How to get ahead in just 1 hour per day

Life just gets busier and busier: there are bills to pay, people to see, families to attend to and budgets to keep. Sometimes we all feel as though we are merely surviving though our days – not really achieving or getting ahead.

You have goals and aspirations. These may be career-focused or they may be more about personal fulfilment. Either way, if you have a project, plan or goal you’d like to achieve but can’t seem to find the time – here is a structured way to get ahead with only one hour every day.

Monday: get organised and make a plan

What do you want to do? Write a book? Change careers? Find a better job?  Start a business or finally take that course you’ve been thinking of doing. Spend one hour on Monday making a plan. Your plan does not need to be too grandiose at this stage and only needs to contain three essential elements.

  • Planning step one – Identify your target: what are you trying to achieve?
  • Planning step two – Decide on a timeframe: set a reasonable time and stick to it.
  • Planning step three – Make your first step one week from today; decide what this will be in your planning session and commit to it.

Tuesday: send an important email or make an important phone call

Tuesday is the best time of the week to send an important email or ask an important question via a phone call. Studies show that the time or day you send an email can be very relevant to whether it is opened or not and how it is received.

According to Mail Chimp: “Pinpointing the best day and time to send a campaign is difficult because ideal sending times vary between industries and lists, and may also depend on the segment of a list you’re sending to.” Read some of their email tips here.

Wednesday: get your resume, portfolio or online profile in order

Whether you’re a musician, artist, childcare worker, mum or corporate type – spend one hour on Wednesday making sure that what the outside world sees of you is the image you would like to present. Google your name and ‘images’ and see what comes up. Delete or attention anything that you would not want a future employer (or contact) to see.

Even if your goal is to do a course, or get healthy, or even if it’s hobby/interest related, make sure all your paperwork is in order. Spend one hour today gathering virtual and hardcopy documents and getting them organised.

Thursday: work out your next 3 attainable steps

Now the fun part begins! You have your goal and you have your timeframe. On Monday, you identified the first step you needed to take to make it happen. What did you come up with? Spend one hour today writing down a series of possible next steps.

For example, if you want to start an art class, you could spend this day comparing teachers and classes, looking at the prices of materials and investigating potential studio spaces. If your goal was to get a job in the finance sector, use this time to write a list of companies you’d like to work for and put them into an order to target with a resume send-out.

Friday: research a course, class or internship

One of the best ways to get your projects moving is to take a class or sign up for a course in the related subject area. If you want to get into sales and marketing or if you want to learn how to turn your love of social media into a career – there are courses out there that can introduce you to concepts, contacts and industry resources.

Make sure you look at the outcomes you are hoping to achieve as well. What is your goal at the end of the internship, course or class? To meet contacts? To get a job? To turn your new skills into a business? Or maybe even just to meet like-minded people?

Saturday: make an industry contact

Get advice! This can be another fun part of the week! No matter what you want to do – there is someone in the world who is doing the same (or a similar!) thing.  Look for facebook pages that relate to what you want to achieve and try to find a mentor who is based in the same country as you to give you advice on the local market.

George Ross from the Trump Foundation has said, “To be successful, you have to be able to relate to people; they have to be satisfied with your personality to be able to do business with you and to build a relationship with mutual trust.”

Sunday: get an extra hour of rest

Get ahead in just an hour a day – but never skimp on your rest! Sleep is essential for your health and wellbeing. From the American Psychological Association, “According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) millions of people do not get enough sleep and many suffer from lack of sleep. For example, surveys conducted by the NSF reveal that at least 40 million people suffer from over 70 different sleep disorders and 60 percent of adults report having sleep problems a few nights a week or more.”

Getting a good night’s rest can help to prepare you for the challenges ahead. Most people need at least seven or eight hours of sleep a night to perform at their optimum. It’s important to set clear goals and aim to improve but don’t burn the candle at both end – be strategic about your goals and see them come into vision!


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