Start your day off by considering these things to write down, perhaps right after you get up. Taking a few minutes to write certain things down can have a dramatic impact on your mood, productivity, and even your mental focus. Instead of immediately heading for the coffee pot, get out a pen and paper and jot a few of these important things to write down daily. It will eventually stimulate your brain to work more efficiently in the morning, improve your focus, and enhance your day by getting more done. Don’t worry, this process will take you less than 10 minutes, and it will reduce an incredible amount of stress as a result, believe it or not.
1. Your Schedule
Though you might already be well aware of what your schedule is, it should be one of the first things to write down, or actually, the first of them all. For starters, it jump starts your brain and prepares you for the day. You don’t have to take it minute by minute, but a general outline of your day ahead can help you feel more in control and ready to accomplish everything, and also see if you have any holes in your schedule for downtime. This downtime is often dwindled away when we aren’t aware of it, when it could be used to do enjoyable things such as rest, hobbies, and even just chatting with a friend. Write down your schedule, and you’ll immediately have a visual image of how your day will go, and how you’ll get it all done.
2. What You Want to Accomplish
Next, after you write down what you’re going to be doing that day, write down one or two things that you really want to accomplish. Maybe it’s finish a project, or it could even be to manage your money better. Or, maybe it’s to eat healthier that day. Whatever it is, write it down. It will help you see how you’ll need to work certain actions into your schedule to make it happen. It also gives you a goal, which helps increase your focus and motivation. Try to tackle this earlier in the day, instead of later when distractions come up.
3. What You’re Grateful for
Next, to really lower your stress, and enhance the quality of your life, write down something you’re grateful for. Maybe it’s a new job, or maybe it’s as simple as having hot water that morning to shower with. Maybe it’s a chance at work for growth, or maybe it’s that you took time to make yourself a healthy lunch. Whatever it is, write it down.
Next, it’s time for a few reminders - picking up your laundry at the dry cleaners, restocking your frozen veggie supply at the market after work, or perhaps calling that friend you’ve been meaning to contact all week. Write down anything that comes to mind, and feel free to add it to your list if you think of it later. Then, when 4 or 5 p.m. rolls around, you can take a peek at this list and see if there’s something you forgot to do.
5. Inspirational Messages
This item is a fun one, but one I think everyone should do. Pull out a book full of quotes, or perhaps a spiritual or religious book, or just something inspirational that comes to your mind. Write it down. It can be as serious or funny as you want, but it has to inspire you on some level. It can be about health, religion, spirituality, family, gratitude, dreams, whatever. Just write down something that will motivate you and inspire you for the rest of the day.
6. A Good Deed
Now it’s time to stop thinking about you for a minute and think about someone else! Think of one nice thing you can do for someone today. Maybe it’s hold the door open for more people, maybe it’s buy your friend coffee, maybe it’s send a card to your aunt or mom, or maybe it’s to smile at more people. Whatever the case, write it down. Doing nice things for people during the day makes you a better and happier person, and can overall make a huge impact on your sense of well being, and other people’s lives as well.
7. Any Bills Due
I know, I know, this is the yucky thing to write down, but you must do this to keep yourself sane. If you have a bill due, write it down, even if you’ve already scheduled it to be drafted out of your account through automatic payments. To make this easier, you’ll need to already have a budget outlined. Writing down what bills come out of your account can help you be more mindful of your money, more responsible with your money, and can also help prevent overdrafts. Over time, it can help you manage your finances better, and make better choices with money. You’ll also see this as less of a pain later on and money will quit seeming evil, and seem like a normal part of life.
You might not think these things are necessary to write down, but I challenge you to take 10 minutes and just do this for one week every day. I think you’ll see why I love it so much, and why it can help anyone get more done, be happier throughout the day, and reduce stress. Be sure to keep your list with you all day so you can refer back to it whenever possible. I like to use a small blank notebook, or a planner with dated pages. Do you write down certain things each morning? What are they?