How Exactly Do You Make Every Day a Masterpiece?

You are painting a picture today based on your actions, plans and outcomes. The question is, will today’s picture be a masterpiece or a production line painting?

Coach John Wooden would encourage his players to, “Make each day your masterpiece”. It is a great reminder to all of us that you cannot give an 80% effort today and make up for it tomorrow with a 120% effort. The most you can give on any given day is 100%.

Instead of making excuses for why your performance is not where it need to be, consider these.

10 Tips for Making EVERY DAY a Masterpiece:

1.       Start the night before – Never go to bed without first looking at your plan the following day. Determine your “big rocks” for the day. What are the 1-3 things you absolutely must accomplish.

2.       Also the night before – get your rest –Determine a preset bedtime (yes, just like when you were a kid) that gives you 6-8 hours of sleep. You cannot consistently create masterpieces if you are going to bed late and getting up early.

3.       Rise early (or at least earlier) – How long is the list of things you would like to have time for, but just can’t find the minutes to do them? Get out of bed at least 60-minutes earlier than others in your home in order to provide yourself with some much needed quiet time to read, write, think and exercise. For more on the importance of a morning routine, click here.

4.       Work your plan for the day – If you did Step 1, then you know your “big rocks”; start first thing with those.  Start with your most important tasks while the day is young and you can avoid distractions that will arrive when the rest of the world gets moving.  

5.       Prioritize – this goes with Step 4. Refuse the temptation to major on minor things. Major on major things. You absolutely must know what are your most important tasks.

6.       Focus – Fight off the desire to multitask. Most of us have a PhD in multitasking. Unfortunately, research shows that all we end up doing is multiple things poorly. Develop your ability to focus and do one thing before starting another.

7.       Rejuvenate – To remain focused you need regular breaks. Research shows that allowing yourself a few minutes to re-energize is a great way to keep focus and energy on the tasks you are trying to accomplish.

8.       Be prepared and stay engaged – Be Here Now. Stay present. Do your homework. Come with, and be prepared to share, a point of view for whatever topics are being discussed during your many interactions during the day.

9.       Minimize distraction – A distraction is anything that takes your focus from where it needs to be. Distractions often come in the form of the technologies we use to run our lives. Set up your work space in a way that distractions are minimized.

10.   Evaluate your day – No one gets it right every day so take every opportunity to evaluate your progress and make adjustments. Determine what worked and what didn’t and make changes accordingly.

How you invest your time will determine the return (ROI) you receive. Deciding early that each day is your masterpiece is only part of the solution. You actually have to execute on that decision to make it become an actual masterpiece for others to see.