What is the first thing you do when you sit down at your desk in the morning?
Likely, you crack your laptop or log into your computer. Maybe you open your inbox and begin fielding the emails that dropped overnight. Perhaps you pick up the telephone receiver to check voicemail. (If you’re anything like me, you’ve got fires to tend to.)
According to Neen James, productivity expert and time management guru, before getting to any of it, you should set a 15-minute appointment with yourself.
Set a 15-minute appointment with yourself.
“I think 15 minutes is the key to everything,” Neen emphasizes. “The key in my world to getting everything done is 15 minutes because I think you can conquer the world in 15 minutes.”
Enquiring minds wonder: what is Neen James doing in those 15 minutes?!
“Choose three things you’re going to work on for the day; three things that are going to help you get closer to your goals," she explains.
Create a filter for the day
“Write those goals down on paper. I recommend a Post-It Note,” Neen suggests.
Use those three priorities to guide your actions through the day. When used effectively, they become the filter through which you assess all other interruptions or requests that cross your desk.
“When you use the goals as your filtering system you’re more likely to invest your time in the most important activities,” Neen points out. “Remember, we don’t have time to do everything. We only have time to do what matters.”
Expand your daily intention-setting filter to the bigger picture
“Every single year I create a context for the year, meaning I choose one word or mantra for the year. I think about everything through that lens. This year it is ‘Lean Mean 2019’” explains Neen.
She uses the mantra to assess the different elements of her life: spiritual, relational, physical, financial and educational. And yes, she records her goals on paper during a 15-minute appointment with herself.
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