Monday mornings are always rough. I started writing this Sunday night, but I couldn’t find the energy to finish. I woke up this morning to a sick kiddo and a whole mess of emails. While I sit here waiting for the doctor to call us back, I wanted to share a few of my recent favorite reads from an author who has completely re-shaped how I think about my time, my activities, and my goals.
Laura Vanderkam has written many things about productivity, but I was drawn to her What Successful People Do series. These short ebooks are quick reads and will leave you questioning how you spend your time.
- What the Most Successful People Do On the Weekend: A Short Guide to Making the Most of Your Days Off
- What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast: A Short Guide to Making Over Your Mornings — and Life
- What the Most Successful People Do at Work: A Short Guide to Making Over Your Career
My favorite was What the Most Successful People Do on the Weekend. I am grinding during the week, and I use my weekends to refresh, relax, and get ready for the upcoming work week. If I don’t grocery shop, pay bills, write on my blog, take photographs, or any other random “life” tasks on the weekends, I won’t get a chance Monday through Friday. It is a hard balance to manage–especially when weekends are meant for FUN. It sounds crazy, but after reading this short ebook I have a much better idea of how to structure my weekends.
In her book and in a presentation I viewed online (more on that later), I started thinking about my free time differently. She talks about have “anchor” events that you “schedule.” I set my anchor events for the weekend and kept track of what I was supposed to do. My anchor events were grocery shop, take photographs for upcoming blog posts, laundry, update my website, and meal plan. Having those main ideas were helpful for making sure that I made Monday morning less painful! It might sound kind of lame to schedule your free time this way, but it does help you stay on track. Of course weekends are for fun, but if you have a To Do List that’s a mile long … scheduling your weekends can be helpful.
I really enjoyed What Successful People Do Before Breakfast, and it has encouraged me to keep my 5:30am alarm. Yes, I wake up at 5:30am. Why? I need to write. I need to work out. I need to get my life organized! These early morning hours have helped me get extra freelance assignments, helped give me time by myself to work out, and has helped me start each day ready. When I would sleep in until 7 or so, I never felt like my day was truly good. I was rushing around and trying to do too much. Sure, I go to bed at 10pm or so…but nothing is going on that late anyway! 😉 I suggest giving it a try.
CreativeLIVE had a live stream of a presentation by the author last week, and I was able to catch a few segments. (Side Note: Do you use this site? They offer great workshops in a variety of subjects for FREE when you watch them live. You can purchase the recordings too.) You can find Laura’s recording here.
After reading her mini ebooks and watching her presentation, I was eager to read more of her work!
I purchased this book, and I can’t wait to start reading it. I hope you give it a try and utilize some of her time management strategies. If you do start reading, let me know! We can chat about her insights. As a blogger, freelancer, full-time employee, mother, wife, friend…time can be limited and so precious. It’s easy to lose sight of what really matters. Thinking critically about my time has helped me figure out what areas to focus on and what tasks are truly crucial.
Planning on growing your career? Try 50 Things to Know Before Going on a Job Interview.