Back to Basics: It Works!

As you could probably tell by Tuesday’s article “Simplified Writing Goals  for 2013,” I think it’s time to get back to basics. I tend to read a lot, then take what I learn and complicate things.

Learning is good. Making my writing life complicated, however, does NOT help.

With that in mind, today’s Friday offering is a time management coach’s article to help you simplify your day and move forward on your goals. Here are five things to do in the first five minutes of your day. [Read to the end for a free gift offer by the author.]




How would you like to start every day off on the right foot?

Wouldn’t you like to feel a sense of excitement as you start your day?

You can have exactly that if you do something different for just 5 minutes a day.

If you spend 5 minutes every evening (or at the end of your work day) planning the following day, your life will dramatically change.

So what do you need to do?

1. Grab a notebook and pen.

You could also use the eat the frog form in the pack offered on my website.

The point is to have something to capture your thoughts.

2. Ask yourself one of these important questions.

* Which 3 – 5 things, when accomplished, will move me towards my goals?

* What is the best use of my time tomorrow?

3. Think effective, not busy.

Busy means you’re doing lots of things. Effective means you’re doing the right things.

E.g. Yesterday, after I downloaded email, I had two choices – keep busy by reading newsletters and replying to all my blog comments & personal emails, or be effective by responding to a journalist who wants to interview me.

Guess which one I chose to do?

Effective tasks will move you towards your goals while busy tasks will make you feel productive but may not necessarily yield results.

4. Write down no more than 6 tasks.

Mary Kay, one of the world’s most successful businesswomen, said that the secret of her success was to only tackle 6 tasks a day. If it’s good enough for her, it’s good enough for me.

I showed a client my own planner a few weeks ago. When I think I’m Superwoman and put down more than 6 tasks, I never get them all done. But when I put 5 or 6 tasks on my list, I get them all done.

If, after a few days, you find that you’re feeling overwhelmed with 6 tasks, lower your expectations and start with 3. You’ll soon settle on your comfort number.

5. Number the items in order of priority.

Only now (in step 5) do you prioritize them. Don’t try and do this step before you get them down – you might get stuck in analysis paralysis.

You’ll hit the ground running the next day when you start on number 1 and move through your list until you complete number 6.

Marcia Francois is a time management coach and speaker who inspires busy women to break out of overwhelm, make the most of their time and take purposeful and focused action so they have the time and freedom to live life to the full. Visit  for your free Time Management Purpose Pack.

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