How to Conquer Your Day

When most people wake up in the morning and roll out of bed, they hope that they will have a good day. In this post, I am going to show you how to choose to have a good day. More specifically, I will show you how to go out and conquer your day.

Those of you who read my posts already know that I am a pretty motivated person. I hate letting a day go by when I haven’t accomplished something. But recently, I have had a string of mundane and unproductive days. Projects were put off, deadlines didn’t get met, and I let the other negative circumstances that arrived in my life, determine how the day was going to be.

It took a little time, but I snapped out of my rut and decided to conquer my day. I used some of the same tactics that will be mentioned in this article to help me get back on track and I am sure they will work for you as well. So if you’re ready, lets get started!

 

 

Don’t Give Away the Second Key: The Two-Man Rule

There are typically two things that most people consider to make up the quality of their days; how they feel and what happens to them throughout the day. If a person is feeling fine one day but something or someone comes along to try to ruin that day, most people will allow that to determine the quality of the rest of the day. If someone were to ask them how their day was they would say something like “my day was good until_______happened”.

This is a dangerous way to live because you are at the mercy of your circumstances. That’s why I developed something I call “not giving up the second key”.

Most high security organizations such as the military and banks have a “two-man” rule. The two-man rule states that highly critical materials or processes require two authorized personal at all times. You may have seen this in a movie when two keys are necessary to launch a missile in a submarine.

When you allow your day to be determined by what happens to you, you basically give your key away to the other person and say “Here, you decided what kind of day I’m gonna have today.” Other people and situations should not have that kind of control over your life.

The important thing to remember is that you will always have your half of the keys. It doesn’t matter if your clients, customers, and co-workers are giving you a hard time. You still have the second key. You can’t control their actions but you can control your reaction to them.

 

 

Eating That Frog

There are several things you will want to put off today. I know, I know, I’ve been there. There are things that you know need to be done, but they are just so unpleasant or difficult. If your intention is to conquer your day, you understand that you can’t procrastinate on something just because it’s difficult. My suggestion is that you eat the frog.

In his book Eat That Frog, Brian Tracy suggests that if you had to eat a bowl of frogs, you should eat the biggest, slimiest one first. This way, it only gets easier after that (if eating frogs can actually be easy). This idea has worked many times in my life and has not only helped me conquer my day, but it has also helped me conquer my week.

A few weeks ago I peeked at my Outlook Calendar and saw that I had some appointments with several high maintenance clients. I was not looking forward to the string of meetings and especially the last meeting with a client who I knew had an issue that would take unusually long to resolve. I decided to move the appointment to the beginning of the day instead of the end. As I guessed, resolving the issue was long and painful. However, the rest of the day was a breeze. There was no issue or problem that I felt I could not handle.

In order to conquer your day, you must take care of those things that you have been avoiding. Is there a tough conversation that you need to have with a boss or friend? Today you must conquer it. Make it your target. Take a look at your to-do list, and pick out the tasks that intimidates you the most and choose to take it on first.

 

Personal Victories

Filling your day with little accomplishments that are victories for yourself is a big part of conquering your day. Personal victories are those things that you achieve or overcome each day that others don’t see or even know about but that are important to you. Conquering your day also means conquering that little voice in your head that tells you that you can’t do something.

Its going to be difficult to conquer an entire day if you cannot conquer the smaller battles that make up your day. Being able to wake up a half hour earlier in order to get in some exercise may not be a big deal to most people but if you couldn’t do it yesterday, but were able to do it today, celebrate the victory. If you are a shy person but greeted a stranger today on the subway for the first time, in your mind, its time to throw a party.

Personal victories are like stepping stones to becoming the person you want to be. The best thing about them is that you determine the milestones. Select one or two personal accomplishments to reach today and focus on them. You will find that you will begin to feel stronger and more in control of you day as each victory is reached.

 

Read it Last

When we wake up in the morning the first thing we typically do is check some type of media to see what we missed why we were sleeping. Some people grab their phones off of their night stands and check status updates on Facebook while others turn on the TV or computer and check the news and weather.

There’s nothing wrong with knowing what’s going on in the world, however, most people use that information to gauge how their day is going to evolve.

The major issue with this approach to daily living is that you are giving away your power to choose what kind of day you are going to have. This means your day is only going to be as good as what happens to you. Instead of checking the weather and saying, “today is going to be an ugly day.”, decide that you are going to have a day of personal victory, influence, accomplishment, etc, and see how the news and the world is going to fit into that plan.

When you decide to conquer your day first, and then update yourself on what is going on in the world, you will be more empowered to choose your reaction to what you read. Just because it’s raining outside doesn’t mean your day is ruined; it just means you have to bring an umbrella.  Some people will find themselves wishing there was a website that exposed other people facing adversity, seeing the world and living their dreams.  Scrolling through Facebook feeds can sometimes be depressing.  Finding websites that are dedicated to positive thinking and accomplishing dreams can help in discovering self-fulfillment.  MyLife is a great place to start where you can gain a more uplifting outlook on everyday life.

 

 

 

 

Reset the Clock

Have you ever heard the superstition that says that you will have a bad day if you wake up on the wrong side of the bed? I once heard that the cure for this is to walk backwards to your bed, lie back down, and then get up on the correct side of the bed. Although I’m not convinced that walking back into bed is good idea, I do like the notion of starting over.

When I was younger I used to work for my dad’s business. Whenever business was really slow or I just dealt with a bad customer, my dad would always tell me to take a walk. He would send me out of the shop to get lunch or to just walk around and talk to some other merchants. His goal was to get me to not think about what was going on at the shop and to return refreshed.

This tactic works to this very day. If I am having a rough day, I will take some time to sit and reset my mind. For example, instead of having lunch in a busy restaurant, I will find a park bench by a lake and eat there.

There are several different ways to reset your mind so that you can begin the day again. Find the best way for you and begin to apply that method whenever you feel like the day is beginning to conquer you.

 

Keep Conquering

Now that you have the day eating out of the palm or your hand, it’s time to move on to the next day. Set up challenges and goals in different parts of your life where you want to prevail. Today is conquered, but tomorrow is still waiting to be.

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  • Jake A

    Hi Ralph,
    Thanks for this post, I have recently had trouble with this, procrastinating a lot and leaving everything to last minute, My favorite ones from this post are “Eat that frog” and the part about resetting the clock”.

  • ralphjp

    Thanks for the comment! Procrastination is a tough issue to have but it can be defeated. Eating frogs has changed my life..wait, let me rephrase that…

  • Leu IOnut

    Thank you very much!

  • ralphjp

    You’re welcome!

  • http://twitter.com/MindAdventure rob white

    Nice Ralph.

    I personally love the refreshment that “reseting the clock” by going for a walk provides. It invigorates my spirit by reminding me that there is plenty of time and plenty of world available to make my life an ongoing adventure. What could be worthier way to spend a few moments a day than that?!

  • ralphjp

    Thanks Rob! Completely agree! Resetting the clock is one of my favorite practices.