Few challenges seem greater today than delaying instant gratification and focusing on the activities that require greater effort but ultimately yield more enduring value. Think about the endless incoming emails and texts.How often do you interrupt whatever you’re doing to answer them? How often is that the best way you could be using your time and attention?
Three principles seem critical here, and all of them have to do with being more intentional. The first one is that we each have a limited reservoir of energy — and, specifically, of will and discipline. Each time we exercise conscious effort, we draw down whatever is left in our tank.
The first important lesson is to take on the most difficult and important tasks when you have the most energy.
If what you’re doing really matters, turn off your digital life for a designated period, much the way it makes sense to remove high-calorie foods from your house if you’re on a diet.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. - Aristotle”
Put another way, we’re far more likely to accomplish what we schedule.
Rituals — behaviors that become automatic so that we no longer have to think about doing them, such as, doing the most important thing first in the morning or exercising at a designated time.
To have clear intention for each new day, plan the next day around your priorities. At the same time, assess your performance that day. Did you complete your priority tasks?