The 5 minutes that will change your life – really!

How would you like to start every day off on the right foot?

Wouldn’t you like to feel a sense of excitement as you start your day?

You CAN if you do something for just 5 minutes a day.

This is not some crazy statement – it really is true. I promise 😉

If you spend 5 minutes every evening (or at the end of every day) planning the next day, your life will dramatically change.

So what do you need to do?

1. Grab a notebook or piece of paper

My Eat the Frog form works equally well.

The point is to have somewhere to capture your thoughts.

2. Ask yourself one of these important questions

* Which 3 – 5 things, when accomplished, will move me towards my goals?
* What is the best use of my time tomorrow?

3. Think effective, not busy

Busy means you’re doing LOTS of things. Effective means you’re doing the RIGHT things.

E.g. Yesterday, after I downloaded email, I had two choices – keep BUSY by reading newsletters and replying to all my blog comments & personal emails, or be EFFECTIVE by responding to a journalist who wants to interview me, and write my newsletter.

Guess which I chose to do? 😉

4. Write down no more than 6 tasks

Mary Kay, one of the world’s most successful businesswomen, said that the secret of her success was to only tackle 6 tasks a day. If it’s good enough for her, it’s good enough for me 😉

I actually showed a client my own planner a few weeks ago. When I think I’m Superwoman and put down more than 6 tasks, I never get them all done. But when I put 5 or 6 tasks on my list, I get them all done.

Did you know you can spend time with me in a Virtual Organising Session? I show you exactly how I set up my own systems and we go through all the computer and email tricks you could possibly imagine. *email me if you’re keen*

5. Number your tasks in terms of priority

Only now (in step 5) do you number them. Don’t try and number them before you get them down – you might get stuck in analysis paralysis 😉

You’ll hit the ground running the next day when you start on number 1 and move through your list until you complete number 6.

At this point you can relax and enjoy your evening knowing that you’ll have a productive day the following day.

For many, many more tips, check out I need more time – guaranteed to give you another 5 – 10 hours a week.

Marcia Francois is a time management and business organising coach who helps small business owners make the most of their time. Visit for your free 7-part audio series, 7 tips for time-strapped business owners.

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  1. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t take those few minutes before bed to write down what is important to remember the next day. Keeps me focused and helps me sleep knowing that tomorrow will take care of itself!

  2. Oh I like this Marcia I am going to try it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Great post, Marcia!

  4. Oh, I do that every morning at work, and it works terrific! I’m so productive when I know that I only have XX amount of time to do something. No coffee-machine-chat, no internet browsing, I have a deadline!! I also do that at home on weekends (with a more flexible schedule, though), to avoid spending too much time browsing the web mindlessly, it helps me say “no” and make choices! Love the questions, though, those will really be helpful!

  5. I need to implement this in my life. It is so easy to sit at the computer for hours doing mindless browsing and looking at what EVERYONE ELSE is doing instead of doing something myself. My hobby is quilting and I would like to feel free to spend some time enjoying it every day. It seems lately, I am thinking of all the things I ‘should’ or ‘need’ to do and never really getting around to picking something and doing it. I call it procrastination arbitration. I will begin doing this today to work towards overcoming my mental paralysis.

    • Edna, I also have a hobby that I love (digital scrapbooking) and I sometimes feel guilty when I take some time to enjoy it, even on weekends, because I always feel like there are “more important things to do”. My solution is to PLAN my fun stuff too. And actually it fits perfectly into the questions Marcia adviced to ask ourselves: yes, taking time to enjoy my dear hobby is the best use of (some of) my weekend time and yes, it helps me move toward my goal of being happy! 😉 Hope this helps!!

  6. I love it, Chloe. You’ve got to plan your fun stuff!!!

  7. What a great post — I also spend time before going to bed planning my tasks for the next day. I use several wonderful programs via my Iphone. I think you touched on this, but really wanted to “strongly” agree with you — we need to make sure that the tasks we’re working on are leading us to a long-term goal of what is important in OUR LIFE — not what is important to our “house, neighbors, employer”. In order to do that, we need to do a prior step which is listing our own “life” goals. Who and what is our priority? Also — I want to take another sec to agree with you again on how busy work can really be destructive in accomplishing our goals, thus my continual inner struggle with “blogging”. Great post, very thought-provoking.

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