The Day Within A Day: How To Utilize Your Day Fully
Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort — Paul J Meyer.
“How many hours are there in a day?” Cecily asked. I immediately looked up and stared at her. It was unlike her to ask a rhetorical question.
“Twenty-four,” I answered. “If that hasn’t changed from the findings of your endless research work,” I joked.
I had known Cecily since high school, and she researched everything.
Cecily's life was very structured and seemingly boring, but she had always achieved her goals. I am yet to meet anyone else who sets her new year’s resolutions and celebrates accomplishing all by the end of the year.
There is beauty in spontaneity
I am the kind that wants to sleep in Nairobi and wake up in Cairo. All unplanned. For me, spontaneity is fulfilling. But of all my years of setting new year’s resolutions, I have never been able to achieve all by the end of any year.
Cecily is the exact opposite of me. She wakes up at 3.00 am every day. This includes New Year’s Day when the world is celebrating.
She does her morning meditation between 3.00 am and 3.30am, her morning prayers for thirty minutes after. Goes for a run between 4.00am and 5.00am, gets prepared and is in the office by 6:30 am. She doesn’t sleep a minute after 8:30pm in the evening. For fifteen years, she has never watched the 9.00pm prime news.
At the age of thirty-five, Cecily, a High School director, has authored and published 5 books, has completed her Doctorate, and is working towards becoming a professor. She has built a family home and aims to complete her holiday home in eight months. She is also mother to a seven-year-old boy Leon.
“How do you plan your day?” Cecily asked. “Simple, I replied. “I work for 8 hours a day and sleep for 8 hours.”
The 8 hours Magic
She drew a circle and divided it into three parts. She called the circle ‘A DAY.’ She labelled one part ‘workday,’ the second part ‘sleepday’ and then there was the other blank part. “So, what do you do with the other 8 hours?” I was blank. “….uummmh.., cook, traffic, mother, social media…” I murmured. I did not have a definite answer.
“See, you have a whole day within your day that you can’t account for.” Cecily said. “Time is the same for everyone but how you spend it creates the difference in what we achieve.” She continued.
The conversation had begun to interest me, so I asked Cecily to explain what she does with her day within a day. “I will not explain what I do with mine, but I will explain from my research what most successful people do with theirs.” She replied.
Take a walk — Slot a few minutes to take a walk and connect with nature. This will elevate your mood and lower your anxiety and stress levels. You can carry a bottle of water and think about all the things you are grateful for.
Meditate — Successful people take time to meditate. This has proven to increase happiness and reduce migraines. Fun fact: The worlds happiest man 66-year-old Matthieu Ricard, is a Tibetan monk.
Do something nice for someone — Ensure that someone thanks you genuinely for something every day. It could be someone you know or a stranger but be sure not to do it expecting anything in return. In a world where you can be anything be nice.
Eat a fruit/Vegetable Platter — It will nourish you with vitamins and keep your face glowing. Your health is your wealth. An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
Read a chapter in a book or start a new book — Reading is relaxing and helps you learn a lot of skills. “When you stop learning you start dying.” Albert Einstein.
Clean something or tidy up a room — The works sounds tiresome, but the results are satisfying. Imagine yourself having showered in the evening, lying on your made bed with a scented candle burning in your cleaned bedroom? Very satisfying.
Make it home in time for dinner — Have bonding time with your family over a meal. Successful people know what is invaluable to them and family tops the list.
Do not multitask — Find a task that adds value to your personal life and assign 2 hours uninterrupted to concentrate on it. The most successful people do not combine they most valuable tasks with anything else.
Whenever you see a successful person, you only see the public glories, never the private sacrifices to reach them — Vaibhav Shah