The reward can come from the smallest thing like a chocolate bar or a grand buffet. Whatever, the benefit required to satisfy my desire to reward myself I exercise that but keeping in mind the reward comes “after” the work is done. Then the cycle repeats with me be thankful I was able to demonstrate my value and be valuable to someone else.