One of the hardest things to do during these pandemic, ever-changing times is to live each day with intent.
If you’re anything like me … there are waaaaaay too many things you want to accomplish each day. My task list is ever-growing, and most days, the minute I check one thing off my list, I need to add ten more tasks to it.
But these days, I’m finding it even harder to make a dent in anything I want to intentionally focus on because just as I begin to find a new normal in my routine, it all changes again.
Can you relate?
- work from home, work from office
- kids homeschooling, kids going to school
- partner at home, then back to work
- sitter ready to help, not available -had a health scare.
So many changes day after day make it rough to focus on keeping the main things the main things. But, I’ve come up with a few tips that make it easier for me to keep putting one foot in front of the other and live each day with intent, on purpose, and centered as I stay as present and as in the moment as possible.
What’s surprising is that being intentional isn’t as hard as you think. It doesn’t mean you’ll do everything you want, and it doesn’t mean you’ll do everything perfectly.
Please hear me … just because I work hard at being intentional every single day doesn’t mean I never drop the ball. And I’m okay with that because that’s not the point. What IS the point is being focused and deliberate in all that I do, all day long.
Want to live intentionally? Here are five tips for being intentional every single day, no matter what kind of crazy is happening around you.
1. Rest Well
Rest is a vital part of being intentional. Too many of us, me included, get into a cycle of burn out. You need your rest. When rested, you can think more clearly, which means you can actually get more done. Being purposeful about getting enough sleep will help you be more intentional and productive every single day.
2. Have Routines (and get in the habit of using a timer to stay on track!)
To be intentional every day, you have to put some key areas of your life on auto-pilot! Creating habits and rhythms to your day will make you more productive (and ultimately more intentional!).
It helps to stick with a simple and predictable schedule and routine for yourself and your family. Make morning, afternoon, and evening routines that keep your days flowing smoothly (or at least get them back on track!).
I’ll be honest. I would not get anything done if I didn’t 100% stick to my evening routine. My days always go more smoothly when I take time to prepare the night before. Creating (and sticking to) an evening routine makes mornings easier. If I can start the day off on the right foot, the rest of the day has a better chance of following! During these ever-changing times, the trick is to change up your routine as needed when your life takes a turn.
3. Ink In Downtime (as often as you can)
Every single day, I ink-in time to slow down in the middle of the day and just rest. It’s usually only 10-15 minutes, but it’s just what my body needs to recoup and rejuvenate for the remainder of the day.
I’ll squeeze in some reading or journaling, or just sit and stare at the wall or meditate. Taking time just to breathe allows your brain to clear, which enables you to stay motivated to finish your day well. It won’t help anyone in your life (including you) if you’re running on fumes when 5 o’clock rolls around!
By the way, the timer method works well here, too. I like to set the timer for 20 minutes and call it my “quiet time.” This can work wonders if you have others (like kiddos) in your home, too. Everyone finds a corner and is present, still, and peaceful for 20 minutes.
Give it a fancy name to help you and your kids excited about it! You rest while they are doing something worthwhile. It’s a win-win!
4. Pick Your Top Three To-Dos (to keep you motivated)
Let’s be honest, we rarely accomplish everything on our to-do lists EVERY DAY. When we do, we rejoice … but when we don’t, we tend to get disappointed. Anyone else overzealous in what you think you can realistically accomplish each day?
Pick three tasks that, if accomplished, would make your day a success and put a star next to them. It 100% helps at the end of the day to know you were intentional with your time and kept these top three to-dos as a priority, even if nothing else got done.
Being intentional is all about motivation. If you feel like you fail every day, then you’ll give up. So determine your “win” for today and rejoice when you accomplish your top three tasks!
5. Ditch The Distractions
We are a super-connected society. When we hear the buzz of our phones, we instantly want to check to see what we’re missing. Turning off electronics and being fully present helps you be more productive and intentional each day.
One thing I do to keep my phone from ruling my life is put it on silent, AND schedule when I check emails and texts throughout my day.
I know this won’t work for everyone, but keeping my phone set to silent means I can check in when I need to. I don’t have to respond to any and all notifications right.this.instant. This has significantly cut down on the temptation to be connected at all times.
Being intentional to turn off electronics helps me stay focused on the task at hand to be fully present right where I am! AND… to literally LOOK UP.
It’s easy to get caught up in your tasks and technology and forget to connect with those around you. Taking time to look at the people around you helps you to be intentional to stay focused on what matters most – relationships (whether you spend your days at home or work).
- Hug your family and friends
- Notice someone who needs help
- Connection and community
- Maybe even stop long enough to dance
No matter what’s happening around you, be sure to connect with those around you each day. Don’t let your tasks rule your life. Remember that you are faced with choices all day long on what will get your time and attention. Being intentional about what will win will make you happier, more fulfilled, and feeling so much more confident in every life and space you touch!