A wasted day occurs when you are not living in the present. Now this is not an encouragement to avoid planning for the future. Nor is it a request to avoid looking back on the past to learn from success or failures. Instead, future planning and past lessons guide the decisions we make today. That is a critical fact.

When I’m not living in the present, I find it easy to stray. Easy to dwell on failure and miss the opportunities right in front of me. Even worse, not accomplish the tasks at hand that are critical for my success or others depending on me. Here are some practical things I’ve found that help me stay in the present.

  1. Journaling – You don’t know what you think unless you write it down. Journaling reveals patterns in your life (good or bad).
  2. Read or listen to something before bedtime. Turn off the TV, phones, and tablets. Read or listen to something inspiring. This time is an excellent opportunity to reflect on the day and decompress.
  3. Try Deep breathing before bedtime. It can become “a natural tranquilizer for the nervous system” that eases the body into a state of calmness and relaxation. Good sleep brings focus and energy the next day.
  4. Have a morning routine. A set time to wake up (especially for those of us who work from home), Eat a healthy breakfast. Finally, dress like a pro even if you work remote.
  5. Think positively about your current projects. This mental exercise is critical for success and staying in the moment. The example I have is a lesson I’ve learned from exercising. While running, instead of thinking about how tired I am or what’s hurting, or how long I have till finished I think about how happy I am to run. How beautiful the scenery is as I go along. These thoughts are vital to making it an enjoyable experience. The same goes for work projects. If I think about the challenge and the ideas in a positive light, the more excited I get bout the project and the more eager I am to begin. This approach makes getting up in the morning exciting and leads me to live in the present.
  6. Give your mind the opportunity to grow. Fridays mornings are my blog, read, and explore day. This weekly ritual has become a valuable part of my personal growth. What I glean from this time provides a new perspective and knowledge to apply in all areas of life.
  7. Be accountable to others. Living in solitude is comfortable, yet not as rewarding as having people in your life who will challenge you and hold you accountable. I love this old proverb:

Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.

These processes are aids that produce positive cycles in life. If I’m disciplined and apply them, I become one who is living int he present and moving in the right direction.

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Photo of Brian Biddle Brian Biddle

For the past 14 years, Brian has served as lead designer and art director for LexBlog. He works directly with the product team to provide design and UX/UI guidance for the tools that power the worlds largest legal network.