We’ve all been there. At the blink of an eye January becomes August, and the years quickly passes us by. Where did the time go?
The thing is that unless we are PROACTIVE about setting an agenda for ourselves to go after what we want in life, others set the agenda for us.
They do it in subtle ways and in ways we don’t even realize. Our inboxes are others setting the agenda for us — and yet we check it first thing in the morning.
Our calendars filled with meeting invites on back to back days are curated mindlessly by others we work with. It’s not their fault. They’re setting the agenda for their own day and taking you along with them!
This is one of the BIG reasons I started Unstoppable Sundays. On Sundays, I sit down, reflect on my goals, and get proactive about my week. I look at how I’m spending my time over the coming 7 days and I ask myself: if I do all of these things that I’m planning to do — will I be closer to achieving my goals 7 days from now? Will I look back next Sunday and say — wow! what an amazing week! Will I look back a year from now and say, geez, I CRUSHED my goals!
On this episode of Unstoppable Sunday, I walk you through three very actionable things you can do TODAY to start to get more proactive about your life.
#1 Have a morning ritual
Every single self help and personal development guru will tell you this. And yet such a small percentage of the population actually practices it. It drives me nuts! A recent study shows 61% of smartphone users check their phone within 5 minutes of waking up in the morning.
What happens when we check our smartphone? Why is this even bad? Well, almost immediately, within 5 minutes of starting your day, you’re immediately giving over control of what you think about, what you work on, what you REACT to right over to others.
It is the exact opposite of living a proactive life.
How do you offset this? Start a morning ritual. When I wake up in the morning, I like to meditate, I like to pray, I like to shower and get dressed. I then like to see what I have in the docket and what others are asking of me — whether it is in my email inbox, or my social media, or my calendar.
You don’t have to take huge leaps here, or take on crazy new habits. Just start with this one simple thing: Don’t check your phone until you’ve gotten dressed for work. Leave that time to yourself and your own thoughts, and your goals, and reign in positivity and gratitude into those moments.
#2 Ask for 25 minute and 50 minute meetings.
We’ve all been there. You have an entire day of back to back 30 and 60 minute meetings. As you get home completely and utterly exhausted, you wonder two things to yourself: 1) Where did the time go? 2) Crap, when do I actually do my actual work?!
Unfortunately this is the status quo for a lot of corporate culture. Even if you’re not in a large corporation, I’m sure you’ve constantly wondered about why you’re even in a certain meeting as you think about all the work you actually need to be doing.
My trick for this? I ask for 25 or 50 minute meetings. I then use that extra 5 to 10 minutes that I save to catch up on my work, take a break, scan my emails, and even jot down action items from the meeting. This simple exercise actually allows me a moment to breathe so I don’t get sucked into reactive mode and can actually think about where I am and what’s ahead in my day.
Pro Tip: I also use this time to look ahead of meetings in the day and see if there are useless meetings I can avoid or ask to cancel because it’s just not necessary.
#3 Schedule in ME time throughout your week where you’re meeting yourself
I tried an experiment early in my career. If I booked meetings spread out across the week with my imaginary friend, would it wreak havoc with my schedule and my co-workers?
And so I make it a point to book 25-minute or 50-minute meetings across the week with my friend Charlie. It’s ME time. It’s a meeting, it’s a meeting with ME, and it’s a time when I get actual work done.
No one gets hurt, people work around it anyway, and in the end, everyones better for it.
Best of all, I get to regain my proactive posture as I use up these times to get caught up on my own work — instead of constantly reacting to things coming my way.
It’s Sunday. Where are you? What’re you going to do next? Let’s get proactive about our week and our life!
Remember, everyone needs a strategy. Yours needs to be unstoppable. If you want help switching to living a more proactive life, be sure to download our FREE Life Planning Guide.