Sometimes our days run away with us and we feel robbed at the end because we didn’t get to do what we wanted or even needed to do.

Decide this year that this is no longer happening and take your power back by shaping your day. This will ensure that you get time for you and that you work on the most important things. And if you’re realistic about what you can get into a day, my downfall, you will end the day feeling you have achieved, not failed.

  1. Establish your morning routine

A morning routine is a great way to set the tone for the day and to start your day off positively. There are no hard and fast rules about what can be included and the following are often to be found. Exercise, meditation, reading and journalling.

Mine consists of some yoga first thing, as that stretches me out and gets my body feeling good. If I am not walking later in the day, and sometimes even if I am, I will take a 30/40 minute walk. Walking is my meditation, so I will often do that as I walk and at other times I use my walk to plan the day ahead. On my walk is also when ideas come up, another great creative way to get my day going. I read the daily reading from Simple Abundance and I take a little time to journal. If I have not used my walk for meditation, I use the Calm app to do that.

Doing these things makes me feel really good. Breakfast sometimes waits until all is done and at other times I do my reading and journalling after breakfast.

I have a shorter version of my routine too when I am heading out earlier or have a client and move things around my day to suit. I guess the most important parts of the routine are my yoga and my reading.

What is in your morning routine or what could be in it?

breathe deeply often


  1. Ensure there is some ‘me time‘ in your day

    It is so easy to let the day be taken up with things that have to be done, and often that includes things for others, but what about your needs?

A good way to start is to try asking yourself ‘What do I need today?’ Yes, what do you need for you?

I have used this question with clients very successfully and in 2023, I made this a very important question to ask on the Camino. You might find what they found, that it is a simple question but for many it is so hard to answer.

We are unused to asking ourselves this question and, even when we do, we find ourselves listing the things that our ‘to do’ list tells us we need to do. But this question is not for that. This question is all for you and the more you practice it, the easier you will find answering it.

Do you need more sleep? Time alone? To research and book that trip? To go for a walk? Do you need a long chat with a good friend? Do you need to cry? Do you need not to be criticised or judged?

There is so much that you might need and the answers will give you insights into time for you.

Time for you need not be a long time, though it can, but it has to be about you and for you and fun.

Check out the ideas of Julia Cameron’s Artist’s Dates and discover more. These are all about doing things yourself that bring fun. Often they are new things.

Get into the habit of time for you and see how much happier you are and how much more you love life.

  1. Triage your ‘to do’ list

    You can do this at the end of the previous day or first thing in the morning, you choose. However, no matter when you do it, a well triaged list will really help you move through your day.

What this means is that you take everything on your list and give each thing an A, B or C rating.

The As are the things that have to be done.

The Bs the things it would be great to get done but they can move into the next day.

The Cs well they can wait.

The aim is of course to do all those things on the A list and not to do anything else until all are complete. Then you can move onto list B.

There are other things to take into consideration that will help.

The first is that the list that you are triaging will need to be realistic. No point in having 60 things on that list, 30 of which are having to be done NOW!

Also if it helps you can use a timer and set it say for 30 minutes or more or less, depending on the task. That can really work to focus you and the imposed deadline is amazing for getting the action happening.

breathe deeply often

4. Focus on one thing at a time.

Women are especially good at multitasking and elements of this are still very worthwhile, like putting away the dishes as you wait for the kettle to boil. However, trying to do too much means that our focus can be all over the place and that leads to not doing anything particularly well.

The little things, like the dishes and kettle are fine and doable and you will have many more of those sort of tasks where you are making efficient use of time. Where it doesn’t work so well though is with lack of a plan and with distraction.

    How do you best work?
    When do you do your best work?

    This doesn’t have to be paid employment alone, it could be in all aspects of life such as the paperwork we find ourselves embroiled in, planning and organising events, helping others, voluntary work and so much else.

    Knowing the answers to these questions helps you get best results.

    Best ways forward include –

    a) strong boundaries so making it clear that you are off to do something and are not to be interrupted unless there is an emergency.
    b) chunking time where you set a timer for 20/30/60 minutes, whatever suits you and the thing you are working on. Sometimes you will get all you want to do done in this time and sometimes you may just be getting started.
    c) turning off your phone or putting it on silence and not allowing notifications.
    d) not checking email or social media during this time as these are some of the biggest time distractors.

    5. Take regular breaks

    These breaks don’t have to take long but practicing punctuating your day with breaks and you will be much more productive as a result as well as feeling so much better too.

    On a walk I try to make sure we stop every 1.5 – 2 hours, when you are sitting at a desk though you need to do this more often. It’s recommended that you get up and move around for at least 5-10 minutes every hour which if you are at your computer for 8 hours a day means moving for about 40-80 minutes throughout the day.

    You don’t have to do much – a trip to the loo and a stretch; go put the kettle on and make a cuppa; in an office go see someone rather than emailing; take a short walk; go out and get a coffee; take a wander down the garden; pick a few weeds out of the window box. There are so many things you can do.

    Other things to take into consideration are to use a standing desk so that you are on your feet and therefore will find yourself moving more. Another suggestion is to take a walk when you need to chat to someone or hold a meeting on foot.

    Another opportunity to be creative and bring new ideas for movement into your every day.

    With all of these things, you are going to be more successful in making them part of your life if you try them out and see what helps you work better then choose those to establish into your routine.

    Have a look at our short Take a Walk course as that shares the wide number of benefits from walking and how you can make them part of life.

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