9 Simple Tricks to Get the Most Out of Today

Yesterday’s the past, tomorrow’s the future, but today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.
Bil Keane

Is there any better time to start living your life to the max than today? I don’t think so. Today is a gift. It is the best time for you to live in, not yesterday nor tomorrow. So be sure that you make the most out of it. Make today the best day ever, both for you and for other people. If you do so, I believe the future will somehow take care of itself.

How can we get the most out of today? Here are nine simple tricks:

1. Listen

Listen to your heart, and have the courage to follow it. What does the little voice in your heart say? You may need to turn off outside noise to clearly hear your heart, but it’s worth the effort. Wasting years of your time to live someone else’s life is too big a risk too take.

Here are some ideas to help you:

  • Limit your information intake (especially news)
    It prevents noise from entering your mind.
  • Slow down
    Don’t do things so fast that you no longer have time to listen.
  • Take time in solitude
    Being in solitude makes it easier to hear the little voice of your heart.

2. Prepare

Preparation is your recipe for success. In fact, Eric Butterworth says that “behind every brilliant performance there were countless hours of practice and preparation.” So make a good preparation to make today a brilliant day.

Here are some things you can do to prepare for your day:

  • Pray or meditate
    It makes you spiritually fit to face the day.
  • Exercise
    It makes you physically fit to face the day.
  • Plan
    Plan what you are going to do today. If you listen to your heart, you will know what is right to do.

3. Think

In the course of the day, make sure you think before you do. Of course, you shouldn’t think so much that you never do. But not thinking is not right either.

So take time to think. Here are some questions you may want to ask:

  • Do I need to do it?
    The best way to save your resources (time, energy, money, etc) is by simply not doing something. Maybe you can just eliminate it or delegate it to someone else.
  • How can I achieve the best result?
    Think of ways you can do to increase the value or usefulness of the thing you are going to do.
  • How can I do it efficiently?
    Is there a way to do it with less resources?

4. Do

To achieve something, thinking is not enough; you have to do what you are supposed to do. The most difficult part is usually to start doing. 50 minutes rule is one way to help you start doing. Here is how you use it:

  • Set your timer at 50 minutes (you can use CoolTimer if you want to).
  • Start doing what you do and do not stop before time is up.
  • After 50 minutes, you can take a 10 minutes break before starting another 50 minutes session.
  • Or, if you like, you can work continuously without taking a break.

Since your mind knows that you will work for only 50 minutes, it will be easier to start.

5. Flow

Your productivity will be highest when you can concentrate fully on the task at hand in such a way that you lose track of time. To do so:

  • Allocate enough time
    Once you are in the “zone”, you should try to continue working until you finish the task. This requires you to allocate a large enough block of time.
  • Eliminate all potential distractions
    Block everything that may distract your attention away from the task at hand. One common example is the browser (unless you need it).
  • Eliminate all potential interruptions
    Nothing is more frustrating than being interrupted when you are in the “zone”. So you may want to ask people around you not to interrupt you and switch off your cell phone.

6. Greet

You get the most out of today not just through the tasks you finish, but also through the relationships you build. Do something to build meaningful relationships today. The easiest thing to do is to simply smile and greet someone. Here are some things you can do:

  • Greet them first
  • Ask how they are doing
  • Listen to their answers

Pay genuine attention to them and make them feel important.

7. Give

Give something to others. Find needs and fulfill them. By doing so you brighten someone else’s day and chance is your day will also be brightened. You can read some practical ways to do it in 30 Practical Tips to Make Yourself Indispensable to Others.

8. Reflect

Before you close the day, spend time to reflect. Here are two essential questions to ask:

  • What have I done well?
  • What do I need to improve?

Since you are now at the end of the day and about to embrace tomorrow, do something to make tomorrow the best day ever. And one way to do so is by taking useful lessons out of today.

9. Thank

Don’t forget to express your gratitude. Looking at your day with a grateful mindset is a sure way to make it wonderful. Here are some ideas to do it:

  • Count the good things that happened to you today
    Think of every good thing that happened to you since the beginning of the day and be grateful for them.
  • Count the lessons you get today
    Think about the lessons you get from the not-so-good things that happened to you today and be grateful for them.
  • Think about how lucky you are to follow your heart
    Many people live someone else’s life. If you follow your heart today and live your own life, that’s something to be grateful for.

Photo by Fort Photo

10 Comments

  1. Other than moving “thank” to number 1, I agree with this list.

    I think, however, that it is hard to move through your day in depression or sadness if you are in a state of thanksgiving. So, especially if you have emotional challenges, you should begin your day in gratitude.

  2. Hayden,
    I agree with you about beginning our day in gratitude. It will help us be excited about our day and get the most out of it. In fact, we should have a grateful heart the whole day.

  3. I really like that quote you put on top of the article. Makes one go ooh and aah before reflecting… πŸ™‚ Out of the list, I really like the greet part. Everyday, we have people who greet us. From our family to the guard who opens that door for us. I think it would make our day if we actually made someone else’s for a change. Just a thought.

  4. thanks for another wise posting. i think you’re right on and appreciate the inspiration….

  5. Jen,
    I also like the quote which is why I chose it for this post πŸ™‚
    And I like your example, especially “the guard who opens that door for us”. There are some people we don’t appreciate enough in this life.

    Etavitom,
    Welcome! Let’s work together to get the most out of today πŸ™‚

  6. Hi there, learned about this blog at google reader. Very inspiring articles, may I add a hyperlink to this site?

  7. Kriz,
    Thanks for the compliment! Sure, you can add a hyperlink to this site if you want to.

  8. […] Far too many of us don’t like to deal with reality. It is always better to reflect back on the better times in our lives, or look ahead to the future when we are sure things are going to be better for us. We are so busy looking ahead or backwards that we don’t realize that right now is one of the best times of our lives. We have the opportunity to make a positive change in our life if only we would deal with the present… […]

  9. I think this is 4th article of yours that I’m reading. I really like you ! πŸ™‚ I genuinely took in every word you’ve written on here. I really liked 1 & 2. πŸ™‚

  10. Christy,
    Thanks! Knowing the articles are useful is a pleasure for me πŸ™‚

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