Supercharging Productivity

Like many of you, I’m a go-getter with a lot on my plate. My husband and I just purchased a new home, I began a new marketing position with an Internet company that includes 50% travel and I’m training for my fourth half marathon. To say this is the busiest time of my life so far is an understatement.

Between running five miles in the morning, lifting weights during lunch and juggling the stressful details of work, I stopped in to get my teeth cleaned recently and was surprised when the hygienist took my blood pressure: a cool 99 over 54, as low as ever. What’s my trick for maintaining calm in a stressful environment?

I’m a Planner

I’m a planner. I prioritize what’s important and discard the rest.

When planning our days, too many of us spend the majority of our time on the items that don’t truly matter to us. At the end of the day, you may become frustrated when you realize the things most important to you didn’t get done.

I Work with My Body Clock

I also work with my body clock, or “circadian rhythm”, rising with the sun for that vital energy and mental clarity, to get through the workday more efficiently.

That’s why I like using Owaves, which helps me visualize my day-plan in relation to sunrise and sunset. It also forces me to make trade-offs and dedicate time for my highest priorities. For example, I might cut housework in the evening to spend more time with my family. Or I’ll avoid oversleeping to get in a workout – in the long run, workouts give me more energy than a half hour of extra sleep. It’s actually pretty fun playing around with the possibilities on Owaves.

I Pay Myself First

Just like when investing for retirement and budgeting, it’s critical to pay yourself first to make sure you reach your goals.

I usually think through at least 1-3 things I want to accomplish the next day and estimate how long it might take. I then plug them into tomorrow’s “O” to make sure I set aside time for them.

For example, tomorrow I’d like to: 1) run 7 miles, 2) BBQ with my family and 3) get my grocery shopping done. I know I love to run first thing in the morning, so I’ll schedule an hour when I wake up for that, then I can fit in grocery shopping before the BBQ, and everything after that is icing on the cake. Try it, then sit back and enjoy the knowledge that you’re putting your time towards what matters most to you.

Parting Thought

So many of our friends and family run through life on autopilot, only completing the tasks that demand attention in that moment, without considering the long term implications of their daily activities. Our time is precious and we can’t afford not to take a good hard look at where the hours of our days go. It is empowering to make a decision to direct our time towards our top priorities. Our health, our relationships and our happiness are at stake. Owaves provides a framework to see your life from a different perspective and purposefully plan each day.

Written by Claire Akin, Business Executive and Endurance Athlete. Follow Claire on LinkedIn.