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Two Rules To Help You Use Your Time and Talent to Their Fullest!

Mindset Made Simple Tip #92 – Watch or listen HERE.

I waste a lot of time!

In fact, I feel like I got more done when I was only home a few days a week. How can that be?

Trust me, I can still get things done. I have always been able to put my nose to the grind and churn out the work.

But I waste time. I waste time thinking about things I can’t change. I waste time worrying about things that may never happen. I waste time feeling guilty about things I wish I could have done differently. I waste time thinking of things I should have done. I think of things, don’t write them down, then spend time trying to remember my great idea! I waste time looking at other people’s best lives on social media. I waste time checking my email too many times a day.

I waste time. Period! And I’d venture to say that you do, too!

In an attempt to structure my days more efficiently, I have been doing a lot of thinking about how I work. I need to do a better job of managing moments. Because what is life but moments built on prior moments?

I am about to embark on a few new projects in my mental performance coaching, so setting expectations, managing moments, building structures and setting timelines is crucial…or everything will remain a great idea with nothing to show!

As I have been thinking about how I manage my moments and days (I need a lot of work, BTW), I have run across a few things that may help you and those you lead stay focused and on task, too!

Before I get into the tools I am implementing, did you know that research shows that each time you get interrupted, it may take 20 minutes to get back on task? This bit of knowledge did not keep me from getting up and changing the laundry as I type this (there go another precious 20 minutes) but think about that for a minute!

Each time we respond to our phone, a ruminating thought that we have relived 1000 times, an email ding or those hunger pangs (that seem to creep up on me every time I walk into the kitchen) we are setting ourselves back and making our days longer, our work harder and our lives less enjoyable!

My goal as we wrap up the academic year is to structure my days…and more importantly…my thinking - as much as I can! I know…things come up…athletes have crises, administrators call meetings, tough things happen, etc., but if we have a plan, we will be much more efficient and effective!

To do this, I am working to set a few rules for myself!

Rule #1 is this: I have begun asking myself these questions multiple times a day!Is what I am doing making me more successful? Is it making me happier? Is it making me a better coach, teacher, spouse, parent or friend?”

Each time I search social media. Each time I ruminate on what I should have, could have or would have done. Each time I worry about what may never happen, I am training myself to ask these questions.

I have found that starting with “is this making me happier” ends most of these thoughts and actions.

The answer has been “NO” about 99% of the time so far! I can move on to the other questions if needed, but this one seems to be a showstopper!

It is amazing how effective this is. However, to make it effective WE HAVE TO DO IT!

So here is Challenge #1 to help with Rule #1: the next time you pick up your phone to see what someone else is doing, the next time you think about that kid that left your program for greener pastures, the next time you think about those fans that think you are the dumbest person that ever leads anything, start here: “Is this thought or action making me happier?”

Then smile, give yourself a little fist pump and think about how powerful you are to be able to make choices on what is taking up that precious ‘one thought only’ space in your mind!

We can only think one thought at a time, so we need to be VERY JUDICIOUS about what we let in there!!! And remember, that fist pump is important… celebrating our wins ties us to doing them again…and again… and again!

Rule #2: I have begun making a “Done for the Day” list!

As I have been thinking about Rule #2, it has me thinking about athletes and practice. How often do our athletes think about (let alone write down) any intentions for practice?

Athletes are like most of us.

We roll up to the office or walk to the basement and know we have work to get done. We have a general idea of a “practice plan” but we don’t have set intentions on what we are trying to improve or truly complete during our work. Yes, some projects end with things being better than when we started, but most of our work is the same as it was yesterday and we don’t think much about how we can do it better, faster or more efficiently to help our team…whatever that team looks like!

Although my Done for the Day list is not always performance-based like our practices are, this list helps me identify very specific tasks to complete that will “constitute meaningful and essential progress” according to Greg McKeown in his book Effortless. It is my job to then give these tasks/skills/projects the bulk of my time and energy.

To make this Done for the Day list effective, I must specifically say what I want to be done by the end of the day.

I don’t say, I want to take some extra cuts (I am your player now 😊). I say I will take 100 swings, 50 off of the T, 50 off of front toss.

This way I know what DONE looks like. If I don’t take 100 cuts, I am not done!

Before I begin my Done for the Day list, I have a very clear PICTURE of what I am to accomplish! Since everything happens twice, once in our minds and then, in reality, I can look ahead to how I will plan, execute and feel once I have my list completed. I can also look for those pesky distractions that may rear their ugly heads and plan for those as well with my “if….then’’ plans to keep me on track.

Finally, if I completely fall off the horse, I can restructure my “Done” list to fit the time I have left so I can be “done” with something that allows me to build momentum for the next day…and feel good about going into the evening to enjoy time on non-work-related things!

This sounds like a “to-do” list. And in a way it is.

The difference is that I am taking the time to clarify what “done” looks like. Then I can move on…with a fist pump…and make the next best move!

Challenge #2 for Rule #2: Set your “Done for the Day” list. Be specific. See what DONE looks like. Then use your completed list to remind you of your progress on those days when progress feels difficult!

My ability to waste time needs to be replaced with my ability to follow rules! I love my new “does this make me happier…more successful….etc.” question and I am excited to “see” my progress as my Done for the Day lists pile up and turn into awesome and completed projects that will help athletes, teams and business leaders get the most of out their talent!

Let me know how you do with this week’s challenge! Shoot me an email or write a comment at the bottom of this page!

Then share these with your team!

I am certain they will help all of us use our talent more fully and perform better!

Manage moments and have a great week!


P.S. Need a better mental training system that you can implement without doing your own research, prepping for team chats or doing the work yourself? Call today and let me build a plan that fits your budget and schedule. Shoot me an email at and let’s set a plan in motion to manage your team’s mental game!

Julie Jones

Certified Mental Performance & Mindset Coach

SSB Performance • 234-206-0946

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