10 minutes can be a lot of time. It can also be no time at all.
Ultimately, it depends on how you are spending them.
My recommendation for maximizing ten minutes of your day, is that you take time for what I would call good old fashioned P&P.
Take time to Plan and Ponder.
Let’s start with the first P: PLAN
I find it most beneficial to do my planning for the next day the evening before. That way, I go to bed knowing what my plan is for the next day. I can prioritize my plan around the vision that I have for my life and business.
I then work towards that plan as my priority and not someone else’s.
Also, that way I go to bed with a clear picture in my mind as to how I’m going to be maximally productive the following day. This allows the subconscious to begin creating that thing you’re going to work on tomorrow in your mind before you actually wake up.
It is so much more refreshing to wake up to an already planned day than to a blank piece of paper which, by definition, invites an element of chaos to your life.
Don’t forget to keep it brief, too. When I say plan, I don’t necessarily mean creating a minute-by-minute rundown of tomorrow.
It shouldn’t take long. Just a few minutes where you can prioritize four, five or six things that you’re going to do as a priority, excluding of course the things that come along serendipitously.
You then go to sleep with the peace of knowing that you’ve got a plan that you’re working towards, albeit imperfect — but it’s better than nothing.
I also do this same process at the beginning of each week. For me, it’s Sunday night. I plan out and ponder on my strategic action items, my to-do list items, and the things I want to “get done” for that week.
For both the day and weekly cycle, the process is to make a list of those things over which you have complete control. The things that you are able to impact and don’t require the input of some other third party.
It is wonderful going to bed each night knowing that today I moved my life and my business in a forward direction. Maybe I didn’t go as far or as fast as I wanted, but at least I made some degree of effort in choosing my path forward.
It’s a satisfying feeling to have some control over how your day or week will progress and there is little reason to not at least try to do so.
The second P is PONDER.
Take some time, maybe first thing in the morning, where you just sit and quietly ponder on who it is you’re in the process of becoming or what it is you’re in the process of building in your professional life. Do that in the context of your vision and your goals.
Crystallize them in your mind.
Imagine yourself as that “already successful” person you want to be.
Maybe you have that stable writing gig for a popular site. Maybe you’re the CEO of your firm. Maybe you just want a raise and love the job you already have.
Proper self-actualization can’t happen unless you have a vision for yourself and some meaningful, long-term goals. By spending just a couple of minutes in the morning pondering on that, you allow your subconscious to go to work.
I do that, as suggested by Dale Carnegie, both evening and morning.
I ponder on that vision that I’ve set for myself before I go to sleep. I let my REM sleep go to work on my vision in the context of the Plan I have drafted for that next day, and then I do it again the next morning so that I keep these thoughts firmly planted in my mind after having slept on them.
I find that a few deliberate minutes spent Planning and Pondering makes all the difference in my daily, weekly, monthly, and lifetime performance and goal-achievement mentality.
It is time well spent. It’s certainly worth delaying other things like television or scrolling on social media.
It is valuable time.
Discipline yourself, if nothing else, to take time for some good P&P.
You’ll will begin to notice your life change in many positive ways.