Coach John Wooden would encourage his players to “Make each day your masterpiece.” This idea was one of the seven things Coach Wooden’s father instilled in him from a very early age. Those seven things are: be true to yourself, help others, make each day your masterpiece, drink deeply from good books (especially the Bible), make friendship a fine art, build a shelter against a rainy day, and pray for guidance and count and give thanks for your blessings every day.
When speaking with his players, Coach Wooden would remind them that they 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%. You are painting a picture today based on your plan, preparation, actions, and outcomes.
So, how does one go about making every day a masterpiece?
10 Tips for Making EVERY DAY a Masterpiece:
- Start the night before – Never go to bed without first looking at your plan for the following day. Determine your “big rocks” for the day. What are the 1-3 things you absolutely must accomplish?
- 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 not getting the proper rest.
- Rise early (or at least earlier) – How long is the list of things you would like to have time for but can’t find the minutes to do them? Get out of bed at 30-60-minutes earlier than others in your home to provide yourself with some much-needed quiet time to read, write, think and exercise. Your morning routine is the starting place for your masterpiece.
- Work your plan for the day – If you did step 1, you know your “big rocks”; start first 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.
- Prioritize – The “big rocks” from step 4. Refuse the temptation to major on minor things; instead, major on major things. You absolutely must know and perform your most important tasks.
- Focus – Fight off the desire to multitask. Most of us have a Ph.D. 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.
- 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.
- Be prepared and stay engaged – Be Here Now. Stay present. Do your homework. Come prepared. Add value to others and the organization by being prepared and engaged.
- 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 workspace in a way that distractions are minimized.
- 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. Be intentional about your day and enjoy the positive consequences of the masterpiece you create.
Perry Holley is a coach and facilitator with the John Maxwell Company’s Corporate Solutions Group as well as a published author. He has a passion for developing others and seeing people grow into the leaders they were intended to become.