Going back to the “list of 6 things”, here is a summary of that important time management principle:

At the end of the day, write down 6 things that you need to do the next day.  (this can be done at the end of your work day or as you are putting your head on the pillow). Then prioritize those things on the list.  (See blogs on prioritization).  Read your list before you complete your day. (Your brain will rest must better).  As you start the next day, read the list.  Begin with number one and work on that until you get it done. Even though you will be interrupted, go back to number one time and again—until you get it done.  (or the amount you decided to get done that day). Then go on to number two. Redo the list at the end of every day.

Now, having reviewed this ultimate time management principle, let me continue on this topic of “the end of the day”.  Certainly, I encourage you to do the “list of 6 things” process each day. But, now, as you are actually in bed and ready to close your eyes, consider one other thing:  read something positive before you go to sleep.

While you may be saying, “Oh sure!!!  I worked all day, then came home to cook, clean and do things with the kids.  Now that I finally have the kids in bed and I’m crawling under the covers, the last thing I can do is hold my eyes open for one more second and read something.”

I know.  Sometimes I am so tired that all I can read is one sentence; one paragraph, or one scripture. But, I try to do that. This will settle into your subconscious brain and you will go to sleep on something positive.  So, you have organized your to do list for tomorrow and now you close your brain with a positive word or sentence—or whatever. Your mind will rest more deeply and completely and you will not be awakened by challenging thoughts.

I am serious.  Be careful about the way you put yourself to bed!!  Note how carefully you make effort to help your kids be at peace by the time you turn off the light.  Do the same for yourself.

Let’s go back for a second to the end of your work day.  Say good-bye to the people with whom you work.  Don’t just walk out!!  Close the day with a gracious good-bye.  Thank the people with whom you work for the things they did well today or the things they did to help you.  Even if it is one tiny thing—note it.  Send your colleagues or employees home on a good note and you will find that your end of day will be more pleasant for yourself and for your friends or family that evening.

I encourage you to start your day off on the right foot—and to close your day on the right foot. These steps, when they become a habit, will help with your time and stress management—and will give you increased the energy that comes from constructive thoughts.

Take care of yourself.