How to Have the Best Week Ever!
Managing Time with the Optimal Week Tool by Samantha Cooprider. Wouldn’t it be incredible to get everything you wanted done? To finish...
Updated: Feb 16, 2022
And the Phone Commandments
by Hans Onome.
One thing to remember in reading all health articles: there is more right with you than is wrong with you. So keep believing in yourself, do the work with a smile, and keep those you love close. Akpojotor: where there is life there is hope.
It's a paradox of life that the technologies we use to make life easier make other things more difficult in the long run. Take chairs, for example. We can't imagine life without them, but most of us have lost the ability to sit on the floor criss-cross applesauce. Shod feet and sitting through life have given us poor posture and chronic inflexibility. Forget those popular body shapes: pear, apple, square, or triangle. We're all becoming chairs!
And since you're probably sitting right now: shoulders back, tuck your chin, brace your core. See if you can hold that for a minute and don't hold your breath; breathe normally.
If we could only still squat like this little guy.
This, of course, is the way we used to sit long before we got fancy. But neither shoes nor chairs were designed to addict us. The smartphone and its primary pathogen, social media, are different stories. They are deliberately gamified to keep us swiping.
And what gets swiped? Yikes. Other than our identities, our energy, focus, and time.
Has this ever happened to you? You're looking at your phone for something specific, and then blip! Where did the time go? What were you doing before? Fifteen-plus minutes have slipped by along with your focus. Argh! You've been tricked by the algorithm yet again - deliberately distracted! The devil on your shoulder has become the cell phone in your pocket.
Remember this acronym about your smartphone's ulterior motives and tricky games.
When people create goals or resolutions, they usually forget to plan for the inevitable distractions that come their way. How much time spent with your phone could be redirected to writing your book, walking outside, meditating, or meal prepping? According to national averages, 5.4 hours! That's a lot of dumbing down, and lots of people exceed that routinely.
So along with planning our goals, we also need a plan to maintain energy, focus, and time for what matters most by reducing distraction.
How about adding a short addendum to your goals with your own Phone Commandments?
Here are a few to get you started. You fill in the blanks.
Thou shall limit my mobile screen time to ____hours daily.
Thou shall not use the phone before ___am nor after ___pm.
Thou shall charge my phone at night outside of my bedroom.
Try these for starters and tailor them to fit your situation.
Lastly, I say this all the time, usually twice for good measure. If you're reading this, there is more right with you than "wrong" with you. Keep believing in yourself, do the work with a smile, and keep those you love close.
Akpojotor: where there is life, there is hope.
Until next time. Thanks for reading. ~𝛿
Hans is an ICF-certified executive coach at Inner Confidential, specializing in mental fitness and methodologies for healthy organizations, and a NASM CPT specializing in weight loss and behavior change at the SoFit Network.
Managing Time with the Optimal Week Tool
by Samantha Cooprider.
Wouldn’t it be incredible to get everything you wanted done? To finish everything you started? That would be the best week ever. And while perfection is oft sought, but rarely achieved, having more productive days is really a skill of time management.
Having the best week ever would mean making a conscious choice to look at the reality of how we spend our time. We all have personal and professional responsibilities as well as goals for ourselves. Yet, for most of us, there’s a disconnect between what we’d like to see in our lives and how we are actually spending the hours of our day.
The Optimal Week is a tool that allows us to make our time reflect our priorities in a way that’s aligned with reality.
It helps you make the shift from being at the mercy of time… oh, I really need to exercise more, or I want to sleep more, or spend more time with the kids… to being in reality about your ability to make conscious choices about what you do with our time – which is another way of saying that you are interested in being more conscious about how you live your life.
It’s about learning to opt-in on a slightly different mind-set. When I first learned about this tool I said, yes, thank you! I had done so much work around finding clarity on my priorities, my goals and my responsibilities. And yet, it was hard to actually fit them all in.
The Optimal Week tool was the missing link, and also a wake-up call that I might not be able to do everything now. There’s a real freedom in getting to reality about what I can fit in, and letting go of what I can’t.
What about less definable categories about how we spend our time, like email and texting and the buzzing of our smart phones?
We’re addicted to urgency, and in the midst of our addiction, all the little fires get put out while the things that are really important to us fall by the wayside. The beauty of the Optimal Week is that it sets up a structure for us so that we can’t ignore the important things that act as a barometer for us to see how we’re doing.
Just noticing that can be enough to start the shift on how conscious we are about time spent texting, emailing, checking social media sites, etc.
Let’s Get Started
Identify a way to physically represent the days and hours of a week. This is a template, a picture of how you want your Optimal Week to look and you’ll use it as a barometer for the way you are actually spending your time. You just need a basic 7-day week layout, one that includes the hours of the day.
Some people use a printout, or a spreadsheet and some even hand-write it with pencil and paper. Drawing it out yourself is a very tactile experience, and really works for some people.
The spreadsheet idea works well because it can give you the freedom to rearrange the cells as you work out the logistics. It’s a creative process, and it’s important to remember that. Think of this as an experiment and a way of being more conscious about your life. It doesn’t have to be perfect, and it’s going to change.
Start to play with and fill in the moving parts of your week, in this order:
1. Existing commitments
You need to be at work at a certain time, you need to get your kids to gymnastics; you have a weekly Monday morning meeting etc.… Start with everything you are already committed to, that you’ve already made a choice about. Add it to your template, and make sure you are realistic about how much time that commitment really takes.
You might think it takes you 20 minutes from bed to door in the morning, but when you think about it, it really takes an hour. Put that in. 7:00am-8:00am, get ready for the day. Add your driving times, paying attention to the commitments in the previous step.
3. Regular errands
We all go to the grocery store. We all go through mail and attend to our finances. The day or the hour may vary, but as much as possible, identify the regular errands and tasks of your life and give some thought to the actual amount of time they each take, and plug them in to your template.
It’s important to remember that this is a tool that will help you recognize how you spend your time. It’s a way to put it all in front of you, and you can change it as you go. If you write down “grocery store” as ideally happening on Saturday morning and then you decide to do something else, that’s okay. The Optimal Week just gives you the opening to ask yourself, so when am I going to get this thing done?
Okay, commitments, logistics, errands. Wow, it’s looking pretty full.
This is where the rubber meets the road. Often people say, no wonder it doesn’t feel like there is time for anything else. That’s part of getting to reality on our choices.
I ask my clients to take this as an opportunity for reflection. What is important to me that isn’t yet on the template? And how much space is left? Are there changes I can make to re-prioritize or streamline?
What would an optimal week look like for you? Start today by taking time this week to create the first part of this process. See you at the starting line! ~𝛿