One of the constant laments spoken by dance teachers is, 'If I only had more time!' I know that getting everything done is a challenge each and every day. It is amazing how each day flies by and it seems like you haven’t even started on your to-do list. But the trick isn’t finding more time. It’s deciding what is most important to you and then getting it done.

One of the constant laments spoken by dance teachers is, 'If I only had more time!' I know that getting everything done is a challenge each and every day. It is amazing how each day flies by and it seems like you haven’t even started on your to-do list. But the trick isn’t finding more time. It’s deciding what is most important to you and then getting it done.

In other articles I have written about creating a list each day of what needs to be done for that day and then highlighting or crossing off each task that you finish. This strategy is a great help for finding the right channel for what needs to be done and getting it off your list quickly. If you write it down, you will give thought and focus on how you will accomplish the task at hand and that will expedite the process. While I know this works very well when put into action, there is another very important aspect of your day-to-day activities that you need to focus on: Having a clear picture of what is really important to you and why is it important to you.

Here is the reality: life in today’s world is fast paced and there will always be distractions, issues, problems and other irritants that will come your way. The key is how you deal with them and how they affect your lifestyle. So to make this year your best ever, I recommend that you sit down and make a list, not of New Year’s resolutions but of what is important to you.

Here are some questions you will want to ask yourself:

What accomplishments would I like to achieve?

What goals do I have for myself?

How will I spend your time?

What is really important to ME?

Let’s take a look at how you can achieve more in 2010.

Life is not about activity, but about accomplishments, and getting the right things done. To create the life you truly want, start by defining what success really means to you. This way you can focus on how to create the life you would like to live and what you would like to achieve. By defining what is important it will give you more energy to get more done. To be successful, your personal plan must focus on what you want, not what you have. And be bold! Set goals, look at them often and don’t get off track.

Far too many people go through life just going through the motions. They have developed their daily habits over time, and their habits have become their life! Take the time to think about what you want and why you want it. For you to accomplish what you want in life, the why is more important than the how. In fact, to achieve the success you want, the why always needs to be greater than the how.

Why is a powerful motivator and is the biggest factor for getting more done. The time you spend thinking about what you want helps you see new and better ways to achieve it. Categorize what you need to do each day. What is important and what is not. But remember that just because you do not want to do a certain task or do not like doing it does not make it unimportant! No matter what has to be done, focus on the WHY. Now go and do what you need to do to get it done. I recommend doing the harder tasks first each day. You will be mentally fresh and have a clear purpose as to why it needs to be done. The right mindset will help you to get it done faster and with less stress. The rest of the day becomes much easier as you begin to do all the other tasks you enjoy doing.

It’s focus management, not time management. No one can manage time. You can’t use 30 hours today and only use 18 tomorrow. You can however manage your focus, and your focus will determine how you will use your time. To achieve the success you have defined, you will want to focus your time on doing more activities that get you closer to your success. Don’t let outside distractions get in your way. The agenda that will help you achieve the goals you have set is the priority at that moment, period!

Your attitude is completely within your control. Don’t let pessimism cloud your thought process and negatively color everything you view in your life.  A good attitude is like a crystal clear windshield: you can see clearly for miles ahead. Try not to let outside circumstances or other people determine how you should feel. The right mindset will help you get more done, feel happy doing it and get others to want to help you, too! Remember that song by Bobby McFerrin: 'Don’t worry, be happy!'

Create daily habits that will help serve you. Taking the time to identify how you operate is key to setting new and better habits. Ask yourself this question when it comes to getting more done: Do my habits help me to get closer to what I want to achieve? If you want more creativity, find habits that put you in a creative mindset. If you want to be better prepared for class, find habits that can be done on a regular basis to accomplish this. It is easier to break an unproductive habit when you replace it with one that is beneficial to your success. 

The key to getting more done comes down to taking the necessary common sense actions and having the discipline to actually keep doing them, day in and day out.