Day 4 Determining What You Should Be Doing Is Crucial

Yesterday we talked about finding the time in your busy morning to do the things that are important to you. Today I want you to think about what you should and what you shouldn’t be doing in those first few hours of the day. Now, as a coach, I don’t usually say “should” but it is critical to set your boundaries. That’s an important idea to ponder. So often we get stuck in a rut or a routine and do things because that’s what we’ve always done. We do it without really thinking about whether or not it’s the best use of our time. Sometimes taking time for ourselves feels selfish, but it isn’t! You deserve time for yourself.

Cramming More Things into Less Time isn’t the Answer!

Making over your morning isn’t about figuring out how to cram more tasks into fewer hours. Years ago, I taught time management for a large planner company. I remember when they changed the daily page format and added more hours to the day. Well, okay, not really more hours—they expanded the schedule. But yup, some people took that as permission to add more items to their day! Doing more is often the main message in books and articles on productivity and time management. While it can help in the short term, it isn’t a good long-term strategy for meaningful change. Very soon you’ll hit the that nasty wall. You know the one–the limit of how much faster and how much more efficient you can get. This also adds to your stress level because you might think you should be doing more.

Shift your thinking and don’t try to add to what you do in the morning. If you want 15 minutes for bible study, meditation, or exercise, don’t just think about getting up 15 minutes earlier, or shaving 15 minutes off your morning routine by showering faster, getting dressed in record time, and rushing through breakfast. In other words, don’t add to your already long list of stuff that needs (?) to get done. You’ll only feel more rushed and stressed if you do.

Make Smart Choices About Using Your Time

Instead, think about the best use of your time in the morning. Compare your perfect morning with your current morning routine. What aren’t you doing on your ideal morning? If you can start by cutting things out, finding time to do what’s important to you becomes much easier.

There are two great ways to find things you can stop doing.

  • The first is to look for busy work. This is something you do out of habit that doesn’t necessarily need doing every day. Maybe it’s checking your email first thing in the morning or playing around on Facebook for half an hour while you drink your coffee. If that’s how you choose to spend your time, that’s perfectly fine, but if you’re doing it out of habit it may be time to rethink it.
  • The second way to quickly earn back time is to see if you’re doing things for others that they can do themselves. Kids are the perfect example. When they are very small, we have to do these things, for them. All too often we continue to do them long after they’re perfectly able to do things on their own. Do you do things for your partner? Maybe it’s time to lighten your load and get help from your partner. A few small changes may be all it takes to make the time in your busy morning for what’s important to you.

NOTE: Getting to bed earlier is VERY important! If you want extra time in the morning, you should adjust the time you get to bed as well. You still need the same amount of rest!!

Here’s to a great day–Karen

About Karen

Karen Karsten, CPCC, CAC, has had several business careers, in government, finance, retail and publishing. Each career was a building block that helped her create the life she has now as a coach, writer and executive director of Rich Chicks and Creative Principle of Think You Can LLC.

Her companies, Think You Can ( and Rich Chicks ( both explore the magic of prosperity and creating clarity about life values. Karen has total faith in the magic of belief. Notice how that works either way: belief of magic, magic of belief. Magic is there—in you, too. Take a moment right now and honor the magic in you.

Speak Your Mind